Business Case Studies, Managing in Troubled Times Case Study, Microsoft, Struggling in China?

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Managing in Troubled Times Case Study

Case Title:

Microsoft: Struggling in China?

Publication Year : 2008

Authors: Shital Vakhariya, Menaka Rao

Industry: Information Technology and IT Enabled Services


Case Code: TRT0075B

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Since entering into China, Microsoft struggled for gaining market share and make profits in the mainland. The problem it seemed was not with its brand, as everyone was using Microsoft's Operating System (OS). The problem was that of piracy. Microsoft tried various ways to get the government to crack down on piracy, but instead the government supported Linux, the low-cost competitor of Microsoft's Windows. Linux's presence and the lack of Government support left Microsoft in a weak position in China. The case study also highlights various initiatives taken by Microsoft in China to strengthen its position in the growing Chinese software market. It also focuses on the measures taken by the company to develop strong relationships with the Chinese government.

Pedagogical Objectives:

    The case has been structured to comprehend and explore:
  • The dynamics of the Chinese market
  • The challenges faced by MNCs in developing economies
  • Analyse strategies adopted by Microsoft in China.

Keywords : Piracy; MNCs; Linux; Chinese market; Gaunxi; local partners; ZTE telecommunication; developing economies; Price; Managing in Troubled Times Case Study; operating system; Mao Zendong; Deng Xeoping; Deregulation; integration


  • China: Mao to markets
  • Microsoft in China: 1999-2003

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