International strategy of the Haier Group

This paper requires the opportunity to critically measure the international strategy of Haier, Chinese language producer in the buyer electronics industry. A review of the books on the subject of internationalization and international market accessibility is undertaken, prior to studying the micro and macro surroundings during Haier development into new marketplaces during the 1990 and 2000s. An commercial evaluation is conducted and a comparison of the competitors approach to international development is completed. The individuals behind the Haiers international strategy are discussed, together with the reasoning behind their success in the Western european, Asian and American market segments. Finally the performance of Haier international strategy is evaluated and recommendations to improve the companys international success are reviewed.

2. Introduction

Haier Group was founded in 1984 as a government-owned Chinese language company under the name Qingdao Refrigerator Co. , Ltd. Primarily, it started manufacturing refrigerators with development technology imported from Germany. Over the past 26 years, the organization is rolling out significantly, engaging in technological research, new product development, trade and global extension. Now Haier operates in different establishments all over the world.

Additionally, Haier contains first place in several segments worldwide: for compact refrigerators in the United Stated, for washing machines in Iran and then for air conditioners in Cyprus. With a global market show of 5. 3 percent, China's Haier Group Firm has placed second in the global refrigerator development industry.

Haier achieved its success by familiarizing with the brand and competing with the major established brands for a more substantial market share. Haier Categories' commercial strategy is motivated by international expansion through creating brand understanding and recognition, get together consumers' needs and increasing market stocks in different sections.

This paper begins with an assessment of the books on the topics of internationalization and foreign market entrance strategies, before reviewing the inner and exterior factors of Haier's international strategy.

3. Literature Review

The way to obtain competitive benefits for gadgets, such as Haier is associated with the value they create through progressive products and meet customer needs. It is important to comprehend what generates such competitive advantages in the local market for the company, before getting into the foreign market. Porter claims that "advanced factors (research facilities, technical knowhow) will be more significant for competitive edge. " Haier found better R&D, popular and better factor conditions for innovating in overseas countries which was one of the reasons for globalization. Porter theorizes that "four features promote the creation of nationwide competitive benefits. He speaks of the four capabilities as constituting the gem. " (Porter, 1990).

Relating to Porter's theory Haier transferred in another country to make its product more responsive to particular consumers in foreign markets. In connection with the other the different parts of the Porter "diamond" Haier experienced high local rivalry and support market sectors made huge assets which indicate Haier's intention going abroad.

One of the most significant discussions is related with the explanation for internationalization. Minitzberg expresses that companies go abroad to "achieve some of the benefits-cost reductions, improved quality of products, enhanced customer personal preferences, and increased competitive leverage. " Haier built a famous brand and upgraded its products quality by getting into markets with more pretentious customers. The business grasped the difference between its local and foreign marketplaces. Dupuis and Primary declare that "there is a gap between these two environments, particularly in relation to consumer habit. "(Dupuis and Primary, 1996). The source of competitive advantages in the local market might not exactly be exactly like in the overseas market. The mark market needs to be comprehended before taking a strategic decision. Types of such cases are considered by many writers including Hill, (2007) and Bartlett (2003). They compare companies which face culture, religious and ethnical problems penetrating different market segments.

The choice of entry setting is another tactical issue that ought to be looked at by companies. Hill says that" firms may use six different settings to enter international market segments. " (Hill, 2007) Haier used different methods to succeed in their global expansion. They used "exporting admittance function" and received benefits for economies of size. In other market where it was difficult to penetrate they used "joint ventures entry setting" and accessed to the neighborhood partner's knowledge. Other research such as Bartlett's finds that "there are countries which are symbols of high quality which is why companies form peripheral countries find it difficult to compete against global giants from Europe, Japan and United states. "(Bartlett, 2003). Some companies, as Haier, have got into the global competition too past due and this declaration confirms how difficult was for them to compete against existing opponents.

The intention of this section was to review the literature regarding the way to obtain competitive gain, internationalization and admittance methods chosen by companies and especially Haier according to its international strategy.

Micro Environment

This section intends to show the internal factors, which affect Haier in its global enlargement. According to Offer there is interconnection between key success factors, resources and capabilities in creating competitive benefits. In case the recourses cooperate effectively, the business has capacities for success. (Grant, 2005).

Key Success Factors


Competitive Advantage

Organizational capabilities










Skills/ know-how


Collaboration Skills


Haier built strategy, predicated on internal advantages which led him to the dominance position on the domestic market before starting its global development.

