Here's the third clip from the Doing Business in China series; previous ones here. All the clips are my favorites, but this one is a particular favorite. It's a look at one of the big unknown issues for China's commercial future: whether, how, and when its companies can rise out of the pure low-cost commodity-supplier role to have valuable brand names of their own.
The starting point is the "white goods" manufacturer Haier, which absolutely dominates the Chinese domestic market for washers, fridges, and so on and is becoming better known world wide. The segment title refers to one of its breakthrough innovations. Bonus in this clip: a cameo of Kai-Fu Lee, who once directed Microsoft's research labs in Beijing, and who until last week headed Google's offices in China, before resigning to set up his own VC firm. I first met him when I worked at Microsoft ten years ago and saw him frequently in China. More later; enjoy this clip for now.