Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2011 (Revised May 2012)

Haier: Taking a Chinese Company Global in 2011

by Tarun Khanna, Krishna G. Palepu and Phillip Andrews

Abstract

In 2011, Haier, China's leading appliance manufacturer, had over $20 billion in worldwide sales and had just been named the leading refrigerator manufacturer worldwide. Describes Haier's rise over three decades from a defunct refrigerator factory in China's Qingdao province to an international player with $5.5 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 Middle Eastern and neighboring Asian markets. Looking ahead to the next decade, Haier CEO Zhang Ruimin saw opportunities for Haier to grow through product diversification and additional market penetration in both developed and emerging markets. He and his colleagues would depend on their experience of acquiring numerous companies, entering and retaining new markets, restructuring the organization, and managing hundreds of subsidiaries around the world. They would need to determine which of the lessons learned from Haier's international operations should be implemented in China and which skills learned at home could best be applied abroad.

Keywords: Business Growth and Maturation; Global Strategy; Expansion; Diversification; Emerging Markets; Consumer Products Industry; Manufacturing Industry; China;

Citation:

Khanna, Tarun, Krishna G. Palepu, and Phillip Andrews. "Haier: Taking a Chinese Company Global in 2011." Harvard Business School Case 712-408, August 2011. (Revised May 2012.)