Sinyi entered the mainland Chinese market in the early 1990s. Over twenty years of construction, Sinyi expanded its operations to places such as Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing, Suzhou and Zhejiang. By establishing a special bi-business model in China — a direct business model for Sinyi Rehouse and a franchise operation model for Coldwell Banker — Sinyi aimed to offer the best real estate agency service to customers in mainland China. Sinyi’s “Confucianism-based” and “people-centered” culture was deemed as a key to its success in the Chinese market. However, in 2008, as the market of mainland China kept expanding and competition intensified, Sinyi’s corporate philosophy and business model were challenged. Mr. Chun-chi Chou and his management team considered the following questions: Although they looked similar, the mainland China market differed from the Taiwan market. Under these circumstances, should Sinyi adhere to its previous corporate philosophy of righteousness and trustworthiness? Would Sinyi need to change its business model in order to counter its competitors’ aggressive moves? What necessary measures must Sinyi take in the ever-changing market? This case study introduces the corporate culture, development strategy and challenges of Sinyi in China, encouraging reflection and discussion of globalization strategy and emerging market strategy.
Sinyi Group was founded in 1981. By closely following its Confucian ethics and “people-centered” service philosophy, it established an excellent corporate image and became one of the most successful real estate agent companies in Taiwan and Mainland China. However, with the expansion of the company and intensified market competition, the management philosophy, which had contributed much to Sinyi’s success, became a limiting factor in the pace of globalization. In 2008, Mr. Chun-chi Chou, the founder of Sinyi, was contemplating solutions to Sinyi’s problem: How could it maintain its corporate philosophy among staff? Should Sinyi tailor its unique business models to suit aggressive expansion? This case aims to evoke discussion on the dilemma of preserving corporate management philosophy while sustaining competitiveness in globalization strategy. This case can be used at MBA and EMBA levels as well as executive education classes under cultural and globalization topics.