St. Petersburg University
Graduate School of Management
[Master in International Business Program /
Master in Information Technologies and Innovation Management /
Master in Corporate Finance]
The role of knowledge and technology in
internationalization of Chinese companies in Russia
Master’s Thesis by the 2nd year student
Concentration —International Business
[Doctor of Economics, Professor, Andrei Panibratov]
Роль знаний и технологий в Интернационализации Китайских
компаний в России
Высшая Школа Менеджмента
Описание цели, задач В
основных абсорбирующего потенциала с точки зрения объяснения, как
транснациональных компаний на российском рынке. Эта работа
предлагает качественный ретроспективный динамический и
китайских транснациональных компаний из
российском рынке. Изучив большой объем источников,
неоднозначности определенной теоретической области в том, как
компании из стран с формирующимся рынком организуют и
усваивают знания и технологии в качестве нематериальных
активов, чтобы повторно внедрять свою бизнес-модель на другом
высокотехнологичных китайских компаний, выявив ограничения
в их бизнес-моделях на другом развивающемся рынке. Для того,
чтобы заполнить этот исследовательский пробел, мы провели
китайских автомобилестроительных компаний и 5
высокотехнологичных китайских компаний, выявив ограничения
в их управлении знаниями и форме абсорбирующей способности.
Благодаря особой культуре понимания
китайских фирм и
особой экономической ситуации, сложившейся по причине
кризиса, мы разработали интегральную модель,
включающую роль государства и китайской культуры
исследований, мы пришли к пониманию, что поглощающая
способность, управление знаниями, участие правительственных и
применение модели Упсала являются четырьмя необходимыми
предприятий из Китая на российском рынке,
управленческий подтекст для китайских компаний, позволяющий
установить будущий процесс интернационализации в России.
Интернационализация, Китайская транснациональная компания,
Россия, знание, технология
Master Student’s Name
Master Thesis Title
The role of knowledge and technology in internationalization of
Chinese companies in Russia
Graduate School of Management
Main field of study
Advisor’s Andrei Panibratov
Description of the goal, This paper aims at exploring the role of knowledge and technology in
tasks and main results
internationalization of Chinese firms in Russia. The goal of the thesis
is to investigate how knowledge management and absorptive capacity
direct the strategy of Chinese multinational companies in the Russian
market. This paper constructed a qualitative backward-looking
longitudinal and transverse analysis in Chinese multinational
companies from automotive and high-tech industries, who are doing
business in the Russian market. Based on abundant prior literature, we
also filled the methodological gap about the ambiguity of certain
theoretical domain in how companies from emerging market manage
and absorb knowledge and technology as intangible assets to
re-conceptualize their business model in another emerging market. In
order to complete this research gap, we conduct a confirmatory factor
analysis on 5 representative Chinese automotive companies and 5
well-performed high-tech Chinese companies to revealed the
constraints in their knowledge management and absorptive capacity
from. Owning to the special cultural knowledge of Chinese firms and
special economic situation since Ukraine crisis, we developed an
integrative model, involving the governmental role. Consequently,
based on our findings, we found developing absorptive capacity,
relying on governmental involvement and following the Uppsala
model are three indispensable pillars to keep enhancing competitive
advantages for the enterprise from China in the Russian market.
Internationalization, Chinese multinational company, knowledge,
I would like to express my sincere thanks to Prof. Andrei Panibratov, who gives me
inspiration and suggestions for accomplishing my master thesis.
I also pay my deep sense of gratitude to all those Chinese companies, that provided me a lot
of first hand information and sources I needed for my thesis. I express my good wishes to
Chinese business in Russia.
I also feel to acknowledge my great indebtedness and gratitude to my parents and my
sincere friends in Russia, whose support and inspiration are indispensable for my achievement in
Graduate School of Management.
Lastly, a deep thank you to Graduate School of Management, Saint – Petersburg State
University, the knowledge I learned and the people I met here are the most precious treasure in
Table of content
Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 10
Background ............................................................................................................................... 10
Research problem .................................................................................................................... 12
Purpose ...................................................................................................................................... 13
Research questions ................................................................................................................... 13
Literature review ................................................................................................................ 13
Definition of Knowledge .......................................................................................................... 13
Types of knowledge .................................................................................................................. 14
Knowledge creation process .................................................................................................... 15
Technology ................................................................................................................................ 17
Technology spillover ................................................................................................................ 20
Conclusion .............................................................................................................................................. 20
3. Industry overview ................................................................................................................... 21
3.1 Current situation of Chinese multinational firms in Russia ....................................................... 21
3.1.1 Overview of index of foreign trade of Russian Federation with foreign countries from
2000-2014 (only import) ..................................................................................................................... 22
3.1.2 Common barriers of FDI from China to Russian ...................................................................... 25
3.2 Continuous overview of cooperation framework between Russian and Chinese government 26
4. Theoretical framework........................................................................................................... 28
4.1 Uppsala model (Johanson & Vahlne, 1977) .................................................................................. 28
4.2 Conceptual framework of interaction between knowledge management and performance of
enterprise ............................................................................................................................................... 29
4.3 The model of absorptive capacity .................................................................................................. 33
5. Research methodology & data description .......................................................................... 35
5.1 Multiple case study approach ........................................................................................................ 35
5.2 Multiple sources of evidence .......................................................................................................... 36
5.3 Analysis and quality of case study ................................................................................................. 38
6. Empirical findings and discussions ....................................................................................... 38
6.1 Characteristics of selected companies ........................................................................................... 38
6.2 Overview Chinese automotive market in Russia.......................................................................... 40
6.3 Overview of Chinese high-tech industry in Russia ...................................................................... 43
6.4 Analysis of empirical findings ........................................................................................................ 45
6.4.1 The comparative analysis of application of knowledge management between selected Chinese
automotive and high-tech industry confirmed in Russia .................................................................... 45
6.4.2 The comparative analysis of application of absorptive capacity of Chinese firms confirmed in
Russia .................................................................................................................................................. 78
Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 88
7.1 In - depth analysis in Chinese automotive industry ..................................................................... 88
7.2 In-depth analysis in Chinese high-tech industry .......................................................................... 89
7.3 Comparative analysis of the role of knowledge and technology in internationalization
between Chinese automotive industry and high-tech industry in the context of KM & AC ......... 91
7.4 The final conclusion based on empirical finding .......................................................................... 96
7.5 Key findings ..................................................................................................................................... 97
Theoretical implication ...................................................................................................... 98
9. Managerial implication .......................................................................................................... 99
Appendicles .......................................................................................................................................... 102
Appendix1.The successful case of Huawei in Russia ......................................................................... 102
Appendix2.The case of the best utilization of technology used in Haier’s Internationalization ..... 104
Appendix3. Market share of Top five smartphone brands ................................................................. 106
Appendix4.Top worldwide patent applicants announced in 2015 ...................................................... 107
Reference: ............................................................................................................................................ 107
As human civilization enters a brand-new age, it is uncontested that this whole new
knowledge and technology era is a chief evolutionary accelerator of human production and the
traditional production management, which requires all the industries to keep enhancing their
effective management skills with huge base of knowledge and technology ceaselessly in terms of
improving their own productive, technical and innovative ability as determinants of company’s
further performance. This is the only way to survive in this rapidly changing information age.
Thanks to abundant broadcast of antecedent theories and studies, the knowledge management
and absorptive capacity are two well-known scientific tools to test companies’ ability to handle
knowledge and technology for improving their organizational performance. Increasing number
of Chinese companies have already started analyzing the basic tools and model of knowledge
management and absorptive capacity, but they are still remaining on the western theoretical level,
the utilization of tools and theories is urgently required in reality, especially for Chinese
companies, since Chinese scholars on this domain are still not mature yet. With the gradual
extension of their business in the international market, more and more drawbacks were explored
in their process of internationalization, while they lack of empirical internationalization
experience and practical experiment based on knowledge and technology based theories in a
more complex business foreign environment.
In the recent years, the world is surprised by the booming economic growth in China.
Thanks to the “Open Door” policy of 1979, Chinese industry has leaped forward with a
tremendous advance, which eventually brought a good deal of inward foreign direct investment
(IFDI) to China. Shortly after China carried out the “Go Out” policy, Chinese companies were
stimulated to expand business globally. In another side; Chinese domestic market also attracted
more and more inward FDI. The subsequent “Go out” motivates Chinese industries to pay
attention to guarantee product’s quality, improve self-dependent innovation, reform internal
structure and learn experiences from other international enterprises, in order to meet the
international norm to satisfy their clients. After years of efforts, so many Chinese companies
gained continuous advantage and competency to stand out from the crowed among the
international competitors, competing with other international dominant industry among
international market. Besides, Chinese government is actively encouraging Chinese firms to go
out, and creating an innovative atmosphere with preferential support to improve the
self-independent innovation capability of Chinese firms, for instance, the eleventh five-year plan
(2006-2010) and subsidies support time to time. Particularly, it is worth mentioning the
extending movement of Chinese companies in the Russian market. Most of Chinese MNCs
settled Russian market as their initial battleground for internationalization, every prospect was
supposed to be promising, until economic transaction happened in Russia, so many industries
and investment projects were retreated from the Russian market. So far, Since the crises
happened between Ukraine and Russian, the geopolitical conflict between Russia and Western
countries still didn’t find a balance point, in 2015 Russian economy faces the risk of shrinking,
just under this circumstances, how to survive in this future – unpredictable market by enhancing
its own competitive advantage became important than ever. Meanwhile, this economic sanction
period also gives opportunities to tie Russia with its old friendly partner – China. Furthermore, in
2015，Chinese government carried out policy cooperated with other countries based on new
strategy of economic development, which was named “the Silk Road Economic Belt and the
21st-Century Maritime Silk Road”. Besides, with the help of APEC, Russia and China take
concrete steps toward a seamless regional economy, China and Russia have established a
strategic partnership for win-win cooperation and common prosperity. Even Russia is facing
huge political and economic threaten from Europe and America, Chinese multinational
companies still try to find opportunities in “crisis” to invest or do business in Russia with
preferential and root their brand deeply with the help of exchange rate and some preferential
From the recent literature we acknowledge that for multinational companies (MNCs), the
main benefit of foreign direct investment (FDI) is transferring knowledge and technology to
local firms in the host countries. Especially for the developing country, such as China, that is
lagging behind the majority technology frontier (Pack and Saggi 1997). It is believed that FDI is
a premier conduit for transferring advanced technology and knowledge to host countries globally.
However, so many Chinese companies just started internationalization process in a
beginning phase, they are lack of experience and systemic instruction to tell them how to
leverage and integrate knowledge and technology to prosper their business in a global
environment, which could be a fatal weakness for them.
Thus, this paper will conduct a qualitative case study to discover the defective and terrific
performance of knowledge management and absorptive capability of Chinese firms from
automotive and high-tech industries in the contest of business role of knowledge and technology,
and how knowledge and technology can direct to internationalization strategic of Chinese firms
especially in Russian market. Consequently, we will summarize the similarity and difference of
internationalization strategies that Chinese firms perform.
1.2 Research problem
Based on sufficient priori literature, it is uncontested that knowledge and technology are
unprecedented important assests to enhance companies’ competitive position and organizational
performance in the current knowledge economy. For our research problems, we will firstly
clarify the demarcation of knowledge and technology in the context of internationalization
strategy. Then we will fill the methodological gap about the ambiguity of certain theoretical
domain in how companies from emerging market (China) to manage and absorb knowledge and
technology as intangible resource (Skrzypek 2004) to re-conceptualize their business model in
another emerging market (Russia). Thus, it is quite crucial to investigate the current applications
and constraints of their knowledge management and absorptive capacity of Chinese firms, who
are extending their business in Russia.
In order to be credible, we chose the companies from automotive and high-tech industries,
who are supposed to have high involvements in knowledge and technology, and then we
visualize the specificities of knowledge and technology in the context of knowledge management
and absorptive capacity in the internationalization process of selected Chinese companies in
We also propose that governmental involvement is an influential factor in Chinese
companies’ internationalization process in Russia, especially under the promising background of
Sino – Russian cooperative partnership.
Lastly, combining with selected company’s performance in Russia with their application in
AC, KM and involvement of government, we conduct a comparative analysis between two
industries, in terms of finding theoretical implication and managerial implication in how
enterprise from China expands their business in dynamic Russian market.
This paper aims at filling the research gap how enterprise from a developing country
expands their internationalization in another high-risk developing country. We adopt a
qualitative methodology to conduct a comparative analysis between the automotive and
high-tech industry based on investigations and questionnaires, in terms of finding out good and
defective applications of knowledge and technology in the context of knowledge management
and absorptive capacity. Then, managerial and theoretical implications will be provided for
Chinese companies’ future development and the expectations for the upcoming study.
The initial goal of this research is to provide insights and interpretation regarding the
knowledge and technology performance of companies from emerging market - China within the
Russian competition. Before achieving this goal, we establish related literature, then we go
through three steps: 1) Inspecting the current economic and geopolitical environment in Russia,
identifying the influence of governmental role in Chinese companies’ expansion business in
Russia; 2) Identifying trajectories of how Chinese firms in Russian acquire, integrate and
manage knowledge and technology in Russian market and international market, investigating the
impact and application of knowledge and technology acquired from international markets as well
as revealing the existing gap and limitation among Chinese Multinational Companies; 3) Put
forward managerial implication and theoretical implication.
1.4 Research questions
How do the knowledge and technology direct the strategic actions of Chinese firms in
How does the governmental role involve in the internationalization process of Chinese
firms in Russia?
2. Literature review
2.1 Definition of Knowledge
The concept of knowledge began to be rooted from 1950s in the education of the workforce,
foreign researchers have earlier pointed out the concept of “knowledge-based economy”,
“knowledge-oriented workers”. Nonaka Ikujiro (1991), who wrote a well-known paper
“Knowledge-innovation oriented enterprise”, claiming that in an uncertainty economic
environment, knowledge is the only fountain to gain competitive advantage of enterprise. The
definition of knowledge is very broad, but according to the study of Pascarella (1997),
knowledge definitely drives the bottom line, 99 percent of the work that people does be
knowledge based (Wab, 1999), though it is invisible. Business dictionary explains that the
definition of knowledge is a special human faculty resulting from interpreted information, an
understanding that germinates from a combination of data, information, experience, and
individual interpretation. Nonaka (1991) also put forward another authorized definition of
knowledge: Justified true belief that it increases an entity’s capacity for effective action.
Since internationalization process has led to a tremendous integration of the world economy,
knowledge is progressively recognized as a new imperative strategy for organizations (Ravi and
Selvi 2013), while business operators were required to work like knowledge – based
organizations in the dynamic knowledge-based economy (Drucker 1993; Holsapple and Singh
2000). Nevertheless, the companies will not get the best financial performance, if they ignore the
importance of knowledge itself (Darroch 2005). International knowledge spillovers, as Eaton and
Kortum (1996) illustrate that, are essential factors in accounting for the growth of advanced
economies. Knowledge management has become the basic framework of a successful business
(Davenport and Grover 2001). As Wong and Aspinwal (2004) suggest, harnessing and
leveraging knowledge properly can propel organizations to be become more adaptive, innovative,
intelligent and sustainable. Therefore, a multinational company’s success often relies on its
ability to ensure the efficient and effective utilization of knowledge from the Human resource,
organizational management, and business environment and technology adoption (Díaz 2013).
Massey, Montoya-Weiss and O’ Driscoll (2002) also explicated that whilst successful new
product development is the application of knowledge innovation. Knowledge dissemination
prompts innovation by disseminating the company’s knowledge resources. Thus, knowledge will
be our premier object of our study.
2.2 Types of knowledge
Understanding different forms of knowledge is a initial step for starting our study, since
sometimes the definitions and theories of knowledge tend to be embedded in vague and it is
therefore difficult to be observed as an empirical phenomenon (Visser 2002).
There are 2 types of knowledge, namely tacit and explicit knowledge. Early in the 1960s,
Michael Polyani initially mentioned the distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge, while
explicit knowledge refers to codify knowledge, and the tacit knowledge refers to non-codified
and usually personal/experience-based knowledge. Soon afterwards, explicit knowledge became
formal and systematic, which was designed by central planks of Nonaka and Tekeuchi’s book
named “The knowledge-Creating Company”.
According to the explanation of Brown & Duguid (1998), explicit knowledge could be easily
identified, stored, retrieved (Wellman 2009). From a managerial perspective, the greatest
challenge with the explicit knowledge is analogous to information. It could be discovered in
databases, notes, documents, memos, etc (Betha et al 2008). It is a crucial knowledge for
companies before they enter a new market for handling the potential advantages and risks. This
kind of knowledge is also an exclusive driven initiative of technology development.
Tacit knowledge refers to be intuitive, which often contexts dependent and personal in
nature. It also regarded as being the most valuable source of knowledge, and lead to
breakthroughs in the organization (Wellman 2009). Gamble & Blackwell (2001) point out that
tacit knowledge improves the capability for innovation and sustained competitiveness of a
company. Tacit knowledge could be set out in the minds of human stakeholders. It includes
cultural beliefs, values, attitudes, mental models, skills, capabilities as well as expertise. (Botha
et al 2008)
Using tacit knowledge is a primary factor in attracting and maintaining a talented, loyal,
productive workforce. (Smith 2000) Wagner and Sternberg (1987) believe that the ability to
acquire and manage tacit knowledge is hallmarks of managerial success.
There is a different type of knowledge-embedded knowledge, which refers to lock in
process, products culture, routine, artifacts or structure. (Horvath 2000; Gamble and Blackwell
2001) Embedded knowledge could be found in rules, process, manuals, organizational culture,
codes of conduct, ethics, products, etc.
2.3 Knowledge creation process
Thanks to the explicit – tacit knowledge dimension contribution of Nonaka (1991), we
visualize the difference between explicit and tacit knowledge. However, understanding the basic
conversion and interplay of tacit and explicit knowledge is critical to help us understand
organizational learning process. In 1995, Nonaka and Takeuchi demonstrated a cyclical creation
process of knowledge, designated as SECI model (socialization, externalization, internalization,
combination). In this knowledge conversion process, SECI model mentions four modes:
socialization, externalization, internalization and combination. And these four crucial modes are
creating knowledge within a continuous cycle. This model is based upon a double spiral
movement between tacit and explicit knowledge.
To tacit knowledge
From tacit knowledge
From explicit knowledge
To explicit knowledge
Table 1: knowledge conversion process (Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995)
As the figure shows above, Socialization, externalization, internalization and combination
are implicating interactive movement of conversion between two types of knowledge.
For instance, turning tacit knowledge into tacit knowledge calls for socialization by
sharing experience from one person into another person within organization; Externalization is a
creative process of producing tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge as a part of concept, such
as designing a new product concept or evolving a new process of production into reality.
Furthermore, articulated explicit knowledge could be refined and developed further;
Combination is a complex process of building existing and new explicit knowledge into a
systemic knowledge. The most common example of the combination is creating concept with
existing knowledge to produce a tangible new model; Internalization is a process of transferring
explicit knowledge into tacit knowledge. A quintessential example, which can account for this
process, is learning by doing or using in practice.
Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) also emphasize how organizational knowledge is established
through this knowledge spiral diagram. Following this model, we will investigate how Chinese
multinational firms are capturing, evaluating, cleansing, storing, providing and using knowledge.
Table 2: Knowledge spiral diagram
Based on this knowledge spiral diagram, organizational knowledge is created initially from
an individual level with understanding, which is also a part of internalization process. It moves
towards through socialization, when individual communicates or share personal experience or
knowledge with another member or team colleagues. Then the process of combination will help
this idea become more widespread through the diffusion of explicit knowledge. Apparently, this
knowledge moves up and spreads wider and wider through this virtuous spiral diagram. As we
mentioned before, knowledge is becoming competitive advantage of a company, then as a
consequence, if this knowledge spiral diagram works efficiently within company, this could lead
to a significant positive influence on growth of company, and enable company exploit more
opportunities in existing or new potential market or product direction.
As Marxism and Xiaoping say that technology and science constitute a primary productive
force. With the background of knowledge –based society, technology plays a significant role in
acquiring competitive advantages of an enterprise. Technology also has several definitions and
explanations in the business management literature. One of the most popular literature and the
track of technology’s definition that we are going to focus on is referred by Grosse (1996) into
three main forms: Product Technology, Process Technology and Management Technology,
Technology can be considered as a purposeful application of information in the production,
design or utilization of goods and services among organization, its format can be intangible or
tangible. Following the previous three forms of technology, product technology is a knowledge
utilized to produce products, which could specify the information of products’ specific
characteristics and uses. Process technology is another knowledge used to maintain the inputs
and to operate machinery. The last Management technology is also a format of knowledge,
which is used in operating business, such as managerial skills or configuration that enable a firm
to work effectively by using its different kind of resources. Thus, analyzing knowledge above is
also a stepping-stone for observing the role of technology, because knowledge is a foundation
for breakthrough of technologies. (Thurow 1999) Technology knowledge is also being a
distinctive part of knowledge, together with marketing and international knowledge, which could
have essential implications for growth of the company. (Sullivan and Marvel 2011; Voudouris et
al. 2011; Weerawardema, Sullivan Mort, liesch and Knight 2007) Additionally, this growth
could be primarily associated with developing new product diversification, entering into new
market, or with combining both these alternatives. In the knowledge management, all the
knowledge databases should be well handled, accurate, current and easy to be sought in terms of
performance evaluation. And technology can support knowledge management to become
increasingly effective, as we mentioned before about the function of management technology.
Based on premised knowledge creation diagram, technology is one of the key accelerators the
thorough knowledge creation process. Depending on the knowledge management process model
created by Botha et al (2008), we can also explore the function of technology in the model
Table 3: The knowledge creation process model (Botha et al, 2008)
This knowledge creation process has three substantial categories, and these categories are
interacting with another one, consistent with importance of result and process. In this model, it
also includes the creation of new knowledge as special, most of researchers emphasize that
technology is the most important in this model, after long time going debate, some others
contend that this knowledge management is also human oriented, organizational culture oriented
in terms of effectiveness of knowledge management process.
