Skip to main content
Cover for Pioneers, Hidden Champions, Changemakers, and Underdogs

Pioneers, Hidden Champions, Changemakers, and Underdogs

Lessons from China's Innovators

Mark J. Greeven, George S. Yip, Wei Wei


List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


An insider's view of China's under-the-radar, globally competitive innovators.

Chinese innovators are making their mark globally. Not only do such giants as Alibaba and Huawei continue to thrive and grow through innovation, thousands of younger Chinese entrepreneurs are poised to enter the global marketplace. In this book, Mark Greeven, George Yip, and Wei Wei offer an insider's view of China's under-the-radar, globally competitive innovators.

The authors, all experts on Chinese innovation, distinguish four types of innovators in China: pioneers, large companies that are globally known; hidden champions, midsize enterprises that are market leaders in their niches; underdogs, technology-driven ventures with significant intellectual property; and changemakers, newer firms characterized by digital disruption, exponential growth, and cross-industry innovations. They investigate what kinds of innovations these companies develop (product, process, or business model), their competitive strategies, and key drivers of innovation. They identify six typical ways Chinese entrepreneurs innovate, including swarm innovation (collectively pursuing opportunities) and rapid centralized decision making. Finally, they look at how Chinese innovators are going global, whether building R&D networks internationally or exporting disruptive business models. The book includes many examples of Chinese innovators and innovations, drawn from a range of companies—from pioneers to changemakers—including Alibaba, Haier, Hikvision, Malong Technology, Weihua Solar, Mobike, and Cheetah Mobile.

Greeven, Yip, and Wei offer an essential guide to what makes China a heavyweight competitor in the global marketplace.

The MIT Press, 9780262039697, 216pp.

Publication Date: April 9, 2019

About the Author

Mark J. Greeven is Professor of Innovation and Strategy at IMD Business School in Lausanne and coauthor of Business Ecosystems in China: Alibaba and Competing Baidu, Tencent, Xiaomi, and LeEco.

George S. Yip is Emeritus Professor of Marketing and Strategy at Imperial College Business School in London and coauthor of China's Next Strategic Advantage: From Imitation to Innovation (MIT Press). He divides his time among Boston, London, and Maine.

Wei Wei is Founder and CEO of the Shanghai-based consulting firm GSL Innovation.