Chinese firms face challenges, rewards in overseas expansion efforts

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-6-11 19:58:01


The Lenovo Way

Publisher: China Machine Press

Price: 49 yuan ($7.89)

Chinese edition

For Chinese consumers, Lenovo is a household name, but it's not as well-known among Westerners. Lenovo executives Gina Qiao and Yolanda Conyers discuss this in their co-authored book - The Lenovo Way: Managing a Diverse Global Company for Optimal Performance.

The authors recall a conversation they overheard when they were in an airport in the US, shortly after the company's announcement of two big acquisitions in early 2014.

They heard a man talking to his friend: "Say, did you hear about those two huge acquisition announcements this week? What the hell is Lenovo, anyway? Seems like they just came out of nowhere!"

Qiao, a Chinese woman who played an instrumental role in Lenovo's acquisition of IBM's PC division in 2005, and Conyers, an African-American woman who had previously worked at Dell before joining the Chinese company in 2007, nonetheless appear undaunted by the lack of brand recognition.

Presenting personal stories about managing culture clashes and integrating different corporate backgrounds along with the Chinese company's ambition to go global, the book is conspicuously different from a how-to-do-it manual.

The book recounts the joys and frustrations of being part of Lenovo's efforts to expand overseas, and people who have worked for other Chinese firms looking abroad will be able to empathize.

Expensive overseas acquisitions by Chinese firms can easily make headlines across the globe. But what gets less attention is the challenging process for these ambitious Chinese firms of integrating the new assets. The accounts of Qiao and Conyers, however, offer a clear view of what it involves.

The book also goes into some of Lenovo's strategies. One of the corporate mottos is: "When attacking new markets and product categories, take no prisoners."

The overall attitude, it seems, is that it's necessary to be brave enough to accept new ideas that might initially look incompatible with the existing corporate regime, but that could offer ways to power up the enterprise in a refreshing new way. That might be the key to really turning a Chinese brand name into a world-renowned one.

Global Times

Posted in: Book Review

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