Firstly, talking about humanity and culture, they are like enablers in this model, because
people are the bearers of tacit knowledge, while the tacit knowledge sharing process is a
fundamental strategic facet to establish knowledge management. And the willingness and
effectiveness of sharing tacit knowledge and workforce mostly depend on human’s incentives,
which could be stimulated by company’s organizational culture, by this term, incentives of
human and organizational culture could expedite the entire process of effective knowledge
management process. Hence, these two factors will be concluded in our following investigation.
Knowledge management is playing an infrastructural role for organizing and integrating
information and contents inside the organization. As Daegeun, Euio and Choonghyo (2011)
suggest that the evolution of technology shift knowledge management from a conventional
approach to a conversational approach, most approaches of technology facilitate the sharing of
conversational knowledge and appropriate to knowledge management are explored as follow：
Table 4: Utilization of technology in the process of knowledge sharing
Identifying how to utilize technology in knowledge management can help us exam the
applications of knowledge management in Chinese firms. Besides, technological knowledge is a
key element for product development and effectiveness of resource integration, especially in
technology-based Chinese enterprises. It is true that enterprises from emerging market, such as
China, don’t have strong R&D capabilities, but it is still a partial component of the entire global
technological system. (Mudambi 2008;) Those firms with higher intensity of technological
efforts search for knowledge beyond their own boundaries have much more motivations for new
knowledge exploration (George et al 2001; Nieto and Quevedo 2005). Thus, in the following
methodology part, we will exam all the operational function of technology inside the Chinese
2.5 Technology spillover
In the recent years, there are abundant literatures about technology spillover, implicating
that in spite of increasing exports and promoting employment in the host country, FDI also can
benefit firm with knowledge spillovers. (Javorcik 2004) Early in the 1991, Grossman and
Helpman (1991) has previously pointed out that technology innovations are critical for
enterprises to sustain competitive advantages and productivity growth. In this regard, a
horizontal or intra-sector spillover resulted from knowledge and technology used by FDI can be
treated as an important driver of economic development and technological improvement in
developing countries. But there are still some critical researches demonstrating that spillover
transfers through the vertical supply chain from foreign intermediate supplier to domestic
producers or from foreign firms to domestic suppliers are the main source of productivity effects
(Blalock and Gertler 2008). Javoricik (2004) also suggest that a joint venture or a wholly
foreign-owned firm matter the content of spillovers, which also leads to improvement of
productivity of firms. Besides, Qiu and Wan (2015) found that an increasing positive effect of
technology spillovers on cash holdings is economically significant, and an improved marginal
productivity is also notably found in his study. Another spillover study about Chinese firms
examines that when MNE employs highly educated workers, knowledge and technology can
conditionally spill over to domestic firms in the same industry (Todo, Zhang and Zhou 2009)
Theses effects of technology spillover will also be stated in our exploratory findings.
In the 21st century, the global economic and social developments are increasingly showing
three important characteristics: the first characteristics is that society is growing on a virtuous
circle of development based on knowledge and technology adoption, namely the advent of an era
of intellectual economy; Secondly, which is an symbol of international environment of
globalization and integration of economy; Lastly, they are showing a sustainable economic
growth pattern in the groble environment. All these changes and trends have direct relationship
with science, knowledge, technology and innovation. The subjects of knowledge and technology
development involve enterprises, research institutes, government, international organizations,
intermediary service institutions, social public, talents, capital, intellectual property, culture,
innovation atmosphere and some other factors. Undoubtedly, knowledge and technology are
playing irreplaceable roles on the growth of an expansion-oriented company from developing
countries, in the previous study we select all the possible content and function of knowledge &
Technology, according to the identification of Knowledge and technology transfer or
management approaches can help us understanding the possible impact of them on the
companies, which involves all the performances of Chinese multinational firms in Russian
market, such as market share, productivity, financial performance, employment, organizational
culture and strategic flexibility. In the following part, we will follow all the factors that we found
in our existing literatures to identify new evidence from Chinese Multinational Enterprise with
the internationalization background in Russia.
3. Industry overview
3.1 Current situation of Chinese multinational firms in Russia
Russia’s economy is quite large, and its market is not very diversified due to its single
resource-based economy. After collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia started to restructure its
market economy and passively attract foreign investment. China is playing a notable powerful
role in Russia’s trade economy. But Russian market is very complicated and the geopolitical
issues also impacts business environment. Therefore, analyzing Russian investment environment
will help us have a better understating of Chines firms’ performance, in which the action of
knowledge and technology is involved. Besides, understanding the local market knowledge also
follows the idea of Uppsala model that acknowledging sufficient market knowledge will direct
the final business decision of firms during the internationalization process.
3.1.1 Overview of index of foreign trade of Russian Federation with foreign countries from
2000-2014 (only import)
In the previous literature, we have emphasized on the function and characteristic of
knowledge and technology, which will contribute to a better economic growth of firms.
Reviewing the tendency of import from China to Russia in recent years will contribute to a better
understanding of the performance of Chinese firms’ technology and technology. The index
below shows the import trading volume in million dollars of Russian Federation with foreign
countries, which will dedicate a clear import tendency in Russian.
According to the following index of dynamic import trading volume in Russia, we can find
that Chinese’s foreign trade in Russia is one of the pioneers. It mainly thanks to the verified short
psychic distance and growing friendly cooperation between Russia and China, especially from
the 2000-2013. But after the Ukraine crises, almost all the indicators from 2013-2014 are facing
a decreasing trend in importing to Russia, because of the economic transaction and currency
depreciation in Russia.
Chinese import volume was growing with tremendous progress from 2000-2013, which is
also the biggest one, but in the 2014 year, the import trading volume also shows a drawdown,
likewise, the drop-down tendency are also found in other countries import figures. Another latest
statistical data from Federal State Statistic Service official website pointed out a gross decrease
of import trade volume in 2015 mainly blames on negative economic background in Russia. The
entire Russian market is facing a “coldest winter”.
Figure 1: Index of foreign trade of Russian Federation with foreign countries from 2000-2014
Source: Federal State Statistics Service1
Exchange Rate RUB/USD
Exchange Rate RUB/EUR
Average Brent oil price
Net capitial inflow/outflow
Figure 2: Key economic indicator in Russia
Source: Central Bank of Russia Federation, Ministry of Economic Development of Russian
Federation, Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, Blooming, PwC analysis
With this negative macroeconomic background of Russian economic slowdown, rising
inflation, geopolitical uncertainty, a strong ruble depreciation against other currencies, falling oil
prices, capital outflows, the decline in real disposable income and consumer confidence ( see
figure 2), the economy of Russia and its currency situation still didn’t recover in 2015. Some
specialists said that Russia has turned into a catastrophe, but it won’t be awful as before, it is still
possible to recover. Nevertheless, Russia’s macro-environment is still expected to improve
considerably in 2016.
Although the whole situation is beating a retreat, some Chinese competitive high-tech
multinational companies are specially raising their FDI in this risky time, some Chinese
industries even boldly started to invest more money to construct local factories in Russia, besides,
according to the latest report from PWC, the number of M&A success project of Chinese
enterprise in 2013 was 5, in 2014 was 1, and in 2015 it increased to 6, this figure also reflected
the knowledge and technology spillover is increasing from China to Russia. The main reason
why Chinese firms are finding opportunities through risks in Russia is mainly relying on the
sustainable relationship and notable preferential benefit from exchange rate between two
countries, besides, although the unstable political and economic factors still notably impact on
the entire international trade atmosphere, Chinese Multinational Companies are supposed to
enjoy lesser competition in general, while other companies from developed countries are
dropping out from Russian market. In this paper, we will also find out whether Chinese
companies are doing well during this special time, from the angels of knowledge management
and absorptive capacity, then we will find how knowledge and technology direct in their
3.1.2 Common barriers of FDI from China to Russian
Russian market is very difficult to handle, additionally, some Chinese enterprise didn’t pay
attention on Russian local culture, the feasibility of Russia’s investment environment, Russian’s
customer consumption habit, latest policy regulation and some other knowledge, which are very
crucial for the first step of internationalization. A lot of Chinese medias have pointed out that
most of Chinese firms encountered a lot of difficulties in the first phase of doing business in
Russia, because they are lack of local market knowledge in Russia. According to the latest report
in 2015 made by EY, namely “the investment of Chinese in Russia”, only 6% Chinese
respondents from 142 interviewees announced that they are sophisticated with Russian market
knowledge, Russian regulation and law.
Identifying the potential and existing problems of making an investment in Russia is one of
the market knowledge that a company should know. Besides, the labor force in Russia is
deficient and still decreasing, which created another obstacle to foreign trade. Moreover,
concerning about attracting foreign investors, Russian government has already created a lot of
policies, which are in favor of foreign investors. But in fact, these policies only resulted in
limited contribution for Chinese companies. Some Russian judicial system’s judgment cannot
avoid uncertainties, bribery and bureaucracy still commonly happen in some managerial
organization, which damage the trust of foreign investor to legal protection in Russia. Lastly, the
instability of macro-economic situation in Russia also brings a lot of unpredictable risks for the
Quoting from the recent report made by E&Y, the most confusing and difficult obstacles for
Chinese investment issues in Russia were summed up as follows:
Imperfect legal system
Uncertain Macro-economic situa=on
Low investment guarantee
Geopoli=cal issue, economic sanc=on
Limited governmental support and reliable partner
Complicated registra=on process and regula=on
Legal employment, restricted immigra=on law
Seeking for appropriate investment choice
Lack of Science & Technology part
Lack of Intellectual property protec=on
All the respondents
Figure 3: the most difficult obstacles for Chines companies to make investment in Russia
Source: EY, Report: From the perspectives of Chinese: Chinese investment in Russia
The figures of this table were initially summarized by answers from 142 respondents,
including Chinese individuals, MNCs and SMEs. Obviously, the imperfect legal system and
uncertain economic environment impede Chinese business’s development in Russia mostly.
Notably, although Sino-Russian cooperation is roaring on the “New Economic Belt”, but the
limited governmental support is still announced as a considerable hard part for Chinese
companies (see figure 3). In anther hand, the intellectual property right problems were almost not
impeditive for Chinese, Russian science & technology parks are booming for improving Russian
high-tech industry, the low barriers for high-tech domain explains that Russia is favorably
receives cooperation in high-tech industry. While those low innovative SMEs would face more
possibilities facing these resistance.
3.2 Continuous overview of cooperation framework between Russian and Chinese
In fact, the original relationship was early founded in 1992 by statement of the fundamental
relationship between China and Russia, announcing each other as a friendly country, which
realizes a smooth transition of Sino - Russian relationship. Then, in the 1994 year, president of
China Zeming Jiang visited Russia, each side signed the second joint statement of Sino- Russian,
announcing that the two countries set up a constructive partnership of good-neighbor, mutually
beneficial cooperation. In 1996, Russian president Yeltsin visited back to China again,
establishing and developing China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination between the two
countries along with Chinese president, they also held talk on bilateral cooperation in various
fields. Both sides agreed that the decision they made meets the mutual benefit of both sides, it is
also good for regional and world peace and stability, in the same year in April, two presidents
sighed the third “Sino-Russia joint statement”, officially stating that both sides establish a
strategic partnership relationship based on principle of trust and equal and face the challenging
together in 21 century.
In 2005, Chinese President Jintao Hu and Russian President Vladimir Putin sent each other
congratulatory New Year message, the “Year of Russia” was officially launched in China, which
includes totally more than 250 activities, covering numbers of areas, which includes the areas of
industrial development cooperation, they initiated a lot of activities of project promotion,
business conference, knowledge and technology exchange activities between two countries.
A virtuous business environment with supportive governmental policy is a precondition for
attracting foreign investment and consolidates the stable cooperative partnership between the
In the subsequent years, presidents or leaders of both countries continuously visited each
other, and they declared that they would strengthen the deeper understating, trust and friendship
between two counties and continue this tendency in the future. It is estimated that currently
Sino-Russian cooperation is still firmly working and supporting each other. Especially, in this
special time, China as an “old brother” still keeps intensifying efforts on cooperation and
business building in the Russian market. Since Chinese Multinational companies have just
started their beginning phase of internationalization in Russia, we will specially list out the
cooperation details and government role and their contribution in business of selected companies.
The reason we must have an overview about recent governmental relationship between two
countries is incumbent of governments involves an essential part of market knowledge, which
will direct the all the decision and knowledge and technology development benefited from this
factor. Subsequently, China and Russia sighed a joint statement about deepening the
comprehensive strategic partnership and advocating win-win cooperation to tie Sino-Russian
relationship more tightly. Besides, the announcement of “The New Silk Road Economic Belt”,
which is initially established by China, have optimized the business and cooperation between
two countries at highest level. Two countries also put forward numerous supports for their own
As Damanpour (1991) noted, governmental support is an enabler for technological
innovation, but the governmental roles through effective regulation can play different roles in
adoption of innovation. Thus, we will also deeply analyze the role of government in enhancing
competitive advantages of Chinese companies in Russia by leveraging the role of knowledge and
2.2.2 The internationalization Process Mode: The UPPSALA
To explain the sequence of development, it was hypothesized by Johanson & Vahlne
(1977, 1990) that firms would enter new markets associated with successively greater
psychic distance. Psychic distance was defined as the factors preventing or disturbing
the flow of information between a firm and its markets, including factors such as
language, culture, etc. To explain the incremental nature of the process, Johanson &
Vahlne (1977) further formulated a dynamic model, in which the outcome of one
cycle of events is seen as providing the input for the following cycle. They established
four stages of firm internationalization process. They posited that first are preoccupied
with home market at initial stages and no regular export activities. After consolidated
their presence in the home front, they extended their activities across border through
exporting via independent representative or agents. The third stage involved firm
committing their resource in the international market by establishing oversea sale
subsidiary, while the final stage entailed establishment of foreign manufacturing/
production facilities. This preposition has been improved upon and integrated in their
work in 1990 which is presented below. The basic structure of the model is provided
by the distinction between state and change aspects of internationalization. The
former include foreign market commitment (i.e., resource commitment) and
knowledge about foreign markets and activities. The change aspects include the
decisions to commit resources and engage in foreign activities, as described below.
The basic assumption is that market knowledge and market commitment affect both
commitment decisions and the way current activities are performed which, in turn,
affect market knowledge and commitment. (Andersen 1993.)
4. Theoretical framework
4.1 Uppsala model (Johanson and Vahlne 1977)
Adhering by our subject involved internationalization, we conduct Uppsala model
(Johanson and Vahlne 1997) as one of our theoretical frameworks, in order to help us explore
how Chinese MNCs gradually acquires, integrates and uses knowledge to direct their
internationalization process and entry modes in Russia. The model is very dynamic, because the
authors (Johanson and Vahlne 1977) believe that the outcome of a decision would make up the
input to the next component. This concept consists of two aspects: the state and change aspects,
as showing below.
The Model Basic Concept
Source: Johanson and Vahlne, 1977
Table 5. Basic Mechanism of Internationalization (State and Change Aspect)
Referring to this model, consideration and decision of market commitment are based on the
assumption, which will subsequently impact on the company’s perceived value and risk. This
model also emphasizes the idea that the knowledge is an essential part in this model, of which
influence reacts on company’s performance and values, for example, knowledge tells the
potential opportunities and possible and existing challenges, knowledge can be general or
specific, but very complex indeed, therefore, Obviously, the market knowledge and market
commitment impact on commitment decision and current performance. But the factors inside
this model are interactive, the result and experience in the commitment decision and current
activities can also change market knowledge and commitment (Aharoni 1966).
4.2 Conceptual framework of interaction between knowledge management and
performance of enterprise
According to our immersed context of literature, knowledge of the organization is one
contributory wealth for promoting quality and quantity indicators of all the organizations. The
knowledge inside the organization grows rapidly with the growth of global expansion, hence,
how to manage this large scale of information and knowledge is a challenge for any organization
(AdliFariba 2003). The enterprise’s knowledge management activities have great impact on
enterprise’s performance. The theoretical study and practical evidence of Cohen and Levinthal
(1990) have proved that effective management can improve the performance of enterprises. They
claimed that in order to improve enterprise’s competitive advantages and performance and create
enterprise’s core value, enterprises should initially analyze and utilize intellectual resource, in
order to optimize the function of knowledge.
The knowledge management (Gold 2010) also has been studied as a contributory
competence, which can directly impact the performance of an enterprise in the business
environment. As for the performance of enterprises, it can be divided into managerial
performance and operational performance. Enterprise performance can be visualized in
profitability, developing competence, strength of financial operation and strategic flexibility. The
concept and determination of enterprise’s performance reflect organizational science and
In the last decades, high-tech enterprises achieved rapid development in China. The latest
economic development and new open-up market’s energy has drawn great attentions of scholars
and enterprises. A lot of enterprises also realized the important determinant of knowledge and
technology, but most of them only tried to collect information without systematic integration,
they do not know how to integrate the comprehensive acquisition, sorting, application and
innovation together. As result, the knowledge they gain hasn’t been effectively utilized in
practical appliance to enhance their advantages.
The fountain of knowledge management also can be traced back to the 1950s in the North
American business practice. Foreign researchers made a lot of contribution concerning on
knowledge management, for instance, famous Japanese researcher- Nonaki Ikujiro (1991), who
wrote well-known literature “Knowledge-innovation oriented enterprise”, it claims that in an
uncertainty economic environment, knowledge is the only fountain to gain competitive
advantage of enterprise. But knowledge and technology management started in Chinese firms
later than those firms from developed countries, and theoretical background and methods are
also not totally same. Overseas researchers’ theoretical results mainly came up with vast
practical analysis, but the study on knowledge and technology in China started relatively late,
which mainly based on the introduction of foreign theory and still on the theoretical level, lack
of practical findings. The theory of knowledge management study in China began from 1998. In
the middle and later of 1990s, elites in management began to notice increasingly that knowledge
is the core factor that enables enterprise survives and develop, and innovative technology is a
core competence of a firm. Since this concept gradually spreads into China, the rational study of
knowledge management was boomingly attracting attention of Chinese entrepreneurs and
scholars. In 2000, a new movement of knowledge concerning management was initiated in
China. In 2003, the superintendent of “The Great Wall” research institution of enterprise strategy
- Delu Wang pointed out a concept named “Simple Knowledge Management”, mainly declaring
that in the enterprise, all the enterprise business operation and happened issues are dealing with
knowledge creation and knowledge innovation. Secondly, claiming that the knowledge can be
reused in additional innovative knowledge creation process. Thus, enterprises should
continuously refine their intellectual information and innovative knowledge, reusing the useful
knowledge in the innovation. Simple Knowledge Management emphasizes function of following
three aspects: organizational analysis, technological information and people. From 2005, a new
stone mill was contributed to promote knowledge management and practice by holding
knowledge & innovation summit forum. From that on, Chinese started realized the importance of
utilizing knowledge and technology, Chinese researcher started to find out more practical
analysis based on previous literature, in 2010 year, one famous study about knowledge
management (Gold, Malhotra and Segars 2001) demonstrated that enterprises need to enhance
the ability of knowledge management and ability of knowledge conversion in order to improve
the competitive advantages of enterprises, whereby knowledge conversion ability contains
process of knowledge acquisition, conversion, utilization and protection; besides, organizational
structure knowledge including technology, culture and structure. Based on study of Gord
Rabchuk, who is probably the earliest person mentioned concept of knowledge management,
also along with some other researchers, Yanwen (Guo and Xu 2006) created a Model Study of
Modern Tertiary Industry Intellectual Management Ability, which was a great progress of having
a deep understanding to utilize knowledge and technology. They redefined the concept of
knowledge management ability. They claimed that knowledge management capability (KMC) is
that organization effectively combines all the knowledge inside the organization by integrating
internal and external knowledge; accordingly, the organization can increase competitive
advantages and enhance performance of the enterprise. According to high demand of customers
for knowledge and high quality of service from a modern enterprise, they redesigned the
knowledge management process in five abilities: Acquisition, innovation, sharing, application
and protection. Yangon Zhan, another earliest ancestor scholar of knowledge management in
China, emphasizing that knowledge management ability refers to individuals or groups’
intellectual advantage and reaction in the knowledge management field. They believe that
knowledge management ability needs to reach following includes aspects’ level: the content of
the technical ability, ability of knowledge application and effective system of knowledge’s
principal part. Afterwards, more and more Chinese scholars keep finding deeper exploratory
understanding based on previous ancestors, and Chinese firms also gradually realized the
importance of knowledge management.
But from an overall perspective, the real Chinese enterprise knowledge management ability
is still not optimistic, which could be found in their failure business decision in Russia due to the
defective knowledge acquisition. But a good sign was found in a growing number of Chinese
high-tech companies are enhancing their competitive competency dramatically by leveraging
technology and information to promote their knowledge management and stand out from the
crow of the whole international market, such as Hair, Huawei, Lenovo, they established a
powerful network to integrate all the information effectively, and result in a innovative
Additionally, knowledge management can be affected by various factors, which can be
divided into three aspects:
The first fundamental indicator for testing enterprises’ KM is behavioral ability, which
includes knowledge acquisition, knowledge sharing and knowledge application. This indicator
can direct the performance of enterprises. (Bothiller and Shearer 2004; Asoh et al. 2007;
Mclnerney, C. R. and Koenig, M. E.D 2001)
The second indicator of knowledge management is organizational structure (Yougesh
2007; Fathollahi 2010), which can be initially stimulated by the utilization of information
technology, organizational culture and managerial system. The utilization of information
technology is indicated as a very effective approach to help companies acquire, integrate
knowledge. Some companies use the information technology platform and Internet application
skills to guarantee the knowledge management system. Besides, the organizational culture is also
the enabler within the organization that can stimulate to staffs share and communicate with other
employees. In the meanwhile, enterprise should design a reasonable incentive system, in order to
enhance the motivation of sharing of knowledge and information within the organization.
