"Haier’s true aim is likely not in emulating the old GE, but to go for a less asset-heavy and nimbler strategy, where the company uses its assets as a “platform” to collaborate with others, much like how app programmers work with the iPhone and iPad, said IMD’s Fischer.

"Chairman Zhang “has been speaking for the last several years of the strategic desirability of turning Haier into a ‘platform company.’”  “Haier is not interested in becoming the GE of China; they want to be the Apple of China.”" Read more

We now take periodic product revolutions for granted, but not management revolutions. Most of us are still following the management principles of people long dead. Zhang Ruimin is willing to experiment.  And it’s an ongoing experiment. As Zhang himself wrote in Harvard Business Review: “People respect the leadership of an organization for different reasons in different periods.”  Read more in Bloomberg BusinessWeek by Christina Larson.

In its home country, the group is reinventing itself again as a set of open "entrepreneurial platforms", serving - and served by - hundreds of "microenterprises". Not only will these microenterprises compete to design, build and distribute products Haier users say they want, but they will also be able to vie with one another for staff and for capital, from Haier and from outside investors. Haier is, in Prof Fischer's words, "de-Haierising".

Read more: https://next.ft.com/content/4afb31b0-91eb-11e5-bd82-c1fb87bef7af

Don’t be misled by what you read about Haier's buying GE's home appliance business. This is not just another acquisition. This is a real effort in strategic experimentation not only about global expansion but also about dreaming bigger as a disruptive advantage.  Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/billfischer/2016/01/15/haier-ge-understanding-the-magic-behind-the-deal/#550417406792

Haier’s rapid introduction of the Tianzun air conditioner in 2015 is typical of the company’s track record since the late 1990s. The company is known for several distinctive capabilities: a precise understanding of consumer needs, especially in China and other emerging markets; the ability to rapidly innovate new types of appliances that meet those consumer needs; the management of complicated distribution networks, a skill honed in the complex Chinese market; and a high level of execution ability, including the automation of factories to deliver products to consumer specification. These attributes have served it especially well in China, allowing Haier to outcompete more experienced appliance companies such as Whirlpool and Maytag in that country. In fact, Haier’s prowess — and particularly its emphasis on “what we can do and who we are” rather than on “what we sell and how we make money” — shows the kind of capabilities needed by companies that were founded in emerging economies if they are to succeed in the global sphere.

Read more in Strategy+Business: http://www.strategy-business.com/article/00323?gko=c8c2a