Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2005 (Revised August 2006)

Haier: Taking a Chinese Company Global

by Krishna G. Palepu, Tarun Khanna and Ingrid Vargas

Abstract

In 2005, Haier, China's leading appliance manufacturer, had over $12 billion in worldwide sales and was the third-ranked global appliance brand behind Whirlpool and GE. Describes Haier's rise from a defunct refrigerator factory in China's Qingdao province to an international player with nearly $4 billion in overseas sales. Haier had followed a nontraditional expansion strategy of entering the developed markets of Europe and the United States as a niche player before venturing into neighboring Asian markets. Facing intense competition and price wars in the domestic market, in 2005 Haier was redoubling its efforts to build a globally recognized brand. Could Haier complete with the likes of Whirlpool and GE in their home market? Could Haier successfully defend against Chinese and multinational challengers in China while building a brand overseas?

Keywords: Global Strategy; Brands and Branding; Manufacturing Industry; Consumer Products Industry; China;

Citation:

Palepu, Krishna G., Tarun Khanna, and Ingrid Vargas. "Haier: Taking a Chinese Company Global." Harvard Business School Case 706-401, October 2005. (Revised August 2006.)