Additionally, as we analyze KM in Chinese firms, who are doing business overseas, the factor of
Guanxi will be brought forward as a Chinese cultural factor or atmosphere inside the Chinese
organization. Sometimes, misusing or neglecting Guanxi can negatively influent on knowledge
sharing. In addition, a complex Guanxi could also raise over-competition, and the fairness of this
competition is questionable. Refer to this assumption, we will exam in our interview.
The third indicator is the creative ability of company, which can be reflected by teamwork
cooperation and innovative incentives. As we know the cooperation of teamwork is a crucial
force inside the organization, while innovation incentives are the comprehensive strength of an
enterprise. In order to enhance creative ability, some companies will establish some motivation
schemes, system or cultural atmosphere to stimulate the enthusiasm of staffs, and to improve the
innovation motivation of employees. Relatively, these three indicators of KM are also interactive
with each other.
According to the textual summarization, we present a framework to show all the effective
appliances in enhancing the performance.
Table 6: the conceptual framework about the relationship between knowledge management and
4.3 The model of absorptive capacity
The conception of absorptive capacity was initiatively pioneered by Cohen and Levinthal
(1990), which is considered as an driving ability in the current innovation - oriented age by
means of realizing the value of new information, assimilating it and applying it in the business
application, they also indicated that the effect of absorptive ability will be optimum based on
prior knowledge. Absorptive capacity can impact positively on innovation performance and
competitive advantages in the industrial market (Chen, Lin and Chang 2009). These perspectives
lay a good solid fundamental for the subsequent study of dynamics of absorptive ability. Cohen
and Levinthal (1990) show that a diverse team can enable individual work more effectively with
a broader mind. In the first half of 20th century, Schumpeter has pointed the emergence of
technological innovation dominates the economic growth, in the second half of 20 century,
scholars started to pay close attention to the impact of absorbing external technical resource on
profitable growth. Consequently, absorptive capability is a central driving force for an enterprise
to be more competitive (Barney 1991) and a dynamic capability for enabling the innovation
process (Murovec and Prodan 2009; Volberda et al., 2010; Zahra and George 2002)
Nowadays, absorptive capability is utilized as an important theoretical instrument of
economics for analyzing the influence of innovation. Besides, absorptive capability also requires
companies to leverage existing knowledge, digest and diffuse new knowledge, especially, tacit
knowledge by unofficial or official interactively communication inside the organization.
Based on previous studies, absorptive capability can result in three kinds of output:
Table 7: The indicators of Absorptive capacity
Based on Cohen and Levinthal’s model（1990）, Zahra and George（2002）expand the
definition and inside structure of absorptive capacity: absorptive capacity is a set of
organizational routines and processes by which firms acquire, assimilate, transforms and exploit
knowledge to produce a dynamic organizational capacity. They also specifically subdivide the
absorptive capacity into potential absorptive capacity and realized absorptive capacity. In details,
the potential absorptive capacity refers to a capability to identify, acquire and assimilate external
knowledge that is very indispensable to its operation. And on the other hand, realized absorptive
capacity refers to a capability to develop and refine the routines that facilitate combining existing
knowledge and newly acquired and assimilated knowledge. It is dependent on transformation
technology-related concept for absorptive capacity, that company should have ability to be aware
of, identify and take effective advantage of technology. Absorptive capacity also requires
companies focusing on firm’s innovation efforts. (Nelson and Winter 1982)
Chinese scholars also made great contribution on study of AC, for instance, Xu and Zhang
(2008) investigated more than 200 Chinese enterprises from different industries, they proved that
absorptive capability of Chinese firms has great positive impacts on performance level, but the
impact on output of innovative capability is not obvious. Afterwards, Zhou (2008) conducted a
theoretical analysis based on relationship between absorptive capacities, priors’ knowledge,
organizational coordination and investment in R&D, claiming that absorptive capacities can be
impacted by prior knowledge, organizational coordination and investment in R&D.
Although Chinese companies are developing rapidly, they still fall far behind after the
developed countries in the aspect of technological capabilities. But Chinese firms started to
increase R&D activity as one of the principal approaches to promote their technological
capability. In return, this innovative effort can influence on technological capability, which
requires a higher level of absorptive capability for firms. Thus, the model of absorptive
capability is a very helpful scientific tool to help us exam how Chinese firms utilize optimized
the role of knowledge and technology in the context of AC to reinforce their competitive
advantages in their internationalization process in Russia.
5. Research methodology & data description
5.1 Multiple case study approach
Since our research goal aims at having a deep understanding and comparative analysis
about the role of knowledge and technology inside the Chinese MNC, who are extending
business in the Russian market, the most appropriate research approach is to be qualitative.
Inspired by our previous characteristics of our study, the objectives and questions of our research
are mainly focus on “How”, such how does Chinese MNC transfer knowledge and develop their
absorptive capacity for knowledge and technology in terms of self-competitive advantages in
Russia. Thus, we chose to use a multiple-case study methodology to test our theories, models,
and practical experience in reality.
In our study, we choose serial Chinese multinational companies from two types of
industries: automotive industry and high-tech industry. The approach of multiple-case study
allows us to conduct a comparative analysis of finding similarities and differences concerning on
our subjects between these two industries.
Because Russian economic environment has changed dramatically right after the Ukraine
crises with results of decreasing economy and devaluation currency, different companies’ action
and decision-making are equally dynamic, which requires us also make meaningful analysis in
In addition, our selected enterprises should meet our special criterion sampling (Poulis et al.
2013), all the selected Chinese companies should specially meet the following criteria: firstly,
the company should have already established their subsidiaries into Russia and achieved
considerable achievements in Russian market; Secondly, they should have notable technology
advantages in their domain. Thirdly, according to an interview, the activities of the company
should be found involved in knowledge management and absorptive capacity more or less.
The reason why we selected automotive industry for our study is because the automotive
industry could symbolize the Chinese technical manufacture; Choosing high-tech industry as our
another targeted facets is meeting our study’s requirement by exploring deficits and outstanding
knowledge and technological innovation based performance. The role of knowledge and
technology could have different level of importance involving their international strategy and
performance, competing with other rivals.
Based on the criterion sampling strategy, we selected 5 Chinese automotive companies
(Lifan, The Great Wall Motor, Geely, Chery, JAC moto) and 5 Chinese high-tech companies
(Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo, Hytera, Haier, Amur Sirius Power Equipment limited company) for our
In order to make our results more credible, the author leverages all the special connections to
contact with senior executives or managers of promising multinational companies, such as chief
operation officer, CEO of Russian market, team leader in program management, sales chief
directors or knowledge management manager. Most of them are pleasure to provide time and
multiple sources for making an interview for our study. We treated our interviews as
conversation that the ultimate context within which knowledge is to be interpreted. (Rorty 2009)
And during this process, we can focus on the cognition of interviewees on how they manage the
knowledge and technology as a mechanism to improve their own competitive advantages. And
how do they flexibly re-construct their international strategy in the Russian market, especially
during this economic turbulence time from 2014.
Based on our extant literature, we clarify our theoretical proposition with the requirement of
the interview guide. Preparing structural discussion would be best to handle the interview
conversation much more effectively.
5.2 Multiple sources of evidence
Our multiple-case study sources include two parts: secondary data and primary data. The
primary data was gathered through in – depth interviews with representatives at leading positions
from each company, such as CEO, senior manager or technical engineer, who works in the
Russian market. All the questions will be raised from the angle of KM, AC, governmental role
and specificities of their internationalization action.
Approach of interview
The date of
Sales Manager of
Sales director of
Annual report; WIPOA
Annual report; WIPOA
manager in Russia
Annual report; WIPOA
Sales Manager of
Remote video via Wechat;
Annual report; WIPOA
of Russian market
of Russian market
Senior manager in
Annual report; WIPOA
Annual report; WIPOA
Table 8: Primary and secondary data for our qualitative study
NB: According to interviewees’ intention, the names of interviewees are changed to maintain
We also gather observations from archival records, company documents, publications, and
academic papers (Yin 1994; Lewis 2003, Eisenhardt and Graebner 2007). The archival data were
achieved from companies’ annual reports, academic papers, publications, databases and the
media from the Internet.
But according to my interview with some senior managers, who run their Chinese
companies in Russia, the authenticity of some secondary data posted on the Internet is skeptical.
Thus, the true action and thinking about our interview look more important. In the end, we
combine inductive analysis data with our theoretical construction codes to get our conclusion.
5.3 Analysis and quality of case study
We conduct out empirical analysis into 2 parts: in the first part, we will have an in-depth
analysis in both Chinese automotive industry and high-tech industry, who are expanding their
business in Russian market, concerning about their internationalization performance accounted
from their knowledge management and knowledge capacity based on Russian market. Secondly,
we will analyze our results by comparative analysis based on pervious in-depth findings from 2
industries, and check the similarity, difference and application of knowledge and technology in
two main emerging Chinese industries. In the end, our conclusion will be analysis of defective or
good performance of knowledge management and absorptive capacity of Chinese firms in Russia,
and benefits of their use of knowledge and technology. Based on these conclusions, we will put
forward theoretical implications and managerial implications for Chinese firms, who are
expanding their business in the Russian market.
6. Empirical findings and discussions
6.1 Characteristics of selected companies
In our study, we initially selected 5 Chinese automotive companies and 5 famous high-tech
Chinese companies. The reason why we chose Chinese automotive industry is because they are
good representatives for Chinese manufacturing industrial capacity, whose emerging
performance is highlighted in their world expansion activities, but their technological skills are
still chasing after some well-known automotive companies from developed companies;
Additionally, in the current era of technology and information, the remarkable performance of
Chinese high-tech companies also show the importance of their initial nature of knowledge and
technology, which perfectly suit the objects of our study.
Table 9: general characteristics of selected companies
The 5 automotive companies are Lifan Moto, the Great Wall Motor, Geely, Moto, Chery
Moto and JAC Moto. All of them have outstanding performance in China. The rest 5 selected
automotive Chinese companies have already entered in Russian around 10 years averagely,
almost all of them have encountered and conquered the financial crisis in Russian market in
2009 year, as result, they have more market experience and knowledge in Russia, facing the
financial crisis in a international environment.
Another five selected companies are high-tech oriented. They are very innovative and
modern, which means they upgrade knowledge and technology most frequently. These Chinese
companies are Huawei, ZTE, Haier, Hytera, and Lenovo. We chose these companies, because
they have impressive performance in Russian market, even in the financial crisis period, they
also have a very promising prestige globally due to their quality of products, brand image,
innovative service and excellent internationalization strategies, the application of KM, AB and
governmental involvement are supposed to be found in their companies.
In the following study, we will overview their current situation in Russia, and then
seamlessly stick it to our fundamental subject that reviving in a high - risky and unassailable
market highly requires a virtuous combination of knowledge management, absorptive capacity,
governmental involvement and wise internationalization strategy. Thus, we will also have a deep
analysis on applications of KM, AB and governmental involvement of every firm, combining
with their international strategy in Russia. Firstly, we have an in-depth analysis in both of
Chinese automotive industry and high-tech industry, then we will have a comparative analysis
between Chinese automotive and high-tech industry to find out the drawback or advanced
implication of our subject in Russian market.
6.2 Overview Chinese automotive market in Russia
Currently, Russian consumers still have a higher preference to domestic brand - Lada, who
strongly enjoys the inexpensive price and governmental subsidies policy. Although its sales
shrink with a big volume compared with 2013-2015 year, it still has the biggest market share
under this terrible economic background. South Korean automotive brands still occupied a
highly competitive market share, and most of Western and American automotive brands’ sales
decreased enormously. In Russia, drivers prefer to drive large vehicles, such as pickup trucks,
passenger and freight cars, SUV and full-size sedan. Besides, small vehicle and hatchback are
"leaders" on the Russian market, such as Hyundai Solaris, Lada, Granta and Kia Rio. The most
popular top ten also includes cross-border car, which was undoubtedly pointed out Renault
Duster, which has the greatest consumption demand. In the Russian market, there is also a space
for Chinese automotive brands.
Figure 4: The market share of Chinese self-owned auto companies in Russia (2008-2015)3
Chinese automotive market share in Russia is very small, as a latecomer, they face a lot of
strong rivals from local and other developed market, who have much more advanced technology
and mature experience, facing the Russian and other international brands, along with the
unstable geopolitical and economic environment, Chinese automotive brands strides forward
very slowly. Affected by the financial crisis in 2008 -2009, Chinese vehicle companies was
asked for 15% import tax each car to the Russian government, which forced some Chinese auto
companies withdraw from the Russian market.
Before the sanction happened, the close geo-economic and geographic distance between
China and Russia had once prove Russia was a wise destination for expansion with high fiscal
return, the expected growth trend from 2008-2014 can the best evidence. Thus, more and more
Chinese auto companies chose to enter Russia, some of them even intended to build local factory
in Russia. But all the promising vision were broken by horrible slump in 2014 due to the
economic sanction, even though, still numerous Chinese automotive companies boldly are
keeping making directly investment in Russian market.
Although Chinese auto brands’ market share is very small in Russia, the achievement still
can be considered as a legendry. Chinese car quickly occupied an important position in the
Russian market thanks to their advantages of high driving force and low price.
Mozyr Aspen, the Deputy Director of the World Economic Department senior Russian
School of Economics, said that the good quality and cheap price of Chinese automotive brand
won the heart of Russian consumers. In 2013, even though overall car sales in Russia decreased
by 5.5%, China's auto sales in the Russian market are on the rise in some parts of China's auto
sales even increased by 30% -50%.
According to the Russian auto market statistics published in 2013, "Lifan" Sold 27,500
vehicle, "Geely" sold 27,300 vehicles, "Great Wall" sold 20,000 units, "Chery" sold 19,900 units
Only in the Republic of Tatarstan, China's auto sales grew 74% in 2013, and sales of the
Bashkir Republic increased by 77%, in addition, Chinese automotive brand gained the biggest
market share in Russian oblast Omsk, which was 9% of the total sales in that region.
But only relying on the preferential policy is not sustainable for MNCs, since the
international political situation changes all the time, the inflection point from 2014 is a good
example, preferential policy between Russia and China became less helpful, while Russia need
to protect their countries’ industries due to the economic sanction set by Europe. According to
the PWC latest survey, Russian auto market had the largest drop in sales by 43%, which is also
the largest drop in sales among the world auto markets. The main reason is the Russian
worsening macroeconomic environment, including unstable geopolitical situation, dropping oil
price, the weakening Russian currency. Russian government started to implicate a serials of
support measures especially for spurring the local auto brand’s sale, including the car fleet
renewal scheme, the car loan interest rate subsidy scheme, the subsidized car leasing scheme.
But notably, facing the same worsening business environment, these measures push
Chinese auto companies into a worse situation, facing much more lost, since the price of their
products became double expensive due to the depreciation currency, and customer will have less
interests on Russian cars, which has better car loan interest. Consequently, the combination of
these hard objective situations worsened the Chinese companies’ performance. For foreign
businessmen, the ruble plunged dramatically reduce their profits, and some even operate with a
huge loss. Some Chinese companies drawback from Russian market with 0 sales, even the Great
Wall companies, who is one of earliest Chinese auto comers, encountered the failure on their
sales, and the rest of the companies still need to worry about unpredictable future in Russia,
which still could worsen in the following years.
Chinese auto companies
2016 year (March)
Huachen (Brilliance Auto)
The Great Wall
Figure 5: Chinese self-owned auto companies’ performance in Russia4 (2014-2016 March)
At present, the market share of Chinese automotive brands in Russia is about 4% (in 2015 it
decreased because of the negative economic environment, but it’s believed that it will soon break
through 6%, or even 10% in the soon future.) In addition, Chinese auto companies started to
focus on improving the quality of service for the Russian customer, they established after-sales
service network in Russia, and aiming at establishment of production and assembly center in
Russia, which are conducive to the development of Chinese automobile in Russia.
6.3 Overview of Chinese high-tech industry in Russia
In the old ages of Soviet Union, Russia have had a glorious history in engineering and
technology domain, but in 21st century, Russia faces slow growing of its high-tech industry, but
the advent of knowledge-intensive world just leads out the deep global integration of high-tech
industry undoubtedly, the Russian government just noticed the meaning of technology for
enhancing the Russian MNC and global economic standing, Russian government invested vastly
into Russian Skolkovo Innovation Centre, which is considered as Russia’s equivalent of Silicon
Valley. The Russian Venture Company also planned to support the export of Russian high-tech
production. These are good incentives to spur the Russian high-tech industry, and Russia intends
to increase its IT services and solution experts from current $4billion to $11billion by 2020
ambitiously. Today, the Russian ranks 18th, ahead of China, although the emergence of Chinese
companies is very promising, but it is true that Chinese high-tech companies are facing problems
and difficulties in the Russian market.
As high-tech industry requires rapid technological innovation, wide resource sharing,
Chinese high-tech companies should stay highly competitive, innovative and flexible among all
the rivals (Fang Lee Cooke, 2012). But thanks to sustainable political relationship between
China and Russia, just as previous Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said，the mutual trust and
cooperation between two countries reached the highest level ever these years, which gives more
sufficient reason to integrate strategic cooperation on the promising high-tech domain. Differ
macro-environmental economy, but much more impacted by its own inventive productivity. The
fact can be found in the following basic information of Chinese high-tech firms’ subsidiaries in
the Russian market.
Chinese high-tech industry also began to grow vastly. They are also latecomer in the
Russian market; it is not easy to deal with other rivals from developed country and local Russian
companies. Even so, some Chinese companies still impressively stand out from the rest of viable
international rivals. It is quite impressive that even under this depressive economic environment,
Chinese high-tech companies are still having increasing good performance in Russia. These
companies’ entire market share is dramatically increasing. Good evidences can be discovered in
pioneering market share of smart phone in Russia was dominated by Chines brands with more
than 30% in Russia, according to the telecom operator Vimpelcom. (Chinese smart phone market
share in 2015:24%, in 2014:14%) China Telecom Company – Huawei has been the biggest
foreigner investor, capturing than 50% market share of broadband in Russia. Lenovo also earned
the first place of market share PC in Russia. The market share of Haier also earned the first place
in Russian white goods market. Even facing an economic depression in Russia, their
achievement and market share in Russia still march forward promisingly.
Table 10: Initial specifies of Chinese high-tech companies
The Chinese government also actively encourages Chinese companies to be innovative and
self-independent, after China has entered WTO. Chinese company China holds the world’s
biggest fixed-line and mobile network with regard to network capacity and number of
subscriptions. In order to fuel the expansion, Chinese companies from telecommunication
industry invested more than USD$25 billion to improve the network infrastructure, and the
amount exceeds the sum of all western European companies. Government also deregulated and
supported some Chinese high-tech companies with high subsidies.
6.4 Analysis of empirical findings
6.4.1 The comparative analysis of application of knowledge management between selected
Chinese automotive and high-tech industry confirmed in Russia
Followed by those indicators of developed conceptual framework of relationship between
knowledge management and performance of enterprises with government involvement, we
collected information by following question during the interview:
Knowledge management proposition questions
Do you think your company has high awareness of acquiring the local market knowledge and
latest information? And how does your company acquire knowledge from the local market?
(From partners/ local consulting group/ JV/ experience of CEO/ local employees/ others)
Do you think your company has high recognition of the latest technology and market
changes in the current market?
Can your company frequently recognize the latest actives and strategies of your rival in
How does your company mainly acquire local knowledge, when you enter Russian market?
How frequently does your company organize regular meeting in your department in Russia?
By which form?
How frequently does your subsidiary contact with parent company? By which form?
How does your company share information and knowledge inside your company?
How frequently your company trains your staffs, by which forms?
Do you have any special intranet to provide educational channel for staffs?
Do you think the local knowledge acquisition can impact on your fiscal performance?
How do you exam the result of training on staffs?
How do you protect your intellectual property?
Do you regularly produce new product?
Do you notice the difference of the Russian market from others?
Do you realize the customer habitats? Do you customize products especially for Russian
clients? If yes, does it improve your fiscal performance?
Do you hire staff with diversified educational background?
Do your employees have trained or have advanced degree?
After employment, how do your company provide continuous learning approaches for
Which following technical infrastructure your company have used for building knowledge
Remote communication: Online conference in distance/ E-teaching/ Remote teaching/
Telephone-conference/internet communication/Intranet communication;
Knowledge sharing: E-mail/ documentation assets exchange/ online help platform/ technical
tools for discussion/ knowledge database/report submission
Technical infrastructure in working place: small conference room with technical tools/
cafeteria/ Internet network/ electronic bulletin board/ BBS for employ group/ Internet virtual
Learning center: interactive multimedia/ Library/ knowledge evaluation system/ training
system related Internet sites;
Do you recognize cross culture obstacle during your communication with local employees or
Do you think you have any connection with governments involved in feasibility of your plan
Do your think your employees of different nationality have communication gap, which slow
the knowledge sharing process?
Do you think your local employs assimilate their culture by Chinese, such as Guanxi?
Do you think your company is very innovation-oriented? What is your motivation?
How much efforts your subsidiaries put on R&D? How many new products your company
made especially for Russian clients?
Have your company ever sign any promising contract with governmental help?
Do you think the recent Sino-Russian cooperative relationship have positive influence on
your performance in Russian? Can you give an example?
What is your plan on innovation in Russian market?
How is your operation performance and managerial performance in Russian market?
Some other stochastic problem
In this part, we will clearly demonstrate the defective and promising performance of
Chinese companies from the angle of knowledge management. All the analysis will be
established by doing interviews with senior managers of these companies, combing with
secondary data from the media. This process will help us understand the connection between
knowledge management and companies’ managerial and operational performance, combining
above-mentioned questions, we summarized crucial findings as follows.
