Huawei-Leica Alliance: Reinventing Smartphone Photography or Building Brand Image?
(8 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
In 2016, Chinese telecommunications equipment firm Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (Huawei) aspired to be the world’s top smartphone manufacturer. The company had identified German camera company Leica Camera AG (Leica) as a long-term partner to reinvent Huawei’s smartphone photography to beat an influx of domestic rivals and the market leaders, Apple and Samsung. The flagship dual camera smartphone that was co-engineered by Huawei and Leica, the P9, contained a camera module that was actually made by a Chinese manufacturer, Sunny Optical Technology Co., under Leica’s authorization. As a result, Huawei’s motives for the partnership with Leica were criticized as a quick fix to beat Apple in the dual camera market and repair negative publicity the company had suffered earlier. Was the long-term alliance really the best solution for both Huawei and Leica? Was it the right alliance in an emerging market?
This case is ideal for use in courses at both the undergraduate and the MBA levels. Using the case, students will learn
- competitive strategies and the challenges emerging market companies face to become leaders in the global technology market;
- how companies from emerging markets must identify and diversify their product and market portfolios to overcome a lack of advanced technologies and reputable brand names;
- the pros and cons of different modes of market entry, and the effective implementation of such entry modes; and,
- about the ethical aspects of sustainability for a focal company in strengthening its competitive position.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
China, Large, 2016
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