Case | HBS Case Collection | July 2012 (Revised December 2012)

SOHO China: Design, Development, and Social Harmony

by Arthur I Segel and Mukti Khaire

Abstract

Founded in 1995 by Zhang Xin and her husband Mr. Pan Shiyi, SOHO China has developed into a world-class real estate development firm that has consistently delivered high-quality projects known for their cutting-edge designs and investment potential. Despite the tremendous success of the firm, Zhang Xin still looks at the future with great uncertainty. Average residential pricing in China has dropped, as government continues to put downward pressure on residential housing prices through restrictions on the number of apartments a resident is allowed to purchase, and aggressive promotion of affordable housing on the low-end of the market. Zhang Xin wonders what opportunities and threats such market conditions present to SOHO. On the sales and marketing front, SOHO China has historically been geographically-focused only on high-end, design-driven projects in Shanghai and Beijing. As the market became more competitive, Zhang Xin wondered what key strategic decisions in regards to design, financing, and sales the company would need to make in order to maintain its competitive advantage in China.

Keywords: real estate; organizational culture; Leasing; Design; Asset Management; Salesforce Management; Sales; Real Estate Industry; China;

Citation:

Segel, Arthur I., and Mukti Khaire. "SOHO China: Design, Development, and Social Harmony." Harvard Business School Case 213-025, July 2012. (Revised December 2012.)