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GLOBAL 2016: Multinationals adopt China-first strategies, local brands go global

Brands in the energy and technology sectors are increasing their presence in a truly “glocalized” manner. We are seeing many international companies adopting a China-first strategy, whereas more local companies are going global. And it is to no one’s surprise that in order to accomplish their goals, they are pivoting toward digital not only out of infrastructural necessity but also of strategic urgency in a hope to maximize reach with minimal investment or risk. Global energy brands, for example, are either strengthening their own digital capabilities or partnering with local tech companies to extend their consumer’s reach in a competitive market in which traditional sales channels are very much occupied by local players. In technology, brands like Alibaba are investing in Indian start-ups as a way to diversify and also gain access to innovation. The Chinese brands have innovated to solve consumer problems in China, and they have done a good job. The question is whether they can adapt to create meaningful innovations that solve problems in a wider international context.

Honwai Fong
Planning Director