Knowledge management of Chinese automotive companies in Russia
Table 11: the Behavioral ability of knowledge management of Chinese auto companies (in
Table 12: the knowledge management of Chinese firms in Russia (organizational structure,
creative ability, governmental involvement, performance in Russia)
All of these Chinese automotive companies have considerable high awareness to enhance
their knowledge management, but they still have a lot of rooms need to be improved, regarding
to the knowledge acquisition, they mainly acquire the local market knowledge by cooperating
with local consultants, local franchise, dealership, Russian employees and experience of CEO.
Knowledge sharing still reminds on the normal level by using traditional modern methods, and
most of them face the obstacle of cross national culture problem, which held back the speed of
knowledge sharing and effectiveness of knowledge management. Besides, according to our
interviews, majority of these companies’ Chinese staffs in Russia only have Russian or English
language educational background, they need spend additional time to improve their marketing
knowledge and auto technology knowledge, besides, while advanced technology spillover from
China, it takes longer time as we mentioned before, a team with diversified background talents
will broaden the field of vision, also they will have higher motivation and ability of creativity.
Additionally, Chinese stated-owned companies would be supported more by governmental
subsidies for R&D, and sign more contracts easier; and those companies, who purposefully put
long-term efforts to make good Guanxi with local governments, will get more convenient to
make the business locally. All the automotive companies from China were badly impacted by the
revenue lost due to economic sanction and Russian governmental strict regulation. The
governmental regulation is always a big headache for all the Chinese auto companies, because
Chinese products’ quality is almost equivalent to the Russian vehicle, but Russian and all the
other countries can see the emergence of Chinese ability of productivity and innovation, and
Chinese auto companies used to use low price strategy combining good quality, of which
performance was considered as a big threat for Russian auto companies, consequently, in order
to protect local auto industry, Russian governmental regulation and law are very changeable, the
import tax of vehicle, including importing complete vehicle or assembling part import, is
increasing time to time, aiming at push more burden on foreign competitive rivals, Chinese auto
companies, who has very slight market share and less brand image, would be impacted at first.
Especially, after the depreciation currency of Rubles, Chinese auto market shrinks badly. Some
even withdraw from the Russian market.
Thus, we can see the fierce competition and unpredictable business environment in Russia,
but it is still very worthy to analyze the actions and strategies, that Chinese automotive
companies have put forward, when they are facing the this tough and risky market by leveraging
the knowledge and technology. In the following part, we will introduce you our analytic findings
according to our in-depth interview with these selected companies.
The application of knowledge management and internationalization of Lifan Moto in Russia
Lifan Moto has been the best seller in Russian market for last several years, and it entered
Russian very early, it is not unfamiliar to deal with the changeable business situation in Russia,
although compared with its previous performance in Russia, its revenue truly reduced, but its
market share still increases a little with surprise, its “secret” of success is very meaningful for
our study. Even Russia is a very risky country with strict regulation and law in the automotive
industry, Lifan still boldly made decision to stay in Russia and explore more opportunities in
After the announcement of factory construction in Tula from the Great Wall, Lifan also
followed this action, in the October, 2014, with the witness of Chinese stated council premier
Keqiang Li and Russian prime minister Dimitry Medvedev, the Chairman of Lifan Moto and
governor of the state Lipetsk signed the investment intention agreement, Lifan will invest $300
million in the state Lipetsk, Russia for building new vehicle factory. Once this project is
established successfully, the productive capacity will reach 60,000 units a year.
The chairmen of Lifan Moto – Mingshan Yi had once said through media: “The future of
Sino-Russian cooperation is very promising, Russia is one of the most important market for us,
as being the best-selling auto Chinese brands in Russia, Lifan has been the best Chinese
vehicle-saller in Russian for 4 years in a row. Establishing the self-owned factory in Russia can
stimulate our effectiveness of production. It is also an important strategic layout for expansion
overseas. In the first phase of expansion in Russia, we will still use CKD mode, then we will
gradually start the localization, and eventually we will form the ability of annual output of
Furthermore, we investigated another customer relationship manager Mr.Piao of Lifan, who
engaged in business in Russia, he said: “Currently, doing business in Russia is bearing huge lost
due to the depreciation rubles, but it also gives beneficial opportunity to use the revenue on
constructing factory locally, establishing this factory requires two years, when the factory is
established, Lifan can promisingly achieve benefit from economy recovering in the long term.
This project will not only reduce the production cost and rivalry pressure, furthermore, after
productivity is enhanced, we can hopefully expand the market share in Russia with a bigger
economic scale. The local government of Lipetsk paid high attention and serials of preferential
policy for our projects, which passively impacted on our further development in Russia.
Correspondingly, the new factory will boost the local economic growth and relevant industries’
development, it will provide around 20,000 jobs in Lipetsk.”
Besides, by answering the question:“ What is your company’s key secret to adapt to
Russian market according to your market knowledge?” Mr. Piao answered: “The key of our
success is not a secret. According to our analysis, Russian people don’t care about the brand,
but more concern about the driving force of engine and the price. Thanks to our improvement of
products’ driving force of engine and inexpensive price, we occupied a place in the Russian
market. Besides, Lifan pays high attention on the optimizing the quality of after-sale service and
setting up effective after-sales service network to attract Russian clients, these actions contribute
constructively on improving market share in Russia.”
Another manger Mr. Sun continued: “After Lifan settled subsidiary in Russia, the first team
we sent from China are initially for after-sales. Once any maintenance service was ever
complained by our clients, our headquarter will directly sent professional technical experts for
them, in the first few years, since our Accessories Galleries haven’t been established yet in
Russia, we even air-ship the accessories directly, sparing no expense, in order to ensure the
vehicle maintenance won’t be delayed due to the lack of accessories.”
Talking about the current obstacles in Russia, Mr. Piao said: “Except the terrible economic
environment, the discrimination of Russian policy also made Chinese auto industry into a worse
situation. The Russian government took serials of implementations to slow down the decline in
Russian vehicle market by providing subsidized car loan, car fleet renewal program and car
leasing. You know most of the Russian clients chose to buy cars by loans, and the current
average annual interest rate of loan provided by commercial bank is about 24%, then Russian
government subsidies 9.33% to support Russian auto clients, then the loan interest rate can be
reduced to 14.67%, which is lower than affordability standard limit by 15%. Consequently, this
policy can greatly stimulate consumption, in terms of reviving the Russian auto market in this
fiscal crisis. However, while other auto brands can conduct this mortgage loan for their clients,
but only Chinese auto consumers can’t transact this deal so far. Chinese auto companies have
asked each broad band by official written form, but still no reply yet. Which means, Russia’s
department of trade and industry set a non-public list, in which indicate which auto companies
can get subsidies, while Chinese auto brands are unfortunately not on this list. Lifan moto has
already been asking Russian industrial department of trade, but we still didn’t get any replies. At
present, Chinese companies have already adapted to the sharp fluctuation in economic growth in
Russia, those who survived from the two financial crisis in Russia in 1999 and 2008, they have
considerable high competitive advantage and better ability in response to the crisis, the current
economic crisis temporarily won’t case the withdraw of Lifan Moto from Russia. Regarding to
the business distress in Russia, in stead of using Red ocean strategy, Lifan chose to allied with
other Chinese auto companies to negotiate with relevant departments of Russian government,
use the collective power of all the Chinese auto companies and legal means to ask for justice and
interest that we deserve. On the other hand, we tried to actively contact with the Chinese
embassy in Russia, and ask for cooperation and help from them in order to help Chinese auto
companies through. Besides, it is worthy to mention about the clever anti-risk capacity of Lifan,
it it true that we are facing double lost due to the currency problem if we change our revenue in
Russia into RMB, alternatively, we chose to use these money to multiple investment, such as
constructing factory in Russia and waiting for the promising return in the future; Besides,
according to our analysis, we found Russian clients prefer payment by installment, so instead of
transfer our revenue to parent company in RMB, we chose to invest these money into
cooperative bank like Rosbank, Raffayzenbank, etc, in return they help us launch “Lifan Finance”
service to allow our consumers to buy our cars by installment payment with considerable
preference, this flexible adaptation to local development, which results in good sales of our
vehicle model even during this tough time, such as LIFAN x60, etc. Furthermore, as you know,
we are private company, every decision we made just like personal aspiration, except selling our
cars, we also acquire some local products and luxury cars and sell them back to China through
Economic Open Zone with considerable low tax, one of which locates at our headquarters’ city,
Chongqing, by this way we can compensate our lost by this way. ”
Another important empirical findings regarding to obstacle in knowledge sharing part, just
as Mr. Piao answered: “The different culture and thinking habit cause a lot of administrative
contradiction problems, and also slow the speed of knowledge sharing and transferring inside
the organization. For instance, when Alibaba.com entered into Russia, it organized a online
shopping festival on-line, of which idea was very successful in China, normally this event was
organized 11th November annually, namely Single Day in China, in 2015 Alibaba won 129
billion RMB of whole trading volume online just in one day. But when Lifan allied with Alibaba
and intends to establish promotion idea and practical methods to our local cooperative
advertisement agency, Russian people didn’t seem to be interested in this idea, and we took a
long time to establish our O2O platform with our exact idea. Besides, we also noticed that
Chinese enterprise emphasize more on market analysis and evidence with preciseness, but
Russian employees use to act with their nature and interest without common practices, but very
creative. Lifan Moto starts to unite all the Russian and Chinese employees as one with more
communication, and increase considerably smooth of knowledge sharing inside the organization.
After that we notice the importance of localization and customization, including product
development and marketing strategy, we took the all the specifies of Russian culture, climate and
habitat into consideration, consequently, in order to make product more suitable for Russian
clients, we establish preservative treatment for automotive chassis due to the cold weather in
Russian, and broaden the interior, while considering the in nowadays, every time when we
announce a new car officially in Russia, we will consult local merchants and consumers about
their opinions, and test it one year in advance in local market.”
The application of knowledge management and internationalization of the Great Wall
Moto in Russia
Among all the approaches of knowledge acquisition, the Great Wall Moto chose the most
effective but bold one: establish a factory in Tula, Russia. On the 25 of august, 2014 Great Wall
Motor Tula project groundbreaking opening ceremony for celebrating establishment factory was
held in Industrial Park, the Russian State Uzlovaya, Tula. This will be the first Chinese auto
factory in Russia, which covers all the sections of stamping, welding, painting and assembly
(four vehicle manufacturing production processes), this is also the Great Wall Motor’s first
investment on construction of factory overseas. According to the interview of the chairmen of
Great Wall Motor Company Limited Wei Jianjun, the main productions are Hover H1, H2 and
other Havel models, which are close to Russian client’s physique and taste. And this plant will
provide 2500 local jobs, this is a very good evidence that conducting a good guaixi with local
government by providing mutual benefit and reciprocal exchange to reach the goal can stimulate
the expansion in foreign land, while other automotive companies, including other rivals from
developed countries didn’t successfully get permission to establish factory in Russia.
“This program will officially start from 2017, getting this permission of establishing factory
from Russian governments mainly thanks to the Comprehensive strategic partnership between
Russia and China, which provides a cooperative environment for our business, and the Great
Wall Moto promised to strictly follow the Russian laws and regulation in the Russian auto
industry, once this factory is built, its productive capacity will reach more than 150,000 vehicles
a year, we will try to do our best to serve Russian clients, we will also share the Cooperate
Social Responsibility (CSR) to the local residents.” As one responsible employee of the Great
Wall in Russia said during our interview.
One Chinese auto industry expert expressed its comments through media5: “Establishing
factory oversea will breakthrough its brand image and prestige worldwide, and this can be
considered as a new approach to enhance their independent innovation ability. The Great Wall
establish construction of factory to produce vehicles locally can enable itself to reduce the cost
and tax, relieve the competitive pressure, and establish a good brand image in Russia, and
continuously keep the growing international competiveness.”
But before this promising factory is established, the Great Wall Moto face the zero sales in
2015, although the entire the Chinese automotive industry is facing the same problems, its peer
rival – Lifan is having a slightly increase in this hard competition, according to the investigation,
we found the Great Wall Moto failed its long – term cooperative partner – IRITO, who assemble
CKD models of the Great Wall Moto in Russia. As sales manager of the Great Wall in Russia
said: “Our imported assembles’ price raised because of the depreciation of rubles, as a result, we
totally lost our price advantage, along with the whole Russian market turns down, Russian
clients won’t accept the increasing price of Chinese vehicles, which leads us into a dilemma. In
addition, we didn’t find a win-win solution for negotiating with IRITO, because of our different
way of thinking, we failed the communication with IRITO, which made this factory won’t buy
our products and collaborate with us anymore, so we have to suspend our sales in Russia without
any assembling partnership. At present, we chose to observe the business environment in Russia,
and wait for the establishment of our self-owned factory, in terms of avoiding some
communicational conflicts with Russian local partner.”
Concerning about its organizational culture, the Great Wall Moto’s slogan is “Make progress
everyday”, which aims at sustainable operation and persistent innovation. The Great Wall Moto
also made a special training program to practice its employees to have athletic marketing
response ability and offensive awareness like a “wolf”, the Great Wall Moto also has a “Rational
The official website of The Great Wall Motor: http://www.gwm.com.cn/news_detail-8343.html
advice scheme” to encourage their employees to learn everyday, the contents of this scheme
includes constructive ideas to enhance effectiveness, quality of products and process,
consequently, with these implementations, the Great Wall Moto improve the productivity and
As our prior study implied, the cross-national culture skill is an important facet involved in
organizational culture. In fact, the products SUV serials of the Great Wall Moto are very suitable
for Russian clients, the Great Wall Moto deserve to share a dominant profit in Russian
automotive market, but it didn’t. It also paid attention on knowledge application，knowledge
protection and creative ability, the governmental involvement was also found in its first – perfect
action for the plan of self- owned factory establishment, but comparing with its first rival in the
automotive industry – Lifan, the Great Wall Moto is having a problematic performance, while
Lifan has increased its sales slightly, this comparative result explores a huge problem and defects
in its cooperate culture, which hasn’t adapted to the Russian culture, the Great Wall Moto still
didn’t learn clearly how to do and reflect in Russia just as Russian do. Apparently, establishing
the same way dealing with dealership in China can’t work out in Russia, therefore, the case of
the Great Wall Moto shows how important it is for Chinese automotive company to adapt to the
local culture and the rationalize more flexile production and marketing network. In this case,
although the Great Wall moto has some other advantages in knowledge management, but if it
can’t adjust its cooperate culture to the local market, it will hit obstacles in Russia.
The application of knowledge management and internationalization of Geely Moto in
After Geely won the acquisition of VOLVO, Geely’s brand image and prestige really
improved tremendously worldwide, likewise, the dealership and clients will have much more
confidence, Geely also gained much more competitive advantages in the fierce market and bad
economic environment of Russia, its sales performance is very notable which ranked No.2
among all the Chinese automotive companies in Russia, from the official website of Geely, we
found that Geely has a very helpful long term partnership dealer in Russia – ROLF group, this
companies signed 1billion dollars contracts with Geely to sell Geely King Kong model and
Geely prospect model by whole – vehicle export mode in Russia in 2004. ROLF, the biggest
automotive import dealer in Russia said through media: “After ten years cooperation and
development of Geely in Russia, we all saw its conspicuous process in Russia, its quality of
product is reliable, Geely also made a very suitable product positioning for Russian market.
ROLF will make full use of our existing marketing resources to help Geely open the market
further in Russia.” One employee from Geely auto told that except the positive influence by
acquiring VOLVO Geely, another important reason why Geely is getting popular oversea is
because of its high quality and reasonable price. Mr. Chen from, sales director from Geely
marketing department, said that compared with those cars of big automotive MNCs from
developed countries, we have comparable quality, but our products are 20% cheaper than theirs.
Our clients also gave us feedback, said that Geely products allowed them to save a lot of fees on
maintenance and spare parts cost. Nevertheless of course, the more important thing is our
implementation of localization strategy. As our vice－CEO (Mr. Zhang Lin) said:“To be a local
enterprise!” To be more specific, we cooperate with local assembly factory – Derway to
establish CKD, but due to the Russian currency depreciation, our assemble and products
became expensive for them, in result, our sales declines, and our cooperated factory chose to
reduce production of our vehicle around 40%, although it is very risky to establish our own
factory in Russia, but this decision is being discussed and planed, although we are facing loses
and obstacles in Russia, but this economy and potential market is very big, once Russia
overcomes this economic sanction, our future is very promising. Furthermore, except
establishing local production, we also focus on how to customize properly for our Russian
clients, we even specially made analysis on Russian’s needs, and we specially reformed the
vehicle’s starting process with better engine and accumulator, according to the local market
need, we change the color of interior into black, add heating wire on seat. In result, our sales
increased thanks to our decision on customization, and our localization decision is the
fundamental guarantee for our sustainable production in Russia.” According to this
conversation, we can see company Geely really pays a lot of attention on acquiring market
knowledge locally, in order to make a proper strategy for getting a better fiscal performance in
Russia, and even in this economic crisis, their sophisticated knowledge acquisition enables them
to have a effective and promising strategy in Russia.
It is very worthy to mention that Geely has rolled out production in Belarus by JV with
local automotive factory and Union auto technology co., LTD, and made a JV company namely
BelGee in Borisov, Belarus with a 32.5% stake, which located at Minsk’s Free Economic Zone,
this operation can help assemble cars from semi-knocked down kits, this could successfully
established mainly thanks to the support of the two countries’ governments.6 Honestly, the
market capacity of Belarus can’t compare with Russia; the main incentive is to produce vehicles
in Belarus with attractive prices and export into Russian with zero tax. Eventually this Belarus
plant would help to raise supply to other former Soviet State. We could say this implementation
found a cleverest channel to optimize the hard situation for exporting vehicles into Russia, as we
know, there are lots of failure experiences show us how hard to establish smooth and preferential
supply chain in Russia, including direct exportation, JV or self – owned factory establishment,
even the high tariffs and scrapping tax make Chinese automotive vehicles lost their major
advantage by price competition. Geely’s JV plant in Minsk’s Free economic Zone not only can
allows them enjoy the relevant preferential tariff and tax, even assemble vehicles in Belarus
doesn’t require scrapping tax, thus they sell vehicles with very attractive price in Belarus, and
export into Russia with almost 0 tariff, because Belarus has 0 tariff automotive agreement with
Russia. This implementation initially avoids some changeable Russian regulation and special
protectionism for Russian brands. But this approach has already raised dissatisfactory of Russian
government. Just as Russian ambassador in Belarus Aleksandr Surikov said: “Russia will against
this implementation, it will definitely threaten the Russian local automate brand, Russia will take
some initiatives to protect its local Russian industry.” Again, we can see how strictly Russian
government is trying to protect their local industry, but Geely’s strategy perfectly shows the
Geely’s wise action dealing with the Russian market’s tough regulation and high tax, which
mainly thanks to its efforts on deep knowledge acquisition capability.
Concerning about knowledge sharing, knowledge application and knowledge protection
facets, the senior manager of Geely in Russia answered: Geely Moto also leverages technology
to implicate an effective online - intranet communication system for employees to communicate,
have regular meeting on-line, acquiring education on-line or sharing information and
knowledge. Geely has their own strict inspection system to exam and inspire their employees’
learning process, although this process goes effectively, but while it works in Russia, the cross
culture issues and different languages problems slowed the knowledge sharing, some
misunderstanding and conflicts occurred sometimes. But Russian employees were found to start
6 WARDSAUTO/ Geely Confirms Plans for Belarus Joint – Venture Plant
assimilating Chinese culture, such as trying to establishing good Guanxi with their Chinese
employees and executives, also Chinese employees are also trying to adapted to Russian cultures
and Russian’s thoughts, but it still took a period to reach this knowledge sharing process. But its
knowledge application and knowledge protection work very prospectively.
The application of knowledge management and internationalization of Chery Moto in
Chery was selected as the most popular Chinese automotive brand in 20157 by famous
Russian automotive media “Autopanorama magazine”, and in the 2014 and 2015 its sales ranked
third just after the Lifan and Geely, but Chery only has half sales volumes compared with Lifan
and Geely. If spite of leveraging basic technical approach such as internet and partial intranet,
also using some internal incentive program for inspiring employees to acquire and sharing
knowledge, but their partial stated owned nature still slows down its knowledge sharing process,
some superfluous rules and usages were required in the daily life, according to some comments
from media, Chery’s organizational structure really faced a huge problem, it happens very
frequently that lots of senior executives resigned from Chery, especially sales managers, the
previous sales executive manager of Chery - Mr. Huang has just resigned, another who only has
R&D experience replaced him, it is just like a one team, who has no sales experience in sales is
leading Chery’s sales department, Besides, differs from Geely’s divisional organization, Chery’s
departments don’t have right to make direct decision, all the marketing strategy should approved
layer upon layer, from the beginning of suggestion – making until the final decision-making, the
entire process requires one month, in the end even if the scheme is approved, they have already
bungled the best time for business opportunities. Consequently, their organizational structure and
culture really needs to be improved urgently. In another hand, its state-owned nature enables
them to have more effective opportunities cooperating with foreign companies.
Besides, Chery has signed a preliminary agreement with investment, which is worthy
1billions dollars to establish a local factory in Belarus, just followed by the Geely, trying to
leverage the preferential agreements among Russia and Belarus to export vehicles into Russia,
this tricky methods still will meet some potential stricter reaction from Russian government for
protecting their own automotive vehicles, but still currently facing the bad the economic
situation and hard Russian regulation, this establishment is an ideal methods to reduce the tariff
and optimize their price competitive advantage. Again, this implementation also more or less
thanks to Good relationship (Guanxi) with local government. And this initiative in Belarus was
eventually decided by Chery mainly because lots of its failure experience cooperating with
Russian native industry, such as Avtotor and TagAZ, consequently, Chery was even forced to
close the production line in Kaliningrad, Russia. Besides, efficiently acquiring knowledge locally,
Chinese automotive companies need to be much more flexible to deal with this dynamic Russian
Market. Although maintaining good Guanxi with local government is important, it is still not
enough for the Chinese automotive industry to survive in Russia, because the attitude of the
Russian government is too strong to protect their own automotive industry.
