No Niche Seems Too Small for China's Haier Group
It's not easy getting a handle on Haier. It makes more freezers, refrigerators and washing machines than anyone else--but it also churns out thousands of other products from cellphones to robots, defying the standard wisdom about focus. The group maintains a murky corporate structure built on large state-owned stakes, but management experts from Harvard Business School to Kobe University extol Haier as a model for private-sector companies.
Haier's iconic chairman, Zhang Ruimin, is just as difficult to categorize. In person he's passionate