Another model which pays to and which can be referred to this issue is Humphrey's SWOT research. In his framework he identifies "the internal and external factors that are beneficial or unfavorable for a company". Linked to internal factors in his theory Haier experienced 3 main strengths-technology- it's been the domestic leader in several products (refrigerators, rinse machines, air conditioner) in terms of market show and in top 3 in world market; advancement -products like safe attention water heater, dual drive washing machine are innovation-reflection of the business; and commercial culture-it has commercial culture identified by its employees and backed by its managers. If we put the internal factors from the SWOT examination into the Grant's model we signify that the intangible factors lead Haier to success. Specifically the company possessed developed a solid brand reputation through their capacity to provide high quality products for low costs. This is motivated by their corporate and business culture and recognized by government and capable management. Haier's dominance in China' gadgets industry was a rsulting consequence its main emphasis- "customers as the foundation of growth". This idea helped the company to keep its growth in another country.

According to its CEO "in the long run of 1990's, Haier had become the leading device brand in China, with clear dominance in a lot of its product categories. " The business moved to increase its collection into the areas prior to the management decided to get started on its global growth.

Macro Environment

There are multiple reasons for companies to go abroad. Bartlet areas that "there are many forces which are driving companies throughout the world to globalize by extending their involvement in foreign marketplaces. "(Bartlett, p. 80). Global expansion is complicated and companies need to have different capabilities and knowledge to achieve success. Understanding macro environment is one of the most significant issues when going abroad.

The macro environment includes political, economical, social, and scientific factors that impact organizations nevertheless they are out of these control. These factors affect many decisions and effect the companies' efficiency. Yip "provided the most widely used framework for evaluating the magnitude of and prospect of, industry and market globalization. " Regarding to him "there's a strong relationship between the factors at the job in the macro environment and the globalization drivers. " (Stonehouse 1992, p110). The partnership is illustrated below.

Potential for globalization

Cost drivers

Government drivers

Mark-et drivers

Com-petiti-ve drivers

Technological factors

Economic and financial factors

Political factors

Social factors

When making use of this framework to analyze the macro environment of Haier, it is clear that this factors affected Haier's decision for global expansion. The macro evaluation of Haier demonstrates particular account should be given to economic and technical factors. Haier started out their enlargement in 1990's and enough time was advantageous for the home appliances and consumer electronics segments in many parts of the world. A good example is US market, which Haier penetrated in 1995, where U. S consumer disposable income increased and the mortgage rates were relatively low. These two resulted in pretty high demand for new homes, which on its turn stimulated people's intake of durable goods such as home appliances and consumer electronics. The strength of the economy, which can be considered form GDP per capita, is another index that Haier would have taken before penetrating Indonesian market. The steady growth of the index was one of the reasons that led Haier to successful joint venture there. Consumer confidence and unemployment rate are two other components that can be thought over from Haier's professionals when acquiring Menegheti's refrigeration in Italy. All these factors acquired positive influence on Haier and moved it ahead for globalization.

Technological factors got also their effect on Haier's intention going abroad. Know-how is essential for the successful performance in consumer electronics. The growing level of popularity of the "smart kitchen" idea made a great deal of companies spend money on the development of "smart" computerized equipment that made life easier for users. Trends were changing quickly, and manufacturers needed to respond to this by retaining highly creative technical teams. The buyer electronics experienced even more pressure for technological improvement. Because of its international strategy Haier could globalize its R&D activities. Consumers often liked to have the latest version of an electric gadget. The replacing of analog tv sets with digital ones shown a whole lot of earnings opportunities. Areas like home networking, picture taking, navigation, LCD, plasma, lightweight entertainment devices and digital radio were also speedily growing. Haier was required to anticipate new technological trends and respond to them in a cost-efficient and fast way.

The accession of China to the earth Trade Organization designed that Chinese manufacturers such as Haier experienced to start observing some global trade rules and regulations. Haier adapted effectively to the global business environment where copyrighted ideas, trademarks, patents and designs were officially protected. The company used different kind of accessibility settings to avoid politics risk. Hill state governments that "managers need to examine these carefully when deciding which to use''. Their joint ventures and own subsidiaries were really successful and helped bring the company a good brand name.