The application of knowledge management and internationalization of JAC in Russia
Obviously, JAC is struggling in this Russian market with only 0 sales in 2015, some rumors
said that JAC would withdraw from Russian market, according to the interview with one senior
sales executives in Russia - Mr. Zhang, he said that JAC will still stay in Russia, but a lot of
deficit performances in knowledge management domain were found during interview, which can
explain partial reason why JAC decrease their fiscal performance in Russia. Basically, JAC also
has basic approaches to establish knowledge acquisition, such as making survey, acquiring
knowledge embedded in import and export fairs, but dislikes previous selected companies, JAC
didn’t have those flexible strategies facing with Russian strict regulation and laws, we also didn’t
found emergence in establishing JV or M&A to enhancing their knowledge acquisition and
competitive advantages in Russia.
Besides, we found that most of Chinese employees and sales executives in JAC, who are
engaging business in Russia, only have Russian language educational background or only
engineer degree, who is lack of sales, marketing background. This unitary individual background
really would lead to a low creative ability in company’s teamwork cooperation and innovative
motivation. Also reviewing the entire process of interview, we didn’t find any consciousness of
this company for knowledge management, but according to observation from the interview, very
idea on how to optimize their organizational structure is still kind of musty due to its partly –
state owned nature, the regular conferences made through distance video conference is lack of
effectiveness, and the approaches for knowledge application are not found that interactively and
Also, the cross culture problems were also found in JAC moto, and during the interview, Mr.
Zhang also agrees that assimilating local culture ability and acquiring local technical and market
knowledge can impact their operation performance, as result, they try to understanding Russian
people’s mindset, and actively acquiring local knowledge and enhancing our working effectives,
but these implementations were mainly noticed individually, JAC needs to institutionalize their
organizational structure. While Mr. Zhang was talking about the awareness of knowing
advantages and situation of peer companies, he said, that JAC acknowledged the importance to
knowledge acquisition, but the methods still need to be broadened and improved, JAC stays
flexible to know the status of peer industry, actually in the same industry, companies in the same
field will discuss with each other about the future of automotive market, and Chinese automotive
companies pay attention on the climate change, that could changes the demand and trend of
automotive industry. Currently, in the field of commercial vehicles, Chinese peer automotive
companies didn’t have high competition between with each other, but in the passenger vehicle
fields, Chinese peer automotive companies’ competitive just a bit fierce.
Russian employees in Russia truly try to assimilate this typical Chinese culture, and willing
to establish good relationship with Chinese employees and sharing their local knowledge inside
the company. But we didn’t find any implementations were mainly established thanks to good
Guanxi with local government. That is why we didn’t find any breakthrough in JAC sales
performance. From the side of the Chinese government, JAC also didn’t get any special benefits
or support from the Chinese government, although it is owned partially by the state, but they
reach any very tremendous and successful big cooperative project in Russia to enhance their
fiscal performance. Although JAC chose an adoptive auto model for Russian clients, but they
didn’t specially pay attention on innovate new products for Russian clients, also no localization
strategy, also no excellent pattern for after-sales service, in results, hardly can JAC compare with
previous analyzed auto companies. Except the dangerous situation in Russia, JAC’s factory
establishment initiatives in Ukraine was spoiled by Ukraine crises, which was initially aimed at
assembling vehicle in Ukraine and exporting into Russian leveraging free tax policy between
Ukraine and Russia, the crisis and economic sanction still haven’t been solved and
geo-economics and trade relationship between Russia and Ukraine are completely worsen. Thus,
this failure strategy even insult to JAC’s injury in Russia, therefore, if JAC still doesn’t put
forward some efficient and constructive implication to enhance its competitive advantages and
compensate its huge lost in Russian and Ukrainian market, undoubtedly, the JAC still will be
trapped in the losing proposition, and the future will be not optimistic.
Knowledge management of Chinese high-tech industry in Russia
Table 13: the behavioral ability and organizational structure of KM in Chinese high-tech
companies (in Russia)
Table 14: knowledge management performance of Chinese high-tech firms in Russia (creative
ability performance combining government involvement)
In this part, we will start to explore the knowledge management of Chinese high –tech
industry in Russia.
The application of knowledge management and internationalization of Huawei in Russia
Huawei is a very successful case for us to analyze how to enhance competitive advantages
by knowledge management and absorptive capacity, here we firstly explore Huawei’s key
advantages of knowledge management, we contacted with three senior sales managers and one
knowledge management executive, according to our initial visit and observation, the working
environment, technical infrastructure, the communication atmosphere between employees are
very impressive, Huawei has 12 representative office in Russia, except Chinese senior manager
and engineer, they have hundreds of Russian employees.
As one of few Chinese companies, who noticed the importance of knowledge management,
they even settle sophisticated manager to study and engage in knowledge management in
Huawei. It is also the earliest high-tech comer from China, it overcame the financial crisis,
instead of shrinking business during this tough economic sanction period after Ukraine crisis, on
the contrary, their market share is aggressively at an accelerated pace.
Leveraging its increasing brand image and competitive advantage, their channels of
knowledge acquisition also became much broader than those traditional ones, including
establishing long-term partnerships with some prestigious and skillful companies to compensate
some domain that they are not good at, it is one of the fastest way to compete with other rivals in
a fierce market but as a later comer. As soon as they settled their first office agency in 1997, they
decided to establish a JV Beto-Huawei with Russian Beto Konzern and Russia Telecom, in the
2003 they start to cooperate with three biggest Russian operators: MTS, VimpelCom and
Megafon, in 2014 they also signed strategic agreement with Rostelecom, Russian Railways,
Sberbank and VTB with the strong support from two countries’ government. Besides, Huawei
also cooperates with other famous international firms for consultancy, such as IBM, KPMG,
HAY Group, PwC, Frauhofer Gesellschaft, Tower Perrin, Telefonica, Vodafone, KPN, KDDI,
STC, Etisalat, Intel, Motorola, Microsoft, Siemens, etc, therefore, such powerful background
insures promptness of knowledge acquisition effectively. Besides, Huawei also cooperate with
local university for R&D, while other Chinese companies still didn’t put efforts to it.
Sales manager Mrs. Li said that Huawei has deep understating of high-tech industry’s trend,
it is famous of its core solution for information technology (customize cloud technology for
operators and enterprises customers). Huawei occupied a very important place in conference,
exhibition and assassination organized by he Russian peer industry, at the same time Huawei
actively involved in the research activities.
They have very high innovation motivation due to its high-tech industry nature, Huawei
wants to be the No.1in this intensive technology environment, and Huawei have very intelligent
employees with diversified education background in Russian subsidiaries, which means that they
have a very strong creative ability in Russia, including engineer, marketing, language, IT etc.
Their vision is to enrich life through communication. Through Huawei’s official website they
claimed that Huawei defines human process by innovation that could enrich all the humanity,
they emphasize the impact of information and communication technology will be measured by
how many people can benefit from it.
Since Huawei business deeply involved in technology and information, Huawei has to share
information and protect their intellectual property carefully, Huawei has their own intranet for
communication and sharing information, also they have their own internal network for employee
to absorb new knowledge, the Chief IP Counsel at Huawei, Georg Kreuz said that Huawei
unwaveringly focuses commitments to protecting Huawei’s intellectual property as a driver of
innovation capability by increasing patent applications, besides, the perfect role of technology
was reflected in Huawei’s business environment, which is became fully digitized. Huawei could
proudly say that Huawei lies on the top contributor to the innovation process in the world.
Huawei also has regular scheme to exam employees’ self-learning process in order to keep all
the working team having a fruitful knowledge background. In result, Huawei is very good at
leveraging the role of technology to enhance their knowledge sharing ability; its knowledge
application methods also effectively improve the individual’s knowledge acquisition motivation
inside the company.
Except innovation, their organizational culture also focus on leveraging welfare scheme and
employ stock system to motivate employees to be more eager to learn, share and work, in result,
their employees would like to work and share information more effective, and their performance
would also be productive. With this competitive atmosphere, some talented employees can
become a senior engineer from a junior position within a short time thanks to its contribution to
the company. But one employee could also easily be quitted from Huawei due to its poor
performance, although he had contributions to company before.
Besides, according to the interview with one senior executive Mr. Bai, who also specially
engaged in Huawei’s knowledge management domain before about 5 years, he said the
cross-national culture and language problems were also explored in the business establishment
process in Russia, but Huawei is trying to practice advanced European theory of knowledge
management, and conquering the difficulties in the cross-culture and different language issues
by two ways, first approach: localization strategy. Mr. Bai’s opinion is that in order to firmly
foothold in Russian market, adapt to Russian culture, the way of thinking and language is very
importance, but in order to fill this gap, it still requires time, so firing more sophisticated Russian
employees to take over more issues will be a more effective method; In another hand, Chinese
senior managers are also very indispensable for Huawei to manage foreign market, another way
to enhance the effectiveness of knowledge sharing is to institutionalization, which means
institutionalize every system of organization and every role of individual very clearly, this
approach will reduce the absent - minded situation happened due to the gap of culture and
Another engine of Huawei’s impressive and effective performance is its organizational
structure: centralization of authority. The CEO of Huawei – Zhengfei Reng has a famous saying:
“Stabilization is the foundation of development of one company, Huawei will always follow
centralization of authority.” Mr. Reng is very cautious on the issues of division of authority; On
the basis of centralization, every hierarchy was orderly decentralized layer upon layer, whose
slogan is “Fully authorized, strictly supervised” Although there are more then 300 vice –
executives inside the company, but only Zhengfei Reng has the highest and the only decisionmaking power. Consequently, although executive force of Huawei is very strong to make
commitment effectively, but once company faces problems, there will be lack of effectiveness to
solve the problem from the base.
In the view of Mr. Reng, Huawei is a “3 high” enterprise: an enterprise, who has high
effectiveness, high pressure and high salary. He believed that high salary is the first driving force
for gathering talents for the company. Huawei’s high salary strategy takes huge amount of
indirect cost of production, but this implementation storages abundant talented people for
Huawei, to some extent, Huawei monopolies the talents market in China, which restricts
development of its competitive rivals.
Huawei not only utilizes self-owned technological facility to enhance their effectiveness of
knowledge management, but also utilizes its strong technology capability for knowledge
management to contribute on Russian regional government and stated – owned companies to
enhance management effectiveness, for example, Huawei’s HD videoconferencing solution help
Ryazan state government improve governance process by providing HD videoconferencing;
Huawei’s data center solution help Central Bank of Russia rollout NAPC, which greatly
contributes to the financial stability and viability of Russian national economy during the
economic sanction; Huawei contributed to Agile Stadium Solution in Russia’s Spartak Stadium;
Huawei spend Sponsor for the Information Security Russia; In the 2016 Huawei starts to help
develop telecommunication transfer network in Russia. As a natural consequence, Russian
government would like to provide preferential policies for Huawei, since Huawei showed its
social responsibility and high-tech productivity with superiority of price.
Differ from another competitive Chinese rival in telecommunication industry, Huawei
insists to establish its sales path along with the Chinese government diplomatic path. The CEO
Mr. Ren once firmly declared before: “ Chinese diplomatic routes is successful, which help
China won more strategic partnership over the world, thus Huawei chose to establish our
international marketing followed by Chinese diplomatic path, I believe it will be successful, too.”
Actually just right after previous precedent of Russia – Yeltsin visited China; Mr. Ren
immediately captured the huge potential business opportunity hidden in the changes of this
geopolitical relation, subsequently, he chose to speed up the cooperation with Russian market
and expand into this country right away in 1997 year. Huawei also achieved substantial support
from Chinese government with preferential policy and fiscal support. Huawei also benefits from
the sustainable Sino – Russian relationship, 7th Sep, 2015, President of Russian Federation
attended the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Anti-Japan War and the World anti-fascist,
which shows the strong support from Russia to China, in the same day, Jingping Xi and Putin
attended and witnessed a number of bilateral trend and business agreement signed between
China and Russia with the background “ One Belt, One Road”, which includes the agreement
between Huawei and Irkutsk’s government for developing the Asia – Pacific region data center
and cloud service under the framework of the New Silk Road Economic Belt”. Subsequently, it
is believe that under this healthy cooperative relationship between China and Russian, combing
the admirable ability, the positive governmental involvement including transaction and
commitment based influence directed into growth of Huawei in Russia. Consequently, another
Huawei’s success stems from its long – term cooperative relationship with local partners and
good Guanxi established with local executive and legislative governments by active
communication, as a natural result, its operation performance and managerial performance are
very productive in Russia according to our survey.
The application of knowledge management and internationalization of ZTE in Russia
Except Huawei, ZTE can be considered as another high competitive telecommunication
Chinese player in Russia, although its market share of smartphone was increased from 2.8%
(2014 year) to 10% (2015 year) with a rapid pace, but its other services in fixed broadband,
operation in networks, multimedia technology facet totally can’t compare with Huawei at the
moment. Huawei came into Russian market and captured the main operator partnerships earlier
than ZTE 5 years more to have more market knowledge and experience dealing with this
Besides, we also find some drawbacks and advantages in the knowledge management
domain. ZTE’s knowledge acquisition includes hiring intelligent Russian local employees,
experienced CEO, making survey, ask for consultancy from famous relevant companies, such as
Ernst & Young, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Alcatel, Ericsson, Interl, Switchsore, etc, furthermore,
Huawei also cooperates or joints venture with local companies will be a very effective methods
to acquire Russian market knowledge vastly.
ZTE’s knowledge sharing speed is a bit slower than Huawei due to its partly state-owned
nature, some decision and information sharing requires more documentation and confirmed
process, but with more equal discussion.
Besides, compared with Huawei, ZTE’s technology didn’t optimize ZTE’s knowledge
sharing capability at best level. Analyzing its R&D productivity and contribution on
effectiveness of management, ZTE still has considerable fast approaches to share knowledge
inside the organization, such as remote video conference, and some technical infrastructure, etc.
Regarding to ZTE’s knowledge application and knowledge protection, ZTE is also ranked
as one of the highest patent applicants in China; ZTE also highlighted the utmost importance of
innovation and intellectual property protection.
Here we can find the similarity and difference between ZTE and Huawei, both companies
are highly value the importance of technology and knowledge, which makes two companies put
the talented human resource in an important position, every year they hire a lot of graduates from
the best Chinese university, giving them substantial return, whose average salary can stand for
the highest level among all the Chinese enterprises. According to the interview with HR of ZTE,
who works currently in Moscow, Mrs.Z said: “Both ZTE and Huawei have used wealth scheme
to motivate employees. Huawei’s merit is its employ stock system, they don’t go public, the more
money they earn, the more money they give to employees; But our company ZTE, combining with
the partly nature of state – owned, we have more support from governments and more signs of
traditional governmental involvement, we don’t push our employees that hard, on the contrary,
even the business we made is quite tough in Russia, ZTE still persistently provide best subsidy
and welfare to our employees in Russia, let alone the how good to be treated in China and other
high profit countries. ZTE also uses attractive welfare scheme to motivate individual to learn
and work more actively, again, due to its partly state – owned nature, compared with private
company, ZTE focuses more on individual’s welfare than fierce competition for getting more
fiscal profit for company.”
Subsequently, we also find the value of knowledge and technology in ZTE’s cooperate
culture, as Mrs. Z said: “Differs from Huawei, our cooperate culture is emphasizing on
communication, learning and understanding. ZTE’s CEO once said that <Whatever is has every
reason for being. > Which means ZTE has more tolerance for different culture and individual
error making. ZTE provides a sense of family for employees, the relationship between company
and employees relies on “economic contract” + “ psychological contract”, while Huawei won’t
tolerate sub-culture and errors exist. Principally, once Huawei’s head office set off one
command, other departments should implement it unconditionally. But in ZTE, everything is
open for discussion, even employee’s ability, we believe: there is no mediocre person in the
world, the people became mediocre because they were given a wrong position for showing its
talents, thus we allow our employees to change their position vertically or horizontally inside the
organization, until they find the most suitable position for themselves, but of course the these
applicants need to meet the requirement of this position. Some of our current employees were
resigned from Huawei and came to us, because we provide them more feeling staying at home.
Working in Huawei is much more like a fierce competition; everyone needs efforts to survival of
the fittest, Huawei resigned 30% senior manager regarding to their personal performance and
company’s development requirements, which was considered as a classic case study for
manifestations of transition to development. Decentralized divisional system management
characterizes ZTE’s basic organizational structure. But we won’t blindly tolerate the turnover of
position, we also guarantee 5% natural elimination rate every year averagely. In accordance
with the pragmatism principle, suitable one is the best, with ZTE’s organizational structure
every member in every hierarchy can share a part of power, responsibility, risk, the pressure of
business operation will be transmitted to every employees carrying the same belt of economic
indicator, in order to stimulate the motivation of employees, ZTE chose to use cash for awarding
employees’ performance. Since 2001, the basic salary in ZTE grows at a very rapid pace; the
average salary plus awards sometimes are even higher than the one in Huawei. By this way, the
initiative of employees will be stimulated with an optimal level; the team consciousness will be
enhanced. Consequently, this organizational structure can improve the cohesion and the level of
operation of the company. But we can’t deny that we can’t compare with Huawei’s executive
force, but once ZTE faces difficulties, the power of our grassroots will make us victorious and
perform sustainably. Again, our organizational culture and structure enable us to unite
solidarity and diversified talents in our team.”
Since ZTE entered into Russia 5 years later than Huawei, consequently, hardly can ZTE
grab the dominant market in broadband in Russia from Huawei. Comparing with Huawei’s focus
on technology R&D, ZTE started to focus more on marketing strategy in Russian market by
diversifying its products, service and business channels to increase its performance.
The influence of government in expanding performance and advantages were found in ZTE.
In the end of 2012, ZTE has won the bid for GSM-R (Global system for mobile communications
railway) communication system project of Russian Railways 8 with 100 million dollars,
additionally, in 2015 a breakthrough news that ZTE successfully won one billion RMB
cooperative agreement to build “smart city” and “smart transportation system” in Russia, which
broke the bottleneck of its ordinary performance in Russia, according to the knowledge of media,
this cooperative agreement could be successfully shows ZTE’s importance position in the “One
Road, One Belt” strategic project, and the positive involvement of governments based on
sustainable geopolitical relationship in developing business with more opportunities and less
obstacles. One senior manager of ZTE dedicates that the future growth of ZTE will mainly rely
on the promising cooperation with governments.
The application of knowledge management and internationalization of Haier in Russia
Haier was founded in 1984 and entered into Russia in 2007, it is the fourth largest white
goods maker in the world, a distinguished Chinese multinational consumer electronics and home
appliances enterprise, who wrote legendary story of Chinese company’s internationalization, in
2015, it was ranked on the top of the list “Fortune Global 500”, as being the world’s fastest –
growing brand. It has also been listed on the top of “ The exclusive comprehensive leadership of
Chinese enterprises in mainland” for five consecutive years according to the data of
“Euromonitor”; The American consulting company BCG announced that Haier is the only
Chinese enterprise listed on the top 10 in the list of “ the world most innovative enterprises 50”
Haier is also famous of its commitment to meet the customers’ satisfaction. In 2016, Haier
acquired the biggest American appliance company GE, who has 9 factories. Haier is also a big
shareholder of Fisher & Paykel.
At present, Haier is transforming from traditional manufacturing industry serving for home
appliance products to an innovative industry serving for the whole society. In the current advent
of information and Internet, Haier confirmed its commitment to become an informative
enterprise in terms of establishing interconnection and interworking by leveraging various
resource, which aims at build a new platform to create a win-win situation and optimize ideal
effectiveness of sharing information and knowledge world wide.
Haier cooperates with Neusoft Group to establish a famous and effective HGVS (Haier
Global Supply System for integrating all the information and operational issues of its
international business around the world in the marketing, sales, sales distribution and financial
Externally, Haier built a global open innovation community platform, namely “Haier Open
Partnership Ecosystem”, in terms of sharing innovative ideas, seeking the best solutions with
advanced international partnership.9 This platform establishes five core capabilities for Haier:
Ability capturing the latest industrial technology development; A professional and strong
innovative circle of communication; Ability to integrate the whole process and resource
precisely; JV laboratories, shared information and achievement of study at fastest speed, by these
means Haier optimizes its global supply chain and having the priority of supplier.
Haier’s knowledge application can be seen in its diverse new products flowing into market,
their abundant patent applications were also good evidences to protect the knowledge property of
Haier. The CEO of Haier said once via the media: “Compared with those famous multinational
companies in the world, we didn’t have competitive advantages in capital, technique, economic
scale, but they have one of our advantages – speed, we can satisfy our clients in the way they
want at the fastest speed, including speed of action and innovation, with our efforts, we can
proudly say that Haier’s innovation speed has exceeded a lot of historical brands.”
Organizational culture of Haier can also be highlighted as a good performance in the
knowledge management domain, which is promoting a “self-created management method”
inside the organization, which was even studied by Harvard University. One is OEC (Overall
Every Control and Clear) management method, which was formed in 1989, aiming at
implementing PDCA (plan-do-check action cycle) precisely into every individual, every detail
issues and daily enterprise management approaches. This OEC management contains 6 typical
management approaches to guarantee the effectiveness and performance of management in every
departments of Haier. These 6 approaches are Position Management, Team Management,
Branches management, Function management, Decision – Making Management and the Overall
Incentive Scheme Management, this integrative management methods help Haier clarify their
goal both in daily life and in long-term, explicate the distance between its biggest rivals, and
shorten this distance by enhancing incentives and motivation. In the meanwhile Haier carefully
guarantee cost control and the quality of its human resource. This OEC represents a remarkable
evidence of its organizational culture, brilliant team creativity and innovation motivation. It does
not only create a huge economic benefit for the company, it also creates a tremendous social
benefit, which has been awarded by Chinese governments with namely “Golden Horse Prize” for
its innovative enterprise management, previous vice – Chinese president Rongji Zhu even tried
to promote this management experience in China. Consequently, we can identify the impressive
evidences in Haier’s organizational culture, effective system and team creativity.
