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The restructuring of China's industrial landscape : understanding the challenges of the new chinese marketplace

Research project BL/C/13 (Research action BL)

Persons :

  • Mevr.  VERMEYLEN Simonne - The Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School (VLERICK)
    Financed belgian partner
    Duration: 1/2/2000-31/1/2001

Description :

Mr. FISCHER W.A., China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai

Purpose of the project

The objective of the collaboration is to explore changes in the competitive landscape in a Chinese domestic industrial market, in order to understand better how one specific industrial or consumer market is evolving with respect to competitive players, the role of the government in shaping the market’s development, and the nature of domestic Chinese competition.
In addition, the project seeks to identify what lessons Belgian firms have learned about competing in the China market, in the face of such emerging competitive forces. In summary, the project is aimed to facilitate the business activities (trade and investments) of Belgian companies in China, on the one hand by deepening the understanding of the Belgian companies for the particularities of the Chinese market, and on the other hand by exchanging the mutual perceptions of the cooperation modus.
The project focusses on management issues such as marketing and distribution, supply chains, human resources management, intercultural awareness,... thus excluding for example macroeconomic aspects, trade policy, or financing .
It is the understanding and the intention of the parties involved that this project should be the start of a long-term relationship, and that selected areas of interest (such as entrepreneurship and intercultural awareness...) will be explored in the future.


- Selection of an industry that is of interest to the Belgian economy, and which has a proven record of investing in and/or trade with China. Within these parameters, the Partners have selected the brewing industry (including brewing equipment), which serves a potentially large Chinese market where a lot of local Chinese producers are competing for a share of the market.
- A literature study focusing on the management aspects of cooperation between Belgian (cq. European) and Chinese companies forms the conceptual background of the project. This literature study is primarily focused on networks, the organization of the local distribution channels, the supply chain, the environmental control and the various forms of quality control.
- Using different conceptual schemes, such as Porter’s five forces model, the current dynamics of the market situation, and forces for change will be analyzed and presented in the form of an Industry Note.
- Face-to-face interviews (with open ended questions ) with Belgian and Chinese players, as well as with foreign players in the selected industry search for the perception and the experience of these parties. More specifically, the interviews aim to understand how the companies define their market, perceive the threats of entrants and substitutes, evaluate the political and financial risks, calculate their margins, impose prices, organize cooperation...
- Two case studies will be developed focusing on the experiences of the key Belgian and Chinese players.
- The outcome of the objective industry analysis and the more subjective experience of the players will be cross checked through a workshop in Belgium. Other forms can be used to complement this approach. The Belgian-Chinese Economic and Commercial Council has agreed to act as the organizing institution for this workshop.
- An inductive approach is used: from the study of one industry (brewing), an attempt will be made to move to more general conclusions which can be used by other industrial players.

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