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Features - Editor, 26 may 2008

Trade and Business Lessons from the Mobile Phone Market of China



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Finland has beaten Korea in China.

US Corporations are far behind in the mobile hand set war for world market dominance. China is a key market in this game. Nokia is not only a leading player in this segment of the China market, but is ahead of Samsung by a wide margin. There are two key factors behind this extraordinary success of Europe in China.

The first relates to integration with local customers. Though Finland is much further from China than Korea in every sense of the term, Nokia has understood and met China mobile hand set needs much better than anyone else. It proves that global business is fair game for every country. Indeed, this is China’s own recipe for trade success. The world customer is the new garb of the Emperor for China.

Nokia has used a decentralized distribution system for China. Each province is treasured. There have been no attempts to force any central communication on the whole country. However, quality and economy standards have been kept intact. This model is close to the political structure of China. It has produced remarkable business results.

The second success driver for Nokia in China has been its assiduous development of local human resources. The company has made long-term investments in inculcating relevant skills in the work force. The output is that China is now the origin and source for some of Nokia’s most successful global hand set models and designs.

Nokia is a giant corporation, but small and medium enterprises can draw lessons from its success story in China. The country is much more than a large market with a ‘cheap’ work force.

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