Besides, we confirmed the cross – national culture inevitably happened in Haier’s Russian
market, Haier also notices this problem, trying to diminish this influence by hiring more Russian
local employees and trying to assimilate Russian culture. Additionally, according to the
investigation, in the internationalization process Haier aims at learning and integrating all the
excellent cultures from the world, in terms of innovating the most unique enterprise culture for
Haier. Alternatively, in order to decrease the cross-national culture, Haier also invites its
international employees to come to its headquarter in Qingdao, China to have regular training,
experience Chinese culture, learn Haier’s cooperate culture, Chinese manufacturing technique,
after-sales serve, etc. Besides, thanks to its informative network, most of global business issues
were easily accomplished with out human. Thus, some cross-national culture conflicts have been
According to investigation, even in this economic sanction period, Haier’s sales volume in
2015 is 10 times higher than 5 years ago, which is mainly contributed by its innovation efforts on
increasing its brand image and risk- avoiding ability. As we implicated earlier, Chinese
multinational companies are still lack of strong competitive advantages compared with those
MNCs from developed countries, the biggest weakness of Chinese multinational companies is
lack of knowledge of local market rules, regulation and experience, which resulted a lot of
failure internationalization strategy. While Haier was establishing internationalization strategy,
Haier deeply noticed this, in order to avoid market risks with biggest extension, Haier put
forward a principle: “Capture market by flowing our product and enhance our brand image in the
first place, then establish factory.” This means Haier also follow the Uppsala model (Johanson &
Vahlne, 1977) to expand market in Russia gradually by export. And then establish more
intensive approaches, when they feel its growth in this market is organic. Haier need to explore
local market, and guarantee the lowest break – even point, in another words, only establishing
factory, when company make sure it has enough competitive advantages, this principles was
proved by successful examples in its establishment in America, Pakistan, Bangladesh and
Indonesia. After Haier opened its first official representative office agency in Russian market in
2008, Haier has proved its dominant sales performance and strong competitive advantage in
Russia, currently, more than 100 different models products are being sold in Russia, more than
120 Russian cities were raised around 196 service centers. This strong marketing network allows
Haier perfectly provide their service to clients. Besides, Haier cooperates with Russian electronic
product trade ministry, Haier always highlighted the high-tech, innovation, products’ value on
the top of its brand strategy, attending in China E – Brand Expo (CEBE 2015 Russia) also helped
Haier expand its brand influence in Russia, which was highly required by its brand building
Referring to Haier’s diversification strategy, except its diversified products’ variety, Haier
also tried to diversify its marketing channels in terms of rolling over their innovative products
through cooperating with more potential cross-broader areas. For instance, except applicant
white products, Haier also allied with Russian operator Tele 2 to roll out W719 mode telephone
on sale in 2014. Haier has won the cross-broad cooperation with one of the largest Russian real
estate developer “PIK” to provide WIFI smart air conditioning. (PIK is the first enterprise, which
imports directly with huge scale of air conditioning to insert into their hardbound rooms.) This
big deal was established mainly thanks to Haier’s reliable well-known reputation and the
evolving cooperative relationship in high-tech industry between China and Russia, which
provides a healthy business phenomenon.
In the meanwhile, instead of transferring their fiscal profits back to headquarter in China,
Haier prefers to use this rubles - revenue to build a factory in Russia, likewise, this initiative will
prepare a promising economic scale in the future production in Russia. According to the latest
new, a joint Russian – Chinese business project of establishing factory in Tararstan Republic was
announced in April, 2016, which dedicates to improve productivity and become proactive
towards the European and Central Asian market, at the same time, the R&D center will also be
established in Naberzhnye Chelny region. The CEO of Haier Europe Yannick Fierling said: “In
fact, our production facility in China could meet requirement of most of the European market,
including Russia, the reason why we establish factory in Russia is because we still want to be
more competitive in response to logistics flexibility; We believe that the key of successful
globalization application is also establishing localization in the same time, in order to get closer
to target markets and end-users.”
Thus the role of guanxi was found as a positive factor
involved in promoting Haier’s internationalization process in Russia thanks to the reliable
geopolitical relationship between China and Russia, in order to reinforce Haier’s position in
Russia, and follow out the Chinese new economic belt “One Belt, One Road”, Haier decided to
build self – owned factory in in Kama industrial park of Tatarstan Republic, where is one of the
most prosper areal of developing Russian economy, technique, and innovation, this
implementation was highly supported by Chinese and Russian government, the special envoy
sent by Russian president Vladimir Putin, the president of the republic of Tatarstan, and its prime
minister, the mayor of Naberezhnye Chelny and relevant representatives from Chinese and
Russian department and institutions have attended on this project opening ceremony along with
senior manager of Haier. Once this project is established successfully, the entire investment
amount will reach 55 million dollars, this project will bring advanced production models and
unique innovation technique from headquarter of Haier, China, and provide around 1700
working position for the local citizens, the proposition of Russian employees will be accounted
for 90%, and the rest 10% are Chinese administrative staff from Haier. This project was even
appraised by the Russian president. We could easily find the fact that the Russian government
would highly prefer to cooperation and welcome the high competitive and innovative company
from China, whilst the Chinese government has also showed the strong support and paved a
strategic cooperation road in hosted country.
In addition, it is worthy to mention about the exceptional internationalization process of
Haier, differs from all of these selected companies in automotive and high-tech industries, who
established international expansion firstly from peer – developing countries, then gradually
accessing into developed countries, Haier’s initial destination for expansion are developed
countries, of which market requirements are very picky, rivals are very competitive and
competition is evolving fierce. With this initial idea, Haier eagers to occupy a commanding
height, then expanding into developing countries’ market condescendingly. Starting from this
guidance of challenging strategy, Haier’s products have passed all the product certifications in
the world, therefore Haier entered Germany, America, Japan successfully, as we know these
markets are the fiercest in the world, consequently, Haier won the widespread admiration and a
solid foundation for its internationalization process. As for capturing the developed markets,
Haier also implicates Uppsala model, firstly, it starts from small amount of investment or
exporting, then it gradually intensifies their operation and activities in those markets, including
FDI, establishing self-owned factory. The merit of this model is enabling Haier to have more
time to accumulate experience, market knowledge, resource, enhancing management ability,
risk-avoiding ability and tolerance facing failure. While in the international market, Haier mainly
chose localization mode by the principle of “Three in One”, which combines design,
manufacture and sales together.
Apart from Haier’s internationalization strategy, brand building strategy, diversification
strategy, networking strategy and global brand strategy, another competitive advantage of Haier
is its excellent adoption of information technology into management, while other companies
really need to draw lessons from. The evidence is its “Market Chain” management, Haier built
an innovative information network online in terms of integrating all the order information flow
with highest effectiveness inside the company, including logistics and capital flows, etc. This
platform also visualizes and reengineers all the process of business details. Haier’s employees
also can align their value orientation with the needs of users. Besides, Haier also provides an
information interactive platform for employees to communicate and share information with
fastest speed and effective solution making and collaboration across the department. Haier also
provides serious of informative platform, such as E- store platform, Haier.com, smart supply
chain platform for clients to establish all the knowing and buying process within this informative
system. Notably, Haier is one of the world premiers, who perfectly utilize the role of innovative
technology in the managing knowledge management and internationalization process.
The application of knowledge management and internationalization of Lenovo in Russia
Lenovo is another famous Chinese multinational company, who is ranked on the top of
Fortune Global 500, it is the best PC seller in Chinese market since 1996, Lenovo acquired
Business Unite of IBM PC in 2004, which tremendously increased reputation of Lenovo and
Chinese companies, it was considered as one of most important steps of its internationalization.
In the following years, Lenovo keeps applying M&A with promising companies from advanced
countries and developing countries, for instance, Lenovo applied JV with NEC in 2011, and in
the following year, Lenovo formed a cooperative alliance with American company EMC. Then
in 2013 Lenovo acquired CCE, which is a leading electronics enterprise in Brazil. As result,
Lenovo’s sales and production volume became the biggest in the world in 2013, subsequently,
Lenovo announced its acquisition affair of Motorola from Google with 3 billion dollars,
incidentally, Lenovo acquired more than 3500 intelligent employees, 2000 patents and
trademarks, along with cooperative relationship with more than world operators at the same time.
As positive results showed in the Russian market, Lenovo PC market share exceeded 11%,
ranking in the third position in the Russian market, and its mobile phone’s market share even
supplanted Apple as Russia’s second – largest smart phone vendor.
According to the
investigation with Lenovo Russian office, this achievement mainly thanks to Lenovo M&A
strategy and its strong brand reputation, which show confidence and strength to Russian clients.
Differ from most of the other companies, who gradually export products into the Russian market,
Lenovo chose to floor the Russian market with multitude volume of different models into
Russian market boldly.
In fact as a high-tech company, Lenovo has noticed the importance of knowledge
management in this information explosion era; Lenovo started its integrative knowledge
management system since 2003, and attempt to to implement it into every department inside the
organization. Along with the expansion process, Lenovo gradually noticed the obstacles of
establishing knowledge management with efficiency, while the efficiency and quick response are
two essential KPI inside the organization. But as the progressive expansion into other countries,
more and more difficulties were found due to the different culture, language, the way of thinking
and time location. So did the beginning phase of Lenovo’s expansion in Russia.
In the first phase of internationalization strategy in Russia, Lenovo is also lack of local
market knowledge, regarding to its knowledge acquisition, except establishing strong partnership
with local advantageous companies, Lenovo also regularly makes deep survey and consultancy
to understand the needs and specialties of Russian market with the help of local consulting
companies and implementation of hiring more local employees. As Mr. Bai the senior manager
of Lenovo in Russian region said：“The first time I handled Russian market, I found a huge
mismatch between front-end and back-end of our organization, because we set Russian local
employees in front-end and Chinese employees in the back – end market, although they are very
good at their own domain, but they communicate slowly due to the different language an culture,
thus we boldly established a different organizational structure and system in Russian market. We
hired more employees from local market for sales and settled a few strong functional position, in
Shanghai, we have employees specially dock with suppliers seamlessly, while in Beijing we also
have special employees to contact with external partners, such as Intel, we also spend more
investment to hire R&D researchers to support our knowledge application. Besides, which is
also very important, we use an operation management tool namely “Istanbul management tools”
to optimize our effectiveness of operation and knowledge management. This innovative business
logic aims at customizing enterprise’s modular structure, which has been implanted into every
process, which has much more segmentation than traditional competition strategy, Lenovo
would list out corresponding simulated rivals in the peer industry according to different price
segment, thus in the same market, we will face several competitors. Just because of this module
we opened our channel in Russian market and won a large enough bearing capacity of products.
Our experience in the Russian market is being transferred around the world as a classic case study now. Furthermore, in the entire organization, we established an effective informative
system to enhance the effectiveness of management, including knowledge management.”
According to description from Mr. Bai, we cleared out the core idea of informatization can be
explained by diagram as follow
The reason for Informatization
Optimizing effectiveness of management and
Enhancing competitive advantages；
Enhancing clients' satisfaction and reducing
Table 15: the core concept of Lenovo’s Informatization
The first time Lenovo established Informatization process was in 1994, while all the
Chinese companies were lack of practical theory in this domain, so the application of enterprise
information management system has just started up without matured experience that can learn,
Lenovo could only advance cautiously by itself. Facing this dilemma, Lenovo chose to establish
ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) to upgrade its system by cooperating with SAP and Deloitte.
But in the beginning, Lenovo has little knowledge about how to use this software system,
internally ERP was mainly managed by the technology department it as an IT project, externally,
Lenovo didn’t integrate outsourcing partnership perfectly. But the results were that promising.
After serious self-examination, Lenovo restarted ERP project in 1999，which authorized the main
responsibility on operation department with assistance of technology department, with the help
of this technology, The entire business process (including CRM, SCM, PDM) were perfectly
systematized, integrated and digitalized.
According to above – mentioned establishments of the informative system, Lenovo’s
knowledge acquisition, knowledge sharing and organizational structure were optimized not only
in the Russian market, but integrated in the entire framework of Lenovo around world.
In spite of independent R&D, Lenovo manage the knowledge protection by patent
applications, its acquisition affairs also allow them to capture a lot of additional patents.
After these years of good performance in Russia, Lenovo has showed its impressive
reputation and strength ability to the Russian clients and Russian governments, and the good
Guanxi with government was initially established thanks to the quick action and reliable ability
shown to the government.
An impressive successful case happened in the beginning 2012, while a large-scale
demonstration broke out in Russia, pointing out that Russian parliamentary election has corrupt
transaction. In order to show the reliability of this election to the mass, Putin proposed to install
200,000 units of surveillance cameras in every polling station in Russia to broadcast directly
online via the Internet. Including HP, Lenovo and Dell and almost all the PC giants have
received this news that behind this 200,000 surveillance cameras, around 80,000 units
monitoring computers were urgently required. This is not simple governmental purchasing issue,
it would bring a huge advertising effectiveness for the company, because everyone knows the
computers, who can be used for the parliamentary election must the first-class products. But this
is also a sort of impossible project, which needs to be done within 3 months, while the computers
need to be examined by strict inspection in terms of adapting Russian cold weather, in another
side, the flood disaster led to a shortage of hard drives production in this Global supply chain,
the more tough issues is that this business would possibly led to a diplomatic accident if
something goes wrong once the order is received, which could possibly lost the future
development in the Russian market frustrated by government. This is a very risky commercial
transaction with government, only Lenovo has managed this deal and delivered within 20 days,
the entire strong commitment has shown the effective integration of resources inside the
organization. Consequently, Lenovo proved their capability and sincerity to the Russian
government. Putin also successfully proved the transparency of election to the mass, in the
following days, Russian won the reputation and the highest market share for PC.
The application of knowledge management and internationalization of Hytera in Russia
Hytera is a new comer in the Russian market, who dominates in two-way radios and
networking system, although it is a small – medium side company, but it is the biggest mobile
radio system supplier in China, which has shown emerging advantages among international
rivals, whose main operation revenue from oversea counts 66% of the whole with 12.6% market
share ranked as the second largest global radio terminal manufacturer, after Hytera settled
subsidiary in Russia, its market share also increased at an accelerated speed. Hytera aims at
becoming a competitive high-tech MNC, by enhancing R&D capability oversea, and meeting the
Regarding to it behavioral ability of knowledge management, Hytera chose to hire more
experienced employees in the local market, half of the senior executives of Hytera are foreigners,
although cross national-culture issue still can be found in their expansion business, but enabling
more Russian local employees to engage this market to avoid some inefficiency of
communication due to the misunderstanding issue. Hytera also noticed the importance of
knowledge acquisition, but only remains in the traditional approaches to manage it, such as
establishing partnership with local factories and asking for consultancy with reliable local
companies. The current Hytera is very good at private communication network, such as TETRA,
MDR, and PDT. In the TETRA domain, Hytera acquired the core technique of TETRA thanks to
the acquisition of German company “Fjord-e-design GmbH” (FED), Hytera’s knowledge
capacity and competitive advantages were incredibly increased by “ the reputation and quality of
German quality + advantageous price”.
Innovation is Hytera’s core part of its organizational culture, but according to investigation,
their team in Russia is lack of diversified talents, most of them only have Russian language or
only technique educational background, the marketing skill hasn’t been found in their Russian
market, most of knowledge and technology spillover from China by exporting, localization has
been found in Russia.
But Hytera also tries to use high salary to attract high talents to meet the need from the
expansion market, the executive HR in the Russian office was hired from Huawei, they intend to
learn experience from the leading high-tech companies. Thus, in order to meet the whole market
potential, Hytera also tries to establish the high salary and reward and punishment system to
optimize the creative ability of the whole team. The employees are also required to have remote
online-conference with headquarter regularly, and have intensive group training through intranet
or workshop. But informative system for management hasn’t been found yet in this
Concerning about governmental involvement, Hytera’a high quality and advantageous price
won the preference and trustworthiness from Russian government, the growing goodwill and
good performance won the trust from Russian government. Hytera’s products were widely sold
and used in public security, public utilities and transportation industry, for instance, they sell to
Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations. Hytera also actively communicates with local
government to maintenance the good relationship with local government. Hytera also tried to
actively involve in high-tech form and communication with local governments, in 2013 Hytera
won an opportunity to participate in “Professional Mobile Radio Communications Forum”, as
being the key professional mobile radio supplier in the world, a lot of government and industry
users, including Russian Ministry of Defense, Russian Ministry of Interior, Ministry of
Emergency, departments of Russian railway also participated in this forum, oil & gas
participated. Additionally, although the specific figures of market share is not announced, but
according to the Internet and executives of Hytera in Russia admitted their organic growth in
Russia and the support from Russian government and Chinese government, which were
encouraged by the political trend of “The New Economic Belt”, provide them confidence to
establish factory in Russian market. This idea initially aims at enhancing the cooperative level
with Russian emergency situation ministry. As one sales-manager in Hytera Russian office said:
“Currently, although we have huge potential market in Russia, we still haven’t established
production locally in Russian market, which restricts our development in Russia. Logically, most
of local enterprises and governmental organizations are more longing to cooperate with those
foreign MNCs, whose local production level exceeded more than 50%, hence, we decided to
build factory in the soon future in Moscow. We have achieved the initial permission from
Russian government, Russian government also advises us to establish in the special economic
zones or high-tech park in Russia.”
6.4.2 The comparative analysis of application of absorptive capacity of Chinese firms
confirmed in Russia
In order to find out the absorptive capacity of Chinese firms, and how knowledge and
technology direct on their internationalization strategies, we formulized following question for
interview with senior mangers or CEO of Chinese firms in Russian subsidiaries.
The reason why we explore the role of knowledge and technology in the context of absorptive
capacity is due to the fact that the output of one enterprise’s absorptive capability can initially
enhance the enterprise’s performance, it can also accelerate knowledge transfer and the speed of
technological capability and innovation.
According to our priori study of absorptive capacity, there are two models that we can
explore from the selected Chinese companies.
Table 16: Indicators of absorptive capacity
Absorptive capacity proposition questions
Do you think your company engages in innovation intensively?
Do you have R&D center? When did they establish? How did the output reflect on your company’s
How many cross-firm patent citation and citation were made in your company’s publication?
How many percentage of revenue your company paid on R&D?
Does your company have R&D center in Russia?
Does your company cooperate with advanced university? Do you locally cooperate with Russian
How many employees of company are involving in R&D?
How many patents does your company have?
How many number of new product announced in 2016?
According to your Russian market knowledge, any factors impact on your expansion in Russia
How does your international knowledge flow into your subsidiary to direct your internationalization
What is your company’s current strategy and performance in Russia?
Some other stochastic problems
After asking above questions, we summarized comparative analysis in-depth Chinese
automotive and high-tech industries as follows.
Applications of absorptive capacity of Chinese automotive industry in Russia
Table 17: the absorptive capacity of Chinese automotive companies in Russia
Absorptive capacity of Lifan Moto
Obviously, Lifan Moto put more efforts and investment on R&D than other selected Chinese
automotive companies, it is also the only Chinese automotive company, who initially plans to
establish R&D center in Russian market, in order to develop new products for Russian clients.
Lifan has one R&D center in China, which started working since 2011; Lifan also got most
advanced equipment from developed countries. Lifan is also building R&D center in Brazil, in
terms of servicing market nearby. According to the results from national enterprise technical
evaluation center, Lifan has 7800 authorized patents, which ranks on the top compared with other
peer companies, this achievement mainly thanks to the contribution of Lifan’s R&D center, which
authorized as National Enterprise Technical Center. Lifan R&D center dominates in the VVT
technology, dual fuel technology, new energy technology and electric vehicle technology. The
company also tries to establish industry innovation - upgrading, that leads company to have more
creative motivation on innovation in terms of having more competitive advantages among peer
Comparing with other peers, its high absorptive capacity also explains a lot for Lifan’s
remarkable performance in Russian. Lifan is one of the rare impressive companies, who notice the
importance of localization and customization, once Lifan builds their self-owned factory and local
R&D center in Russia, along with the occasionally economic recovery in Russia, its future has
Absorptive capacity of The Great Wall Moto
The Great Wall Moto is a biggest Chinese SUV producer, but its efforts on R&D and patents
creativity are the lowest among all. In fact, it SUV market share in China also decreased from
13.2% to 11.7%, along with the 0 sale in Russian market. Its low absorptive capacity is initially
explaining its decreasing performance. Currently, the considerable huge amount of patents were
mainly contributed by its R&D center in China, the Great Wall MOTO’s R&D system contains
the Great Wall automotive engineering research institute, technical R&D center, automotive
powers R&D center, dedicate molds technical Co. Limited company. Additionally, the Great Wall
Moto also established R&D center in Japan, the Great Wall Moto also plans to build at least three
more R&D center oversea, in terms of build a powerful supply chain relationship and technical
skill from local market. But there isn’t news that the Great Wall Moto will establish specially
R&D center in Russia. As results of its absorptive capacity, it has more new products
announcement than patents’. But only concerning on the quantity of products, but not the core
technology innovation will not bring company more competitive advantage in the industry, when
almost every high prescient company are trying to establish an industrial transformation to an
Absorptive capacity of Geely Moto
Geely Moto is also one of the premiers in the automotive industry, its investment on R&D is
considerable high, its R&D centers expand internationally, Geely’s R&D centers and labs can be
found in China, America and Europe. The labs in China are maintaining self-independent
innovative ability, while the R&D centers in America and Europe are trying to absorb the most
advanced technological knowledge locally, and then spillover back to contribute on its own
deficiency. Its absorptive capacity is strong, which can be observed in its patents applications.
