The Chinese Strategic Mind
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The Chinese Strategic Mind

Hong Liu

This book addresses the fundamental issue: does the Chinese strategic mind have its own idiosyncrasies which differ considerably from those of the Western mind? It expounds and unravels the particular characteristics of the Chinese strategic mind: what they are, how they are evolved and what strategic implications they have. This book adopts a holistic approach to an analysis of Chinese strategic thinking, drawing upon the fields of literature (including the sources of both the Chinese and English languages), military studies, political science, history, sociology, psychology, philosophy, linguistics and business strategy. It combines a detailed consideration of these disciplines with a series of case studies to elucidate the formation, nature and crucial managerial implications of the idiosyncratic Chinese strategic mind.
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Chapter 7: The Chinese strategic mind at work: Huawei

Hong Liu


There are many successful Chinese companies, but why is Huawei chosen to illustrate the application of the Chinese strategic mind to business? The following are the reasons. First, Huawei is a Chinese company that has achieved amazing performance within a relatively short period of time, with unabated momentum for continued international expansion. It represents a truly successful Chinese company. It was founded only in 1987, with its headquarters located in Shenzhen, Guangdong. However, it is now a multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company. The year 2012 witnessed Huawei becoming the world’s largest company in the industry, and in 2014 its sales reached about $48 billion. Second, the factors that have driven Huawei’s success over the past two decades have manifested strong Chinese tradition or characteristics, and its development has been guided by, for instance, the I Ching, Lao Tzu and Confucianism. From Huawei, we may see how the business ‘game’ has been played by the Chinese strategic mind of the founder, Ren Zhengfei. From the beginning, conscious efforts have been made by Ren Zhengfei to elude the influence of the ‘Western strategic mind’, represented by strategic frameworks or models associated with a company’s strategic development. Huawei is an exceptional case where Ren’s Chinese strategic mind has combined with Western management approaches to create a formidable Chinese high-tech opponent. Third, Ren Zhengfei is an admirer and follower of Mao Zedong and, directly or indirectly, Ren’s strategic thinking has been shaped to a great extent by Chinese tradition, through Mao Zedong’s strategic mind.

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