Understanding the nature of Chinese firms is essential not only for those who wish to compete in the Chinese market, but also for firms that wish to maintain their position here at home. Yet understanding these firms is no simple matter. Chinese companies exhibit enormous heterogeneity in terms of origin, governance structure, resource endowment, and strategic objectives.

In China, foreign multinational firms have long enjoyed a competitive advantage over indigenous firms. This advantage, however, seems to be eroding gradually. The strength of many large Chinese companies is increasing domestically. Many of them are fast learners and have been gaining ground against their foreign competitors, especially in the decade since China’s entry to the WTO. Moreover, as they grow in strength and size, many Chinese firms are becoming global players, gaining market share in Australia as well as other countries.

In this lecture, Professor Xu will provide an analysis of the major types of Chinese firms, their competitiveness, and their weaknesses. He will also discuss some major strategic issues facing multinational firms in China, as well as important lessons that have been learned.

Dean Xu is Professor of Management at Faculty of Business and Economics, the University of Melbourne. He received his PhD from the Schulich School of Business, York University in Canada. Previously, he has taught at Peking University, the University of Hong Kong, and China Europe International Business School. Dean's research interests include multinational firm strategy, Chinese firm strategy, emerging economies, and organizational theory. His research has appeared in Academy of Management Review, Journal of Economic Geography, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Strategic Management Journal, and other journals.

NB: This lecture replaces the Jane Lu inaugural lecture, which has been postponed to 2014 due to Professor Lu's international conference schedule.

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