According to the report made by THOMSON REUTERS, namely “The state of innovation in the
automotive industry” 11 , Geely is the only Chinese brand that ranked 15th as being the top
automotive patent assignees (by publication from 2009 – 2013 based on numbers of individual
inventions.) The related officials of Geely specially indicated via media that this indicators didn’t
include the invention contributed by Volvo, Geely has put grant efforts on R&D for a long time
already, early in the 2005, Geely has put initial investment on its automotive research institute
with 350 million RMB, Geely hoped to hold the initiative in the intellectual property rights, in
order to prebuild the strong technical reserves for the future needs. Hence, from this angle,
competing with international rivals, Geely still has high strength and competitive advantage.
But after Geely acquired VOLVO, it achieved a lot of knowledge and technical skill to
enhance Geely’s modes indeed, Geely got part of right to use and own Volvo’s patents. This is
impressive breakthrough of Geely’s absorptive capacity. But this year, they created many new
products to meet the requirement of the market, but they haven’t put any R&D efforts in Russia.
Previewing its performance in Russia, we also need to recommend Geely to enhance their
absorptive capacity especially in Russia. Otherwise, their future in this risky market will be
Absorptive capacity of Chery
Chery’s organizational culture clearly highlighted the importance of “self-independent
innovation”. Thus Chery put 10%-15% from revenues to invest their R&D ability, with their
partly state-owned nature, they got a huge subsidies from Chinese government, especially the
current policy encourage Chinese companies to enhance their innovative ability. Logically, its
patents production should be higher than what they have right now, in another words, their efforts
on R&D is not proportional to their result. Consequently, even the company has very good
relationship and opportunities due to the good relationship between China and Russia, if the
absorptive capacity is not high, their future performance still can’t be optimized at highest level.
Absorptive capacity of JAC
At present, JAC’s performance in Russian is also very problematic. Overviewing it
absorptive capacity, it also put very few investment on R&D part, their productivity of patents is
also the lowest among all of these selected Chinese automotive company. It has 2 R&D center,
one is in China, and another is in Italy, which mainly focus on vehicles’ design patents. During the
interview with JAC, the senior manager has not shown any attention on how to enhancing their
competitive advantages by improve their knowledge management and absorptive capacity.
Although JAC found difficulties selling passenger cars in Russian, they still decided to stay at this
market without additional study on creating new conception on their vehicle and marketing
strategy to compete with rivals. According to our empirical findings, they will still face a lot of
obstacles in this dynamic market with strict regulation, if they still don’t pay any attention on their
knowledge management, absorptive capacity and active communication with local government.
The applications of absorptive capacity of Chinese automotive industry in Russia
Table 18: absorptive capacity of selected Chinese high-tech companies in Russia
Absorptive capacity of Huawei
Huawei is not only a premier in Chinese high-tech industry, but also a premier in the
international high-tech industry. According to the data of WIPO (World Intellectual Property
Organization) confirmed in 201512, 3898 patents were applied by Huawei, which ranked on the
top No.1 of worldwide patents applicants for 2 years continuously. No matter tracking from the
model of Cohen and Levinthal (1990) or the developed model of Zahral and George, the
absorptive capacity of Huawei is highest among all, their investment on R&D accounts for
15.1%, which exceeds the rest of selected high-tech companies from China. 45% of their
employees are working technical engineers to dominate at R&D part. It has 16 R&D centers
around the world, including the one in Russia. Additionally, it has 36 Joint venture innovation
centers in the world. It cooperates with more than 500 partnerships dominating in clouding
computing. Huawei also has a innovation research program, namely HIRP, which includes more
than 100 academic institutions, and thousands of scholars Huawei also has many cross-firm
patents; even APPLE also buys their patents. Huawei also was the biggest patents applicant in
China; its biggest rival is ZTE in absorptive capacity domain. But Huawei is the only one, which
paid attention on cooperating with Russian local university, and settling self-owned R&D center
in Russia. In 2015, its new products include smartphone, tablet and wearable, which focus on
“ premium” to meet the requirement of Mid-to-High End market.
To sum up, Huawei’s high competitive advantage was perfectly optimized by combination
of virtuous governmental involvements, its highlighted knowledge management and absorptive
capacity. Consequently, Huawei became a leading information and communication solution
provider; its business became more diverse, including mobile, IP, optical network,
telecommunication value-added services and terminal, etc.
Absorptive capacity of ZTE
As we mentioned before, in the patents application domain, ZTE is the biggest rival to the
pioneer of the high-tech industry - Huawei, ZTE’s oversea R&D centers was even established
earlier than Huawei. ZTE’s emerging R&D ability and fruitful solutions enable ZTE have more
strengths competing with its strong rivals in the high-tech industry. ZTE also put around 10%
revenue on investing R&D, 36% employees are sophisticated technical engineer. In China it
settle 8 R&D centers and one ZTE institution for reserving and training intelligent technical
staffs. In the oversea, ZTE also signed a strategic agreement with American CPES (Centre for
Power Electronics System), this American NSF-funded engineering research center is very
meaningful for ZTE, it has allied with 5 promising American universities and more than 100
companies, in which terms ZTE and CPES would share the most advanced information and
technique. Besides, ZTE built 20 R&D centers overseas, including in China, America, France,
Sweden, India, etc. Its PCT patents application amount was proudly ranked on the top 3 in the
world. ZTE intends to create value for clients persistently by enhancing their technical
innovation. ZTE was even granted “the best mobile technology breakthrough award and
outstanding overall mobile technology” by the Mobile World Congress thanks to its Pre5G
Massive MIMO technology13. But ZTE’s performance still cannot compare with Huawei, as for
differences, Huawei established Huawei R&D center in Russian, combing the cooperation with
Russian universities, but ZTE only has a small – scale training center in Russia, which means the
local knowledge in Russia hasn’t been optimized like Huawei does.
In addition, ZTE’s partial state - owned nature provides itself numerous support on its
developing absorptive capacity and international governmental relationships.
Absorptive capacity of Haier
Confirmed by famous consulting company, Haier was listed on the top 50 of “ The most
innovative enterprise in the world”. Its absorptive capacity can be seen initially in its new
products production. Besides, differ from Huawei and ZTE, except spending a huge investment
on R&D, they also chose JV and M&A to acquire advanced knowledge and technology from
other companies directly. In 2016 Haier acquired the second biggest while appliance enterprise –
GE, who has R&D group with more than 600 skillful experts and thousands patents. In 2012
Haier established acquisition of Fisher & Paykel from New Zealand, whose R&D center in New
Zealand is considered as one of the five Elite R&D center in the world. Also in 2012, Haier
acquired Sanyo Electric from Japan, and roll out a new high-end brand in Japan, namely AQUA,
in the same time Haier built the R&D center in Japan, thus, Haier perfectly boosted it
internationalization process by combining its reliable productive and advanced technological
knowledge from peer industry from advanced countries. In addition, one of Haier’s sub-brand
－ Tongshuai also has R&D team in American, aiming at developing contracted household
appliances. Its high-end home appliance brand – Casarte even has 14 design centers and 28
collaborative R&D centers (for instance, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, etc), besides, it
organized a powerful designer team with more than 300 intelligent designers from 12 countries,
including Italy, British, Germany, France, America, Japan, Holland, China and etc.
In sum, Haier has 10 R&D centers oversea, its creative ability of new products is very high,
Haier invested 5 billions RMB on building its own Academia sinica with the most advanced
equipment, the establishment of this self – owned Academia sinica symbolized that Haier
acquired high profile international science & technology recourse integration ability, R&D
ability and technological recombination ability; Haier also has 10 main R&D centers and 48
R&D institutions, 11 National Laboratories, 15 information center, 18 design centers oversea. It
is also going to build R&D in Russian market. Every year, Haier can product hundreds new
products. It absorptive capacity is quite high. Along with its internationalization strategy, which
chose to inter developed countries first, their international R&D strategy also chose to settle in
developed countries first, by this means, M&A provides the shortest way to acquire advanced
knowledge and technology in terms of complementing its own shortages and building the strong
brand mark in the local market and the international market. Haier also announced the plan that
they are going to build self-owned R&D center in Russian to further step of localization in
Consequently, Haier is a very good example who followed the “ One Road, One Belt”
strategic policy in terms of optimizing their business oversea, established informative system to
highly optimized their knowledge management and put high efforts and investment on R&D to
enhance their absorptive capacity, by these means, its performance is still very promising in
Russian market during the tough economic crisis.
Absorptive capacity of Lenovo
Lenovo also put a lot of money on R&D, JV and M&A to enhance their absorptive capacity,
along with its acquisition affair of IMB in 2004, Lenovo also got 2321 patents from IMG
according to the assignment. Lenovo established JV issue with NEC in Japan to expand local
market, Lenovo also acquired portfolio thousands of patents from NEC to improve its mobile
technology. In 2014 he big deal purchasing Motorola from Google also allows Lenovo to get
more than 3500 intelligent employees, 2000 patents and trademarks, along with cooperative
relationship with world-famous operators at the same time. As results, Lenovo announced 5 new
smartphone products in 2015, its sales volumes won the 8% market share and the title of the
most popular Chinese smartphone brands in Russian market.
Its R&D center team intends to maintain the product’s quality, durability and reliability to
meet customers’ expectation and experience. Lenovo has its own Corporate Research &
Development institution in China to remain its strong innovation and research productivity. Its
main R&D centers and labs locate in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hongkong and the United
Stated, North Carolina. Another high-tech company “Intel” also assigned a cooperative
agreement with Lenovo to build a Intel research center in Beijing, this agreement was built based
on standard industry cooperation, in terms of developing new technologies together, besides, this
agreements also includes promoting IT education among Chinese colleges and university by
building on-line IT school to develop future R&D potential in Chinese higher education
institution. Nowadays, Lenovo’s organic growth oversea shows its success of its synergies to
enhance their absorptive capacity, which lead to its improvement of competitive advantages.
Lenovo’s increasing market share also provides us a degree of visibility regarding to its strong
competitive advantages, which was initially established by its healthy knowledge management,
emerging absorptive capacity with smart portfolio of JV and M&A, also along with its good well
shown to local government.
Absorptive capacity of Hytera
Hytera’s huge investment applied on R&D shows its wild ambition to expand its business
around the world, aiming at guaranteeing advanced technologies and trustworthiness of its
products. Hytera has became a competent leader in digital radio technology domain, but
compared with others of our selected companies, its absorptive capacity still need to improve in
order to enhance its comparative advantages in the fierce business environment. Hytera has 4
research centers in China, and 1 R&D centers in Germany, which cover a platform to maintain
its technology research, patents development and product’s design. Hytera also establish
intensive collaboration with domestic and international universities. In 2011, Hytera and 12 more
Chinese companies, including ZTE, Tencent, BYD, Shenzhen virtual university park, etc,
became the first “new technology and new industry cadres training base”. Besides, acquisition of
Fjord - e - design and Rohde & Schwarz accelerated Hytera’s innovation ability and competitive
competence in TETRE domain. Although Hytera’s internationalization process in Russia still in
a exploration stage, but according to our observation, in 2015 Hytera increased more investment
from revenue on R&D by 26%, which as Chinese leading high-tech company Huawei did, but
the output of authorized patents is 10 times lesser than Huawei. Competing with other selected
Chinese high-tech companies, its absorptive capacity is relatively low, but we still can see the
emergence of its R&D capacity in its efforts. In 2015, Hytera won the title namely “the most
continuous innovative productivity Chinese public company”. Chinese government also gives
high concerns on Hytera, Chinese premier also visited and expressed appreciation in Hytera’s
According to our empirical findings, we found the involvement of knowledge and
technology is ubiquitous in the core accelerator for enhancing firm’s innovation ability and
competitive advantages. We keep use the scientific indicators of knowledge management and
absorptive capacity to exam all the role of knowledge and technology in Chinese firms, who are
expanding their internationalization process in Russia. In order to ascertain our research question,
we systematize our conclusion as following sectors.
7.1 In - depth analysis in Chinese automotive industry
As above overview figure showed, Chinese automotive companies, who are expanding
business in Russian, highly noticed the importance of customization for Russian clients. Due to
the special climate (long duration of winter) and big feature of Russian physique, Chinese auto
companies found that the big vehicle, such as SUV, which has bigger size, wild design and
strong engine to meet the cold, long winter, has higher preference of Russian clients.
Director of the Russian car market statistics and analysis center - Sergei Likov said that the
usage of Chinese car is relatively high, compared with the Russian cars，the majority of the
Russian people pay more attention to vehicles’ driving force.
The most popular vehicle mode in Russia is SUV. It is notable that among all the Chinese
auto companies, only Lifan specially has R&D center especially for Russian customization, in
result, its sales performance is also better than others.
Due to the changeable regulation and taxation requirement, Russian market requires
business players pay high attention in knowledge acquisition. For instance, exporting a complete
vehicle will cost more double tax than exporting assembles, so almost all the Chinese auto
companies chose CKD (complete knocked-down), firstly, exporting assembles into Russia, then
choosing one reliable local factory to package, in the end, the Chinese car will be sold with the
cooperative local dealer.
According to our empirical findings, Chinese automotive industry is trying to show its
emergence to international market, but its innovation and technology still hardly can compare
with some advanced foreigner companies, some of Chinese automotive companies tried to
acquire advanced knowledge and technology by M&A or JV, but still lack of independent
innovation ability. Besides, the whole Chinese automotive industry is facing the tough
protectionism of Russian government especially with the downturn in the Russian economy due
to economic sanction. Besides, since Chinese automotive products have equivalent quality but
inexpensive price, which are regarded as threatens by Russian automotive industry, the
subsequent discrimination of Russian policy aims at Chinese automotive companies also put
Chinese automotive companies into a more difficult situation. Russian government didn’t show
any preferential policy, while its business market was possibly threatened, even under prospect
cooperative partnership atmosphere, under this circumstance, especially in such financial crisis
time, there is no opportunistic approaches to enable companies to survive, but only to enhance
their absorptive capacity.
Among these selected companies, Lifan has the better performance due to its application of
knowledge management and absorptive capacity; the failure case of the Great Wall drawback
from Russian market during economic sanction explore its weakness of overcoming
cross-national culture and low investment in R&D; Geely’s competence in Russia mainly thanks
to its wise action in their internationalization strategy, its M&A affairs also enables Geely to
have more competence in knowledge management and absorptive capacity, competing with
other rivals in the same industry; The case of Chery shows that its partly state –owned nature
provides it more opportunities to have considerable preference cooperating with allied countries,
Chery also put a huge revenue on R&D, Chinese government also gave it a lot of subsidies to
enhance independent ability of research and development, but there is no special commitment
confirmed on its knowledge management. JAC is the only selected company, who didn’t pay any
attention on enhancing their knowledge management, it also put the lowest investment on
improving it R&D ability, although it also enjoyed a little subsidies from Chinese government
thanks to its partly state owned.
7.2 In-depth analysis in Chinese high-tech industry
In our study, our empirical evidence in Chinese high-tech industry shows us how important
KM, AC and governmental involvement are. Every selected Chinese high-tech company show us
their advantages in knowledge management and absorptive capacity, combining their wise
internationalization strategy, which was benefitted more or less from governmental policy or
involvement. Differs from Chinese automotive industry, Chinese high-tech industry has not
faced obvious discrimination or protectionism from Russian government. On the contrary,
Chinese high-tech industry is enjoying the preferential policy confirmed by Sino-Russian
cooperative partnership. According to our empirical findings, Chinese high-tech industry shows
strong competent in Russian, that even Russian high-tech industry is willing to cooperate or ally
with Chinese high-tech industry, in terms of acquiring more advanced knowledge and
technology from Chinese high-tech industry, which shows again the importance of absorptive
capacity, of which role dominates in consolidating their position in a high-risk and unpredictable
market. Besides, the goodwill and emerging internationalization performance show the
confidence to their partnership and the government. Except enjoying the support from
government on their R&D ability, and applying JV or M&A to acquire advanced knowledge and
technology, all the selected Chinese high-tech companies in our study have put a huge money on
enhancing their independent R&D. It is also worthy pointing out the outstanding performance of
knowledge management of some companies by establishing informative system.
At present, Huawei has dominates in broadband, terminal equipment, high-tech solution and
mobile phones in Russian market. Among these selected high-tech companies, Huawei is a early
comer in emerging industry in Russia, who has the longest experience in Russian market
comparing with its peer Chinese high-tech rivals. At the first beginning, none of Russian
operators or dealer would like to cooperate with Huawei, but Huawei’s active communication
and hard work with local government and potential partnership paid off. Huawei successfully
established long-term partnership in Russia, and won the trustworthiness from local government.
Besides Huawei’s organizational culture provides itself strong creativity of innovation by
motivation scheme and employee stock system. Huawei also followed the UPPSALA model,
Huawei chose geographically close country - Russia as their first expansion place for
internationalization, and intensifies their business activities step by step with confirmation of
organic growth in local market. Huawei’s CEO also insists to establish Huawei’s
internationalization step based on Chinese diplomatic path, of which results show the reliability
and sustainability. Huawei also is the only selected Chinese company, who establish R&D center
and Huawei institution in Russia, cooperating with local promising technical university, which
shows higher absorptive capacity than most of other selected high-tech companies.
In the case of ZTE, we see the strong absorptive capacity allows ZTE booming its business
market in Russia, although its peer rival – Huawei has already occupied majority Russian market
of broadband and terminal, ZTE chose to diversify it partnership in other innovative industry,
although its executive force is considerable lower than Huawei due to its partly state – owned
constituent, but its human-based management and motivation scheme by case optimize its
creativity ability in the knowledge management domain. Also governmental involvement also
showed positive influence on their business in Russia.
In our study, Haier is a perfect example, which optimizes knowledge management by
informative system. Its famous HGVS enables itself to integrate all the information and resource
from the entire departments and districts around the world, it also optimizes its interoperability
and efficiency of their business operation at highest level inside the organization. Externally,
Haier also has an international HOPE open platform for peer companies and itself to
communicate and share information and advanced knowledge via this online platform. Differs
from other selected high-tech companies, Haier has its sophisticated self-created OEC
management for enhancing efficiency of every individual inside the organization. We could
confirm that Haier is one of premier, who saw the trend using informative system to optimize its
knowledge management. In the same time, its numinous JV and M&A application enable Haier
having a quick acquisition of advanced knowledge and technology from the international market
and strong competitive advantages. The positive governmental involvement is also found in its
commitments in Russian market.
The Lenovo’s study shows us again the fast acquisition of knowledge and technology
through JV and M&A is an impressive way to enhance its absorptive capacity; Haier’s goodwill
and fast, reliable performance achieved the preference from the government. Additionally, its
huge patent applications and new products announcement also showed its strong absorptive
capacity. Consequently, thanks to its governmental involvement in internationalization strategy,
strong absorptive capacity and considerable good performance in their knowledge management,
it won the highest PC market share in Russia and highest market share of smartphone compared
with its peer Chinese high-tech companies.
The empirical findings in Hytera provides its success in Russia mainly growth on its strong
efforts on enhancing its absorptive capacity. But its future performance still remains to be seen.
7.3 Comparative analysis of the role of knowledge and technology in internationalization
between Chinese automotive industry and high-tech industry in the context of KM & AC
No matter whether talking about enhancing absorptive capacity, knowledge management or
even establishment of good Guanxi with local government, all of these have the same goal,
which are assimilating and understating the knowledge of the local market, and acquiring the
most advanced technology in terms of enhancing their competitive advantages in the local
market. We can clearly overview how knowledge and technology direct their international
strategy and performance in Russian market.
According to our empirical findings from our interview, we found that both Chinese auto
companies and Chinese high-tech companies notice the importance of leveraging knowledge and
technology in enhancing their competitive advantages, but they still have different orientations.
We conduct a comparative analysis about their application based on their knowledge and
technology improvement within these two industries as follow:
Chinese auto company
Flexible supply chain;
Advanced strategy theory knowledge flows from
Good quality of engine;
empirical experience of parent company and western
Design new type of SUV for Russian clients;
Brand image building;
Trying to conduct good Guanxi with local
New energy auto product;
Immature technology skill compare with
Failure case in KM
Slow knowledge flow
Awareness and efforts on enhancing quality
those from advanced countries
No sophisticated technical platform for
Chinese High-tech company
Highly innovation oriented;
Excellent integrative information technology
High efforts paid on R&D;
Considerable technical infrastructure;
Increasing and creative organizational culture and
Strong productivity of patent;
High efforts in R&D
Attractive warfare motivation scheme to stimulate
Emerging absorptive capacity directs to
effective individual performance and knowledge
higher technological capability)-Higher
quality - Higher competitiveness – Brand
KM still haven’t been handled and promoted maturely
Table 19: the application strategies and actions of the selected Chinese firms directed by
knowledge and technology
Comparative analysis between Chinese automotive industry and Chinese high-tech industry
$ Knowledge management
The behavioral ability of selected Chinese high-tech companies is higher than Chinese
automotive companies, the evidence can be found as follow:
Chinese high-tech companies have stronger alliance with local industry to acquire
knowledge and consultancy from local market. Thus knowledge acquisition ability of Chinese
high-tech companies is higher than that of Chinese automotive companies;
Chinese high-tech companies shows more competent to apply M&A in international market
and Russian market in terms of acquiring local advanced technology and knowledge, that
companies are lack of;
In trend of using informative system and online platform to accelerate the integration of
resource and to share the knowledge at first time was found in Chinese high-tech companies,
while Chinese automotive companies are still using the traditional technical approaches to share
the knowledge, which are still operated by human. Consequently, the knowledge sharing speed
of Chinese high-tech companies is faster. And the utilization of technology was optimized in
knowledge sharing in Chinese high-tech industry.
Furthermore, the knowledge application and knowledge protection of Chinese high-tech
companies are much higher than those of Chinese automotive companies, of which evidences
can be found in amount of patents application and new products announcements of every
Regarding to organizational culture, almost all of these companies’ organizational culture
refer to innovation, which stimulates their creative ability and innovative motivation.