Analysis of the communal factors highlights the particular differences in principles systems, regions, languages and culture throughout the world. In the present extremely dynamic tempo of life, people needed "smart" appliances that would make their lives easier. This provided great opportunities for companies that could offer such advanced products. People got an urge to really have the latest gizmo on the marketplace, which translated into shorter product life cycles, and demand for excellent supply-chain management.

The macro environmental examination has its limitations. It turned out conducted more over a regional basis, but there are differences between countries which make problems for companies to investigate. This is confirmed by Stonehouse's thought, who claims that "it is vital to understand and analyze both the industry and market when executing macro analysis" (Stonehouse, 2004. p 106)

Industry Analysis

In order to evaluate the appeal of the buyer consumer electronics industry, a five causes examination may be undertaken, which is a framework developed by

Porter (1979). This uses organizational economics to derive five causes which determine the appeal of a market. They contain those pushes which have an impact on a company's ability to serve its customers. The number below illustrates this framework.

Threat of New Entrants

A firm should make investments huge money to be able to type in the industry. It has to make great preliminary investment in research and development, also in localization and syndication reach. High scientific expertise is extremely important because of this kind of industry and it'll be hard for all the new entrants to attain it. Big companies have previously established themselves in terms of brand identification, brand loyalty and distribution channels. Most of them experience difficult times and make little earnings or no earnings at all. We consider that for the international companies like Haier, Electrolux, Whirlpool the risk of new entrants is low.

Power of buyers

If we take into cosideration both- large circulation chain and consumers we can say that they are with high price sensitivity with high relative bargaining electricity. Customers can be found a great variety of products at different prices. The consumers can compare the products or service price and quality which undoubtedly improve the pressure to manufacturers. Products offered in this industry have long useful lives which mean that buyers would check around in order to find what suits them best. On the other hand buyers' information (more information, more bargaining electricity) and transitioning costs are low. Every one of the companies in this industry use different strategies to reduce the buyer electricity- quality strategy, supply-chain management, customer marriage management, etc.

For example Haier's supreme quality has been validated by many international standards, such as ISO9001, ISO14001, UL, CSA, SAA, CE, etc. The supply-chain management of the company includes framework construction, function integration, internal supply chain integration, external resource string integration and energetic alliance of built-in supply string. Customer's information by computer systems, providing helpful service information to customers and e-Business as a method of effective usage of information technology are customer romance managements.

Supplier power

Generally manufacturers are dependent on materials' prices and availableness. However, there are numerous suppliers worldwide. If we take into consideration just home appliances section we can say that it's sensitive to material and logistics costs. Some companies discovered financial losses because of this of the dramatic upsurge in materials' prices. In addition many international suppliers have comparatively higher technology and design functions, and so have better bargaining forces.

In order to reduce the supplier electric power all big companies use differnt methods. Haier uses overall Every Control and Clear (OEC), 3Rs and 3Ts support.

Threat of substitute products

Threat of substitutes comes from incremental advancements (such as the creation of energy-efficient equipment) somewhat than buying wholly new products. Other substitutes as an elderly version of a specific product or the manual way of performing its functions tend to be found out-of-date and unpractical.

The Competition Make Of Rivalry

There are numerous rivals already, and they're almost equal in proportions. All segments of the marketplace are explored, which is difficult to take sales from a rival. The main element success factors for consumer electronics industry are famous brand name, inventions (R&D), affordable prices, high quality and value added services.

The main industry players- Whirlpool, Electrolux, GE Devices, Matsushita based their strategies considering these factors. Each of them tried to achieve high brand popularity and worldwide service network. These companies possessed and persisted to develop cutting-edge solutions for the global market. Matsushita, Whirlpool and Electrolux accounted 40% of the world market.

The organizations are market leaders in the processing and marketing of consumer electronics all around the world.

Whirlpool put in place its international strategy earlier than Haier. It acquired different method of the expansion, but nonetheless based on key success factors on the market. Whirlpool manufactures in the home country (US) and exports to the international market. The company uses different kind of admittance modes-including direct exporting, acquisitions and joint ventures. (Hill, 439). As opposed to Haier, it offers different strategy for brand building. It acquired different companies with famous brand names (Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Gladiator Garage Works, Inglis, House, Brastemp, Bauknecht, Consul) and the company could be proven to the foreign markets. Whirlpool acquired very successful joint venture with Philips, which helped the company to penetrate the European market. In conditions of R&D and inventions Whirlpool has seventy processing and technology research focuses on the world. We can summarize that Whirlpool is a significant industry player which Haier should think about in its international strategy.

