China Leadership Monitor

China’s Telecom Industry on the Move: Domestic Competition, Global Ambition, and Leadership Transition

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

China’s telecom sector has been one of the country’s fastest-growing industries during the past two decades. Recently, a number of large, rapidly expanding Chinese firms have emerged to compete successfully in the global market despite heavy competition from multinationals. As the business leaders of China’s flagship telecom companies become famous within China, their personal stories are beginning to influence the leadership styles and management practices of a new generation of Chinese entrepreneurs. This paper examines the rise of China’s leading telecom firms (such as Huawei and ZTE) and the characteristics of their CEOs. Although the senior managers of China’s telecom industry do not have significant international exposure, they have not been deterred from adopting a “Go Out” strategy for expanding their business operations overseas.