A more diverse and higher educational background of talents are found in the selected
Chinese high-tech companies, while the educational background of employees from Chinese
automotive industry, especially those, who works in Russian market, are lack of diversification
in their teamwork.
Thanks to attractiveness of higher salary and motivation learning scheme established by
Chines high-tech companies, the employees in Chinese high-tech companies have much more
motivation and willing to learn, work and cooperate with their employees. In this process, the
problematic issue caused by cross-national culture is found lesser in Chinese high-tech
companies. The foreign employees of Chinese high-tech companies intend to adapt to Chinese
The absorptive capacity of all the Chinese is gradually increasing in these years, but
compared with other impressive brand marks, Chinese companies are still urgently required to
enhance their absorptive capacity.
In the Chinese high-tech industry, more JV and M&A applications were confirmed in
Russian, which were considered as one of the fastest approaches to acquire local knowledge and
advanced technology externally, in terms of enhancing the absorptive capacity.
The Chinese high-tech companies put more investment on R&D, as result, the amount of
new products and patents applications were confirmed very high.
In the Chinese automotive industry, except Lifan has considerable higher absorptive
capacity than other peer companies, as result, its fiscal performance is the best among all peer
Chinese rivals, but its sales value is declining along with the downfall of Russian overall
economy, while all the high-tech industry’s market share is increasing impressively in the same
high-risk market. This evidence proves that only having absorptive capacity is not enough,
combining with high informative knowledge management and positive governmental
involvements in Chinese automotive industry are absent. Besides, in general, the absorptive
capacity of Chinese automotive industry is still lower than that of Chinese high-tech industry.
The overall investment in R&D of Chinese automotive companies still not very high.
Besides, with the partial state – owned nature, JAC and Chery have gotten huge subsidies from
Chinese government, but unfortunately, their achievement of patents is not in direct proportion
with its investment on R&D. Consequently, if the company is lack of absorptive capacity, the
positive effect of governmental involvement won’t be obvious.
According to our investigation, all the selected companies confirmed Uppsala model to roll
out their internationalization process in Russia. Following four sequential stages of
internationalization process, Chinese companies initially start from export activities, and then
gradually increase their commitment in foreign market based on their tolerance to the highest
risk. As result, the applications of Uppsala model between two industries are different. Firstly,
Uppsala model requires that the decision of expansion should be regarded by its market
knowledge acquisition. As more conflicts and inefficiency were found in Chinese automotive
industry due to cross national culture issues, which means the Chinese automotive industry still
haven’t adapt to the local culture; the failure case of the Great Wall Moto, who started to
established self-owned factory but faced zero sales and productivity currently due to its failure
communication with its local dealership, shows the mismatch between its market knowledge and
market commitment. The case of Lifan shows a good example of risk – avoid ability for the
peer-rival, that increases interactions with market environment to reduce considerable
uncertainties by investing its revenue earned by depreciating rubles on other investment portfolio
and factory establishment, in terms of reducing unpredictable uncertainties in the Russian
The Chinese high-tech companies initially chose another conservative decision of Uppsala
model, which is intensifying its operation scales in Russian market with abundant resource and
advanced technology, when they ensure the maximum tolerable market risk can be handled
through their flexible commitment.
Regarding to entry model, differs from others, Haier chose advanced countries as their first
expansion destination, along with JV and M&A application to settle their brand mark in the local
market, then gradually moves into developing countries (Russia). This “ from hard to easy”
mode required Haier to put more efforts and money in the beginning, but it was much easier to
capture Russian market, when Haier successfully gained advanced knowledge & technology and
built reputation in the developed countries. Besides, its internationalization process is established
along with its R&D center establishment in the local market.
The rest of Chinese high-tech companies and Chinese automotive companies’ entry model
initially chose geographical or economical closely market, mostly firstly from developing
countries then gradually expand into developed countries, thus Russia is mostly their first
choices among developing countries. Meanwhile, as one of the first expansion countries, Russian
market is much more unpredictable and problematic due to its geopolitical problem, which
requires companies spend more time and efforts to acquire market knowledge in Russia.
Government supports has been directed at Chinese industry, but impact is not significant,
only significant for stated-owned companies. Private firms are struggling with high competition
and protectionism in Russia.
The Chinese high-tech industry companies enjoy more positive governmental involvement
in Russia, while Chinese automotive companies, whose knowledge management and absorptive
capacity were absent. Enjoy governmental involvement less.
The Chinese automotive industry faces protectionism, while Chinese high-tech industry
nearly doesn’t face, this mainly because Chinese automotive industry was regarded as threatens
due to its mostly equal or higher quality and lower price compared with Russian’s, while
Chinese high-tech industry was considered as good alliance and partnership due to its reliable
goodwill and more advanced knowledge and technology that Russian peer industry is willing to
7.4 The final conclusion based on empirical finding
The applica*on of absorp*ve capacity
Low governmental involvement
High governmental involvement
The applica*on level of Knowledge management
Table 20: the comparative analyses of Chinese firms’ internationalization performance
influenced by KM & AC (In Russian market, 2015)
In order to put forward a more understandable conclusion based on big scale empirical
finding, we visualized the internationalization performance of Chines auto and high-tech
companies directed by the role of knowledge and technology in the context of knowledge and
absorptive capacity, of which applications were initially collected in Russian market.
As the above matrix shows, we have following conclusions:
1) The Chinese high-tech companies have much more competitive advantages and better performance
than the Chinese automotive companies in Russian, because Chinese high-tech companies have much
better KM&AC applications.
2) KM of Chinese high-tech companies is better than Chinese automotive companies, because the
utilization of innovative technology firms was found in Chinese high-tech firms, which highly
accelerates the efficiency of KM. This mainly thanks to the innovative incentive nature of high-tech
3) The company, who has more positive governmental involvements in their business, has a better
internationalization performance in Russian than those, who doesn’t have.
4) Absorptive capacity, knowledge management, positive governmental involvement and the right
internationalization strategy in Russian are indispensable for enhancing the company’s organic
growth and performance.
7.5 Key findings
The cross culture problem slowed knowledge management, besides, the different mindsets
of two countries results in longer the time of transferring knowledge.
The Chinese marketing concepts are much more diversified and mature than Russia, but some
are not suit for Russian because of different culture and different thinking model.
The governmental involvement was found in Chinese enterprises’ internationalization
application in Russian market, but the positive effects of governmental involvement would be
invalid in its competitive advantage, if company’s absorptive capacity and knowledge
management were absent or very weak.
Mismatch between technology & knowledge and Chinese companies’ internationalization
strategy commitments in Russia.
The informative system confirmed in Chinese high-tech company, which could enhance
knowledge management and interoperability in its internationalization business.
The complexity of the auto industry need for long-term R&D Investment make this kind of
leapfrogging more difficult than in many other sectors
Both industries noticed the importance of Customization for Russian consumers, and
customization products increase their economic growth of companies.
Localization will accelerate the process of transferring knowledge and technology.
Long-term competitiveness necessitates a strategy of long term R&D, but only high-tech
Chinese companies conduct R&D in Russia and cooperation with universities locally.
Facing the decreasing of Russian economy, Chinese companies are urgently required to
indicate additional action to increase it anti – risk ability.
8. Theoretical implication
Following the logical track of our priori literature review, we confirmed the importance of
knowledge management, absorptive capacity, positive governmental involvement and proper
application of Uppsala model for enhancing company’s competitive advantages in the
international market. But according to our empirical findings from our selected Chinese
companies, although every of them are doing very well at least one domain of four capabilities
mentioned above, their internationalization performances differed from each other. Only the one,
whose capability combines all of these four sectors, will survive and stand out from the crowd in
the Russian market. In fact, in the financial crisis time, the outcomes of enterprise from
developing countries (such as China) in another developing countries (such as Russia) especially
point out the drawback that only dominating at one of abilities from KM, AC, GI or establishing
Uppsala model is totally not enough for companies from developing countries to face the
challenges, only the combination of these four factor could perfectly integrate company’s
competitive advantages at highest level.
Consequently, we conduct an integrative model for optimizing knowledge and technology
for internationalization process (adapt to Chinese MNC, who are doing business in Russia)
Table 21: Integrative ontological model of four capabilities for MNCs doing business in
Based on prior theoretical framework, the function of knowledge is reflected in
internationalization strategy, which requires adoption of knowledge management with optimized
adoption of information technology in the global environment, in another side, absorptive
capacity highlighted the importance of technological innovation, which is embedded in
competitive competence (Zhou and Wu 2010; Fernhaber and Patel 2012). Additionally, for doing
business in a high-risk country, the governmental role is also an important part for companies
from developing countries as market knowledge. The stable and strategic relationship between
two countries will promote the cooperation and deals. Especially for the companies from the
developing countries, when they probably have no enough capability to compare with rivals, but
the preferential policy conducted by governmental involvement will help them to survive in
another evolving fierce business environment. Thus, combining Uppsala model, knowledge
management, absorptive capacity and stimulation of governmental transaction and commitment
will formulate a perfect virtuous circle to improve companies’ competitive advantage. This is
also the fundamental logic of our study to exam the function of knowledge and technology, of
which contribution fills the theoretical gap in how to enhancing competitive advantages of
enterprise from developing countries in internationalization process established in another
developing high-risk country. According our findings, every elements of this framework is
indispensable to each other in terms of enhancing competitive advantages at most optimized
9. Managerial implication
Along with our theoretical implication of enhancing competitive advantages in Russia, we
also conduct some convertible recommendations for Chinese automotive industry and high-tech
industry to establish internationalization process in Russian market.
Table 22: An alternative business model for Chinese automotive companies
As we mentioned before, Chinese automotive companies face strict regulation and high
tariff of export duty in Russia, which makes exporting finished vehicles not profitable at all.
Establishing wholly - owed subsidiary is a stable model for a very long-term strategy, but it
requires strong knowledge management, as its business scale grows oversea, besides, Chinese
automotive companies are still regarded as threats to Russian automotive industry due to slightly
higher quality of Chinese vehicle.
JV and M&A of local factory or local companies are one of the most popular models for
foreign automotive companies, which was also theoretically proved by Ahuja (2000) that
company’s resource constraints can be compensated by firm’s alliance partner. But its risk is
particular high, besides the dynamic regulation of Russian government aiming at controlling its
rivals, Russian local factory’s equipment and infrastructure are mostly very old, the Russian
automotive relevant companies are lack of advanced technology that Chinese automotive
company can learn or exchange. Furthermore, due to different way of thinking and culture, a lot
of failures communication with Russian, which can lead to deathblow of international business
CKD (Completed knocked down) is the most favorable and flexible model, which is
established by most of Chinese automotive companies, but it could be only suitable for short
time, since the Russian regulation is very changeable, once the tariff for CKD is increased again,
this model will lost the preference totally.
Establishing factory is the most sustainable model for a long – term strategy, which would
be confirmed in a mature phase of internationalization, when the potential market is found. There
are two ways to establish factory, in terms of selling vehicles into Russia. One is establishing in
commonwealth of Independent State next to Russian, then assembling vehicles in these countries
and selling them to Russia with zero tax and tariff according to the preferential policy between
CIS. This model has already tried by Geely and Chery, which were condemned by Russian
government that this could highly possible threaten the Russian automotive industry. Thus, the
feasibility of this model is still unpredictable due to Russian changeable regulation. Another one
is establishing factory in Russia, choosing Open Economic Zone, in terms of enjoying basic
preferential policy, additionally, this requires company to establish good Guanxi with local
government, in order to maintain sustainability of long-term benefit with preferential policy.
Once this model is successfully established, automotive company’s economic scale will reduce a
lot of cost and its productivity will be optimized at a very high level.
Table 23: Alternative strategies for Chinese high-tech companies
(Optional for Chinese automotive companies)
From the case of the Chinese high-tech industry, we see the emergence of Chinese MNCs
around the world, most of the Chinese high-tech companies notice the importance of quality of
products in the internationalization process, thus they initially launched brand strategy to won
the client’s satisfaction and requirement. Subsequently, company will establish diversification
strategy to meet the requirement of markets. Next, when company has enough fiscal and
managerial ability, and the home market is statured, company will choose internationalization
strategy to expand their business. While focusing deep rooted in foreign countries, company
need to decide whether chose globalization strategy or localization strategy, it depends on the
requirement of local market, but no matter which strategy company would choose, its business
scale has already expanded huge enough, the resource, information, employees, knowledge and
technology will be very hard integrated, sometimes, the cross national culture and nature of
company’s organizational culture will slow down the efficiency of management, as result, the
company will lose the competitive advantages oversea. Informative system of Haier shows us a
good example to enhance knowledge management in an international environment.
Consequently, not only for high-tech industry, automotive industry and other industry should
follow this inevitable trend to confirm a Network Informative strategy, in order to digitalize all
the information and manage all the process on a informative system, this could provide high
interoperability and efficiency of management, in terms of enhancing company’s operation and
Our study is conducted by qualitative methods, of which nature would lead to a doubt
regarding to its generalizability. Ten Chinese companies picked from automotive and high-tech
industries are perfectly suitable for our research design, since these companies were found
involved in absorptive capacity and knowledge management during their internationalization
process, which are doing business in Russia. But in the future, more Chinese emerging
companies will continually enter in Russia, some analyzed companies will successfully upgrade,
the future of Russia will also unpredictably contain some other crucial factors, the concerns of
knowledge and technology in the international environment would be impacted by other factors.
For the future study, it is highly recommended to observe the market trend of Russia, keep
analyzing in companies from these two industries, but also combining additional analyses with a
larger sample size from additional sectors. At present, there are not enough Chinese MNCs
found in Russia, who can be involved in our research design, but as the time goes by, more and
more Chinese MNCs would expand into Russia, it is worthy to make a quantitative analysis to
guarantee a higher trustworthiness of our results.
Appendix1.The successful case of Huawei in Russia
The best combination of knowledge management, absorptive capacity and good Guanxi with
local government to have a competitive advantage in Chinese high-tech industry
Huawei’s development history in Russia
1997 – First office agency established in Moscow; Establishment of Joint Venture Beto – Huawei
2000 - Technical Support Center established in Ufa.
2001 - Established Huawei educational center in Moscow with Moscow State University of
communication and information technology.
2002 - Establishment of R&D center in Moscow.
2003 - Set up cooperation with three biggest Russian operators – MTS, VimpelCom and Megafon.
2005 - The amount of Russian employees exceeds more than 500; Office agency in Yekaterinburg
2007 - Roll out deployment of 3G equipment in Russian market.
2010 - Huawei expands relevant projects on enterprises targeted customers; Established one
technical support center in Novosibirsk.
2011 - Start selling terminal solution of Huawei.
2012 - launched LTE-Advance communication network for Russian Yota Network.
2014 – Expanding LTE-A business communication network for Megafon. Signed strategic
agreement with Rostelecom, Russian Railway, Sberbank and VTB; Huawei and MegaFon
announced first 5G testbed project with the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Center (Including
negotiation for collaboration to build trial 5G networks in the run up to the FIFA World Cup
2018);1415 Huawei Floor Distribution Boxes (FDBs) helped Rostelecom’s Fast Connect Service
(FTTH);16 More than 10 chain retail stores across Russia; Huawei’s HD videoconferencing solution
help Ryazan Oblast state government improve governance process.
2015 – Russian’s largest cellco by subscribers Mobile TeleSystems company MTS has signed Long
Term Evolution (LTE) network equipment supply contracts with Huawei; Huawei’s data center
solution help Central Bank of Russia rollout NAPC, which greatly contributes to the financial
stability and viability of Russian national economy during the economic sanction; 18 Huawei
deployed Agile Stadium Solution in Russia’s Spartak Stadium.19Sponsorship for the Information
Security Russia, 2015.20
2016 - Sponsor for the VII International Conference “ Transport Networks Russia 2016 –
Development of telecommunication transport networks in Russia and the CIS.21
14 Huawei official website/ Coperate/ Huawei and MegaFon Announce 5G Network plans for Russia
15 ComputerWeely.com/ Huawei invests £5m in University of Surrey 5G/
16 Huawei official website/ Home/Press Center/ News/Huawei FDB Helps Rostelecom’s FTTH Deployment/
17 Huawei official website / Quick Links/ Communication & collaboration : HD video conferencing for Russia regional
18 Huawei official website/ Quick Links/ Huawei Steps In to keep Russian Economy Stable/
19 Huawei official website/ Home/ Huawei News Room/ Huawei Successfully Deploys Agile Stadium Solution in Russi’s
Spartak Stadium/ http://e.huawei.com/en/news/global/2015/201502131126
20 Huawei official website/ About company/ Press Releases/
21 Huawei official website/ About company/ Huawei Unveiled its vision for the development of the main transport
Appendix2.The case of the best utilization of technology used in Haier’s Internationalization
From “Informatization Strategy” to “Informative Company”
Haier is one of the pioneers, who have already applied five international development
stages, which are Brand Strategy, diversification strategy, internationalization strategy,
globalization strategy and Informative network strategy.
When the third Industrial Revolution comes, Haier is the well-deserved premier among
Chinese Multinational Companies, who initially established transformation from a Big-scale
enterprise to a platform enterprise.
Haier applied a principal concept namely “3 without” for establishing an Informative
network strategy: Interaction and communication among companies without boundary (Haier
Open Enterprise Network), Informative management without human-manned (Intelligent
network) and Scale - free Supply Chain without limitation and insufficiency (Transform center).
By these applications, Haier established Shared-Information business ecosystem between clients,
suppliers, partners and shareholders.
The informatization development is based on requirement of enterprise’s innovation
strategy: transformation from enterprise – oriented “ Informatization strategy” to customers –
oriented informative enterprise”. Haier’s informatization process experienced following stages:
The early construction stage (1995-1998):
In 1995, Haier put forward pioneering international serve system for clients. Internally, Haier
applied application and construction of an internal Office Automation (OA), computerization
and basic network system, in terms of enhancing managerial efficiency of internal organization
and the speed of response to user’s requirements.
Enterprise Basic Managerial Informatization stage (1998-2006):
Haier started its internationalization strategy in 1998, with reengineering its own business
process linked by its market chain. Haier established a pioneering on-line platform to integrate
its SCM, logistics, cash flow settlement management and customer relationship.
informative platform, Haier has successfully integrated its global users’ information, global
supply chain recourse, centralized its order information, as result, Haier realized synchronized
virtuous operation of logistics and cash flow, gradually realized zero inventory, zero
unoccupied working capital and zero distance with targeted customers.
Transformation stage: To be an advanced informative enterprise (2007 –till now)
Haier launched a 1000 - days informatization reengineering plan in 2007;
Haier competed a Global Information value-added system (HGVS).
Haier established an informative network to unite the flow of information, the flow of logistic
and the flow of capital as one unity by BI, GVS, LES, PLM, CRM, B2B, B2C, etc. As result,
Haier realized the unification of global marketing operation, procurement and settlement
on-line. A global procurement and distribution network was built up by HGVS. All the
end-to-end process and internal & external coordination can be visualized and managed on-line,
which provides Haier a high-efficient mode of operation and knowledge sharing.
Continuity of innovation in informatization:
From internal driving force - oriented to user experience-oriented.
Haier tries to provide an innovative network to enable clients participate the whole process
of user experience. The five R&D center has been the strong resource interface, they actively
cooperate with the world – first class supplier, research institution and famous universities to
establish strategic cooperation.
1) Virtual interactive platform
Haier established an active virtual interactive platform to attract via Haier.com, Facebook,
and virtual showroom to attract clients and provide the firsthand information about the new
products. Relatively, Haier achieves firsthand information about clients’ faction,.
Additionally, Haier docks frontline information and market information with backlines
information (R&D system, marketing system and supply chain system) seamlessly.
2) “HOPE” open innovation platform
This is a third party resource platform providing patents, experts and solution. Under this
platform, all the global experts and solution resources were perfectly integrated via this
platform, the network resource, quality and efficiency were optimized at highest level.
Establishment of MPA
Haier developed an integrative data platform of product life cycle, enhancing finished
4) Informative supply chain
Haier built an end-to-end supply chain via informative network to optimize the whole
process of global order. By this mean, Haier shares the latest information, visualizes the
whole process of orders, predicts risks through data analysis, enhances productivity and
avoids potential risks.
Pioneering in open big logistics platform:
“Home delivery service within 24 hours!”
1) E- store: This is a virtual customer – oriented management network, which supports Hair’s marketing
network, logistics network and service network information. Haier has created a new milestone in
retail channel by informative management.
2) Haier on-line shopping mall: This online shopping mall guarantees the service “ delivering within 24
hours, which achieve appreciation of clients and market. The key secret remains its perfect
integration of virtual sales on-line and distribution channels in reality by its informative network.
Additionally, Haier established a informative interaction platform for its employees, which aims at
realizing cross – department collaboration and knowledge sharing. This information interaction
platform is built by cloud and innovative workshop, in the meanwhile, Haier also integrate clients’
advices and ideas inside a closed-loop user interaction circle.
Consequently, by establishing this informative networking, the efficiency of management and
operation is optimized at highest level. Clients are provided the most advanced products and solutions.
This innovation virtuous circle provides an organic growth to Hair, the capital turn over days (CCC)
IS lower than 10 days, which is ahead of the peer industry.
Appendix3. Market share of Top five smartphone brands
Appendix4.Top worldwide patent applicants announced in 2015
Top international automotive patent assignees (2009 – 2013)
Chinese brand – Geely randed on 15th
Source: Thomson Reuters
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Source: Federal State Statistics Service
Source: Huawei official website/ Coperate/ Huawei and MegaFon Announce 5G Network
plans for Russia http://pr.huawei.com/en/news/hw-397407-5g.htm#.Vy-kXsdJPG8
Source: ComputerWeely.com/ Huawei invests £5m in University of Surrey 5G/
Source: World Intellectual Property organization
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