In the beginning of its job the Swedish company- Electrolux was a company focused on the house market. For the analogy of Haier's methodology the business strategy was give attention to the product development and building brand name. Elecrolux used localization strategy and tried to change its products to the clients preferences and to identify a number of global fads in the societies. The company was really successful in local adaptation with famous local brand names. Their localization strategy was predicated on mergers and acquisitions which allow the company to build competitive market position.

Whirlpool and Electrolux became one of the leaders in all of their international market segments. In Latin America Whirlpool acquired robust revenue progress- from $1, 350 million in 2003 to $1, 962 in 2005. In THE UNITED STATES the business acconted $6. 6 billion of its $10. 34 billion in sales during 2001. During 2001 the organization had to contend with a number of turbulent economies. The progress of the firm in Latin America was challenged by the economical turmoil in Argentina and an Energy lack in Brazil. A recession in Germany weakened its Western european sales. The current economic climate in India-one of the firm's largest growth markets-began to experience a decline as well, anticipated partly to the military action in South Asia. Nevertheless, Whirlpool continues to purchase its global businesses and nowadays. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The market share of Electrolux also grew every year. Electrolux's extension into Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America dates from an early on 1990s planning review, which concluded that demand for home home appliances, consumer electonics. . . . . . . . . . . was mature in Western European countries and THE UNITED STATES. In 1994, Electrolux placed an ambitious goal; the business would need to increase its sales in the global markets from the $1. 35 billion it achieved in 1994 to $2. 7 billion by 1997. In 1995 the company made 85% of its sales in the global market. At about 52 % of sales were in Western European countries, and another 27 % in THE UNITED STATES. The fastest growth had come from:

Asia - which accounted for 5. 1 % of 1997 earnings,

Eastern Europe - 7 % of earnings,

Latin America 6. 4 % of earnings.

As of early 1998, the company used over 100, 000 people worldwide, experienced 150 factories and 300 warehouses positioned in 60 countries, and sold about 55 million products per season in 150 countries.

International strategy

The business strategy is the organization's link between your micro environment (interior environment and the macro environment (exterior environment). Corporations used different strategies in evolving from domestic company to multinational firm with global emphasis. The internationalization process for Haier began in 1990's, when Haier started out its expansion to UK and Germany and then France and Italy. Its main purpose was building a brand name and deep knowledge of its customers. For the reason that time the company had a respected position on the Chinese market and it set up its international strategy by making the majority of its product in China. Haier could have had advantages from "preventing the significant costs of establishing manufacturing businesses in the coordinator country. "(Hill, 2007, p. 493) Its international strategy can be described Hill's model that developed a "Reductions/Responsiveness platform" which differentiated between four multinational strategies: international, localization, global standardization and transnational. Using these construction Haier approach would be classified as "International", as shown below

Pressure for cost reduc-tions

Pressure for local responsiveness

Global standartization strategy

Transnational strategy

International strategy

Localization strategy






Haier's position in the "International quadrant" was a "good start", because in early 1990's the business just "tried the market segments". Another example would be their try to penetrate the united states market, where they concentrated after "niche markets", by exporting compact refrigerators and electric wine cellars. Haier thought that both American and European markets had development probable, and the sales information proved this opinion to be accurate.

Haier continued its extension by changing its main approach. Following its "international strategy period" the business moved to some other stage, considering the need to localize to each particular market. This can be referred to Hill's declaration that" localization strategy targets increasing profitability by customizing the firm's goods so they provide a good match to tastes and preferences in various national markets. "(Hill, 437) Haier would have followed this consideration and began to localize in different markets. The company used different approaches for entry methods to penetrate different markets. Creation facilities were produced in Pakistan in 2002 and Jordan in 2003, greatly conditioning its position in the centre East market. In Africa, Haier got plants in five countries: Tunisia, Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria and South Africa. Stonehouse signifies that changing the production location "can offer advantages in conditions of production versatility and market responsiveness"(stonehouse, 228). Another big benefits for companies with own subsidiaries in foreign countries are that they "reduce threat of dropping control over its main competence". (Hill, 500) Haier was able to manage its subsidiaries and its own success encouraged the company to target the marketplace in america. As part of its strategy, Haier made a decision to build a production facility in america in 2000. The company made a rigorous capital allocation in order to up grade its products to allow them to be competitive in the US. The actual fact that Haier is a Chinese-based company was a major obstacle for penetrating Traditional western markets due to quality concerns of westerners in regards to to Chinese-made products. Therefore, an appropriate entry function for Haier on the united states market was through overseas making of company's products. By building a plant in america, Haier was able to shift the perception of its product from "Chinese constructed" to "US made". Because they build this new image, Haier could broaden its market share as Haier's products was not be regarded as low-quality and low-price. This was questionable to Hill's assertion that "foreign factories are set up where labor costs are low". (Hill, p. 574) Haier was close to its consumers which helped the business to tailor its products to consumers needs and also to answer swiftly to changes in these needs. Additionally, establishing local production is a good way for a firm to conform faster and more effectively to local monetary, legal, and socio-political factors in the environment. The entry method of local developing has its negatives as it is known to be the priciest method of penetrating a foreign market. Manufacturing mainly in the US would cause relatively higher creation costs and a weaker ability to soak up increasing material costs compared to Asia-based production.

