Nokia's Chinese Operations

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Case Details:

Case Code : OPER070
Case Length : 21 Pages
Period : 2000-2008
Organization : Nokia Corporation
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : China
Industry : Mobile phones

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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“As the largest mobile phone manufacturer in both the global and Chinese markets, Nokia considers China a strategic market and a significant base of manufacturing, R&D, and innovation. With its impressive product portfolio, in-depth localization strategies, successful channel construction, and constantly improving brand loyalty, Nokia has been a leader in the Chinese mobile-phone market since 2004.”1

- David Tang, Vice President, Sales, Nokia China in 2008.

“Nokia is the standout example of a firm that was able to learn the rules of the game in China and swiftly revamp its strategy for the local market.”2

- BusinessWeek3, 2008.


In March 2008, Nokia China, the Chinese arm of Finland-based telecom major, Nokia Corporation (Nokia), signed a US$ 2 billion4 strategic partnership deal with China's largest mobile phone distributor, China Postel Mobile Communication Equipment Co.5 (China Postel), under which it was to supply handsets to the latter. Nokia had won a similar contract from China Postel in 2007 for US$ 2.5 billion. China Postel first entered into a contract with Nokia for the supply of mobile phones in 1998 after which it distributed more than 37 million Nokia mobile phones.6

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1] “German Feds Want Nokia Subsidy Returned,” TelecomWeb News Break, March 11, 2008.
2] “Why Nokia is No.1 in China,” BusinessWeek, April 11, 2008.
3] BusinessWeek is a weekly business periodical published by McGraw-Hill
4] “Update 2 – Nokia to Supply Phones Worth $ 2 bln to China Postel,”, March 7, 2008.
5] China Postel Mobile Communication Equipment Co. is one of the leading distributors of mobile phones in China with a share of 30% in the wholesale cellular phones market.
6] “Nokia Signed a 2.5 Billion Dollars Deal,”, May 11, 2007.

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