Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2013 (Revised May 2013)

Kunshan, Incorporated: The Making of China's Richest Town

by William C. Kirby, Nora Bynum, Tracy Yuen Manty and Erica M. Zendell


In 1980, the city of Kunshan was mere countryside, registering neither on the Chinese government's nor the international business community's radar. By 2010, Kunshan had become the richest city per capita in China and a global technology powerhouse, home to companies such as Foxconn, Compal Electronics, and Wistron. Kunshan's entrepreneurial, self-starting development combined with strategic location and high levels of local government support had been responsible for Kunshan's tremendous growth and success. How could it continue to grow at a rate to maintain its leadership among Chinese entrepreneurial cities? And would the founding of an international, joint-venture campus with Duke and Wuhan University keep the city of Kunshan innovative and ahead of the curve?

Keywords: foreign investment; entrepreneurship; competition; emerging markets; FDI; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Innovation Leadership; Technology Industry; China; Taiwan Strait;


Kirby, William C., Nora Bynum, Tracy Yuen Manty, and Erica M. Zendell. "Kunshan, Incorporated: The Making of China's Richest Town." Harvard Business School Case 313-103, January 2013. (Revised May 2013.)