China's "Furious Five" Smartphones: Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo/Vivo and Lenovo - Strategies and Origins

Published 26 Mar 2018
Reference 6383
Topic Strategy
Region Asia
Length 27 page(s)

The case focuses on China’s ‘furious five’ smartphone makers – Huawei, Xiaomi, Lenovo, and OPPO/Vivo, charting the history of the industry and the changing dynamics of the global market. It explains the emerging market context in which these companies operate, its distinctive features, opportunities and challenges, and the various ways they have triumphed over established global brands. The case provides a detailed introduction to the respective Chinese smartphone makers and their products. It discusses their current strategies and how they were influenced at the formative stage by the background and experience of the respective founders. It examines their development trajectories to shed light on their global strategies in the future. Given its dynamic growth and intense competition, China’s smartphone market offers an ideal setting to analyse the competitive heterogeneity of firms in an emerging market context.

Teaching objectives

The case has proved suitable for discussion of any or all of the following topics: 1. Historical development, current status and future trends of the global and Chinese smartphone industry and market 2. Competitive strategies adopted by major smartphone vendors in China 3. Sources and implications of competitive heterogeneity between China’s smartphone makers It can be used together with the INSEAD case #6269 “A Dark Horse in the Global Smartphone Market: Huawei’s Smartphone Strategy”, which offers further details for analysis of the global smartphone industry and sources of Huawei’s competitive advantage.

  • Smartphone industry
  • Competitive strategy
  • Huawei
  • Huawei
  • Oppo
  • Vivo
  • Xiaomi
  • Lenovo
  • Origin of strategy
  • China
  • Emerging market
  • Industry evolution and dynamics
  • Strategy DNA
  • Competitive heterogeneity
  • Experience of founders
  • Q31718