Seizing windows of opportunity by using technology-building and market-seeking strategies in tandem: Huawei’s sustained catch-up in the global market

  • Lei Guo
  • Marina Yue ZhangEmail author
  • Mark Dodgson
  • David Gann
  • Hong Cai


This paper analyzes the strategies by which Huawei, one of China’s few privately-owned multinational firms, responded to various windows of opportunity as technology, policy and demand changed during the evolution of the telecommunication industry between the late 1980s and 2014. Based on a historical longitudinal analysis, our in-depth case study unfolds the dynamic process by which Huawei utilized dual technology-building and market-seeking strategies to capitalize on those windows of opportunity and to achieve sustained catch-up, not only in technological capability but also in the global market. By linking strategy at the firm level to external conditions at the sector level, this paper contributes to theory on how latecomers develop firm-specific advantages and enriches our understanding of how they develop dynamic competitive advantage to achieve sustained catch-up.


Dual strategy Technology building Market seeking EMNEs Catch-up Windows of opportunity China Telecommunication 



The authors would like to thank the General Program of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 71272137 and 71402135).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lei Guo
    • 1
  • Marina Yue Zhang
    • 2
    Email author
  • Mark Dodgson
    • 3
  • David Gann
    • 4
  • Hong Cai
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Economics and FinanceXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Swinburne Business SchoolSwinburne University of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.UQ Business SchoolUniversity of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.Imperial CollegeLondonUK
  5. 5.School of ManagementXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

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