Sunday, February 13, 2005

Conversation with Oded Shenkar author of "The Chinese Century" - The Chinese Way to Brand Identity

From The New York Times: The Chinese Way to Brand Identity
By William J. Holstein

"A Chinese company's plan to acquire I.B.M.'s personal computer division is just one example of current Chinese efforts to buy or build recognizable brand names in the United States, says Oded Shenkar, professor of international business at the Fisher College of Business of Ohio State University and the author of "The Chinese Century". Here are excerpts from a conversation with him."

"Q. Will Chinese companies be as successful in establishing brand names in this market as those in Japan and South Korea?
A. Absolutely. They're going to take a different path, but I definitely believe they are going to get to the place where the Japanese and Koreans are now."

"Q. What are the prospects for two Chinese companies, Haier and Kelon, in establishing brands for appliances in America?
A. Both Haier and Kelon started with niche products, such as small refrigerators used mostly in offices. They are gradually expanding. They already are opening manufacturing facilities in the United States. Because of the nature of their products, there are substantial shipping costs from China. My own guess is that one of the two at some point will buy an established brand."

"Q. Could Whirlpool or Maytag sell to one of the Chinese appliance makers?
A. Yes, they are at risk. I will not be surprised if one of them decides to exit the business. But a more likely possibility would be that Haier or Kelon will acquire General Electric's appliance business." Read more


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