The Chinese Wireless Communications Industry in 2012 and Beyond: An Industry Note

By Robert Burgelman, Gang Zheng, Yajuan Wang
2014 | Case No. SM227 | Length 36 pgs.
This industry note provides an extensive overview of the wireless communications industry in China at the end of 2012. At the time China had over 1.1 billion mobile subscribers, and the country was predicted to have 500 million smartphones in use by the end of 2013. The note discusses the industry’s value chain (carriers, device manufactures, component providers, content and applications providers, and telecom equipment providers), and the role of the Chinese government in the industry’s evolution. The note also presents the strategic positioning and business models of China’s three main carriers (China Mobile, China Unicorn, and China Telecom), and of the major international and domestic handset manufacturers, including Samsung, ZTE, Nokia, Apple, Lenovo and Huawei. In addition, the note covers the strategic positioning of the main chipset suppliers in the Chinese wireless market: Qualcomm, MediaTek, Samsung and Intel.

Learning Objective

The major objectives of the case are to help students identify and understand: 
(1) The strategic forces that were driving the Chinese wireless industry forward in 2012 and beyond. 
(2) The general characteristics of the Chinese wireless industry. (3) How these strategic forces and specific market dynamics were and are shaping the prospects of the local and international participants in the Chinese wireless industry.
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