Haier used different way when penetrated the Indonesian market with a joint venture with an area company. This was followed by joint ventures relationship in Pakistan and arrangement in Japan. In each circumstance Haier chose companions that had a good understanding of the local market. This approach supported Haier in working with the political, economical affects in the macro environment. Research shows that the jv methodology with local companions, results in a lesser threat of being subject to nationalization or other forms of government disturbance. (Bradley, 1997)

Haier always chosen a majority stake in the joint venture, which provided them tighter control over the business enterprise. Insufficient dominance would have regarded as a disadvantage to the business enterprise providing less control on the company. Research on joint endeavors shows that there may be a discord of interests in the strategy and goals whenever a partnership is formed between two nationalities. (Hill, 499)

Alternative method which was used by Haier was franchising. The business has 30 franchises all around the globe. It had positive have an effect on for Haier since it allowed it for fast accessibility in foreign markets.

In conditions of staffing insurance policy Haier used geocentric methodology which "seeks the best people for key jobs throughout the organization. " (Hill, p 630). The business got advantages by providing some of its management from Asia, merging it with local experts. A good example would be Haier's execution of OEC (Overall Every Control and Clear) management in america, which was considered superior market-chain system merging Chinese traditional culture and American Industrial Experience.

A key factor of Haier's world success is its associations with retailers. Promoting Hill's statement that "there's a tendency for better retail attention in developed countries" Haier tried out to make strong romance with them. Haier is famous with its cooperation with the very best retailers as Wal Mart in US, Ramada in Japan, and Carrefour in Europe.


Today the company enjoys leading domestic (China) market stocks in washers (24 percent), refrigerators (23 percent), floor cleaners (18 percent), and ac units (13 percent). Haier has generated a reputation in its home market for product quality, continuous innovation, and customer support. The company is the world's fifth major maker of large kitchen appliances behind U. S. -based Whirlpool Corporation and General Electric, Sweden's Electrolux, and Germany's Bosch-Siemens.

The company trading markets its Haier-branded products in more than 160 countries with global networks for design, development, syndication, and after-sales service. The business manages 18 design institutes (8 outdoor China), 10 professional complexes (in China, Pakistan, and the United States), 12, 000 after-sale service centers, and 22 factories (13 outside China) that produce mostly home appliances. Haier's worldwide home kitchen appliance market share is about five percent.

Haier is the fourth most significant goods company and global consumer in digital manufacturer in today world. In 2008 they were positioned the 18th top 50 consumer electric brand. These were also placed in 2008-2009 the first for the 3rd amount of time in a row the top brand from china. These search positions consist of the complete leading consumer electric brand from the four areas of North America, Western Europe, Japan, Korea and China. This example whereby all the prospects will be assessed by people through online voting on TWICE's global network of websites and at the end of the voting the final assessment will be produced by expert from famous international companies. The expert will then show an obvious concept of globalization and a solid desire to go global, and also have detail approaches for their brands to build up in abroad market. Other requirements include global sales, success and the brand recognition. In 1999 Haier campaign there product with a three-in-one strategy: complete localization of design, production and marketing. They now efficiently provide high quality and energy conserving home appliances that are designed and produced in facilities all over the world, to over 160 countries.

In 2006, they give attention to creating a global known brand that competes with other electronics leaders. They achieve these goals by providing quality kitchen appliances and energy product. According to the article the rating of the global top 50 really cause them to become continue to globalize there strategy and buying appliances and gadgets to people all around the globe.

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