Back to the Roots: American International Group Returns to China

Published 26 Nov 2002
Reference 4839
Industry Insurance
Region Asia
Summary

AIG was the first western insurance company to return to China when the market was revived in 1980s. AIG had been in business in Shanghai until 1949 and so had old links in the country. Thanks to the efforts of AIG’s CEO, Harold Greenberg to build relationships with the Chinese authorities between 1975-98, AIG gained a leading position in this expanding new market.

Teaching objectives

For western firms wishing to enter Chinese markets, the case demonstrates the importance of building up strong networks (guanxi) with influential members of central and local government over many years. Such relationships can prove a powerful tool when it comes to winning favourable terms for licensing or joint venture arrangements, and give firms an early competitive lead.

Keywords
  • AR2002
  • AR0203
  • LIFE INSURANCE
  • STRATEGY
  • CHINA
  • GUANXI
  • MARKET ENTRY