Best Buy Failure in China (International Business)

3472 Words Mar 5th, 2013 14 Pages

In the world today, there are many companies getting involved in international business, and developing to become a multinational company. Why do these firms want to take the multinational route? One of the dominant frameworks to explain the existence of these multinational companies is the Ownership-Location-Internalisation (OLI) paradigm (Dunning & Lundan 2008).

Running an international business is different from running a domestic business. International business requires you to recognise and understand the cultural differences between countries. Failing to recognise and understand this difference could possibly lead to many difficulties, or worse still, failure. In this essay, I will be discussing the difficulties
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“The lesson we learned is that we got too far ahead of the Chinese consumer in how business is done in China,” said Brian Dunn, Best Buy’s Chief Executive (Groth 2011). He said the company’s mistake had been to open big box stores with fixed prices that were staffed entirely by Best Buy’s blue-shirted employees (Jopson & Waldmeir 2011). Clearly, Best Buy entered the Chinese market in 2006 with a lack of knowledge of the local consumer’s culture.

International strategy is a strategy where the firm uses the core competency, which it developed at home, as its main competitive weapon in the foreign market (Sumantra & Nitin 1993). This is the strategy which Best Buy used. The company did not enter China with the intention to hire local talent who knew how to be successful in China. Rather, it entered the country intending to create talent that knew how to be successful in the United States (Adam 2011). When the multinational first entered the Chinese market, many people hoped that it would successfully replace the prevailing, yet widely criticised Chinese business model that focused on price-centred competition (Ni 2011).

Imposing their core competency in the US model, the company offered “a concept ahead of the consumer,” said retail analyst Paul French of Access Asia which was based in Shanghai (Macleod

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