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IMD Professor Howard Yu takes prize in EFMD case competition

Prof Yu wins Emerging Chinese Global Competitors category
June 2016

June 2016 – IMD Professor Howard Yu recently won the “Emerging Chinese Global Competitors” category in EFMD’s 2015 case writing competition.

He was given the prestigious award for his case “Xiaomi 2015: A Homegrown Apple in China?”

The Xiaomi case explores how this Chinese startup leveraged ubiquitous connectivity and open innovation to revolutionize the mobile phone industry in the global market. In less than five years it became the world’s third largest mobile phone maker and second most valuable startup. This progress is even more dazzling considering the organization’s business model, which differs considerably from traditional Chinese firms.

Investors saw Xiaomi as a social media giant capable of mobilizing an enormous fan base in its product development, like many Silicon Valley startups. Some even saw Xiaomi as marking a new wave of Chinese companies focused on developing new capabilities rather than manufacturing. Perhaps the strongest endorsement came from a former Android executive, Hugo Barra, who left Google to join Xiaomi in October 2013 to manage the company’s international expansion. Xiaomi – which means “little rice” or millet in Chinese – may not be that small after all.

The case allows participants (MBAs and executives) to explore how ubiquitous connectivity and open innovation may take hold in the Chinese market, and how it might, in turn, impact the global marketplace.

The material in the case is so rich that it offers a multitude of options for deep dives into a variety of topics in order to achieve the learning objectives, which include: understanding how industries evolve and how profits can shift from one end of the value chain to another; demonstrating the importance of open innovation and the reasons behind why people are keen to contribute voluntarily to developing someone else’s product; illustrating the need to be adaptable to changing market conditions; evaluating she importance of considering different types of business model, and contrasting the different kinds of national champions in China.

Find out more about the EFMD case writing competition on its website.