Decoding the strategy of Chinese tech companies

Seeing the Unseen examines how Chinese history, folklore, and Mao Zedong’s political strategies have shaped the strategies of China’s contemporary tech leaders and how Chinese tech and internet companies have evolved over the last two decades.

  • How do market-dominating Chinese leadership teams set their strategies?
  • How do Chinese firms move so quickly and defend their turf in China’s hyper-competitive tech market?
  • As they expand overseas, how do Chinese firms determine which parts of their business to maintain and which to jettison?

Challenging readers’ thinking on global strategy and implementation, Seeing the Unseen: Behind Chinese Tech Giants’ Global Venturing is a must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in technology and enterprise leadership.


  • People, Organization, Product, and Leadership - these are the four fundamental pillars that drive business success or failure.

    Seeing the Unseen establishes POP-L as a framework for evaluating Chinese technology companies at every stage and every market, from start-up to global tech giant. 

    How do companies like Alibaba, Shopee, and ByteDance compare through the POP-L lens? How can you apply the POP-L lens to your own leadership and decision-making?

    Find out in Seeing the Unseen: Behind Chinese Tech Giants' Global Venturing

Curious about Chinese tech giants?

How did Chinese tech giants become so successful? What challenges lay ahead? Learn from years of insights and the POP-Leadership framework in “Seeing the Unseen”

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Key Lessons

  • Did the “Great Firewall of China” actually hurt Chinese tech companies?

    Because of the "Great Firewall," Chinese tech companies became very customised to the Chinese market - but these customisations can actually become an impediment when expanding overseas.

  • Is copying a virtue?

    Many Chinese tech start-ups start by copying other businesses - but to survive, they must go beyond copying and innovate incrementally. That is how players like Meituan survived the "War of a Thousand Group-buy Companies."

  • Why are some Chinese tech leaders reading Mao Zedong?

    Some entrepreneurs have said 'Whether or not you agree with the ideology, the CCP was a great start-up success.' In "Seeing the Unseen," case studies show how companies from Alibaba to Pinduoduo have applied Maoist strategy to challenge business rivals.

  • Can Shopee rebound from its current challenges?

    SeaGroup raised billions of dollars to expand globally, but has faced mounting challenges. "Seeing the Unseen" presents a framework for evaluating Shopee's history and potential future through People, Organisation, Product, and Leadership.

  • Meta or ByteDance?

    According to an executive who has worked for both: “I like American company culture more - fairer and more people-oriented. ByteDance is marching like an army, everyone is carrying out orders.” ByteDance's demanding culture worked well in the beginning - however, ByteDance's culture must evolve as the company ventures into new markets.

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Meet the Authors

In “Seeing the Unseen,” Jianggan Li and Professor Guoli Chen bring together deep knowledge and first-hand experience in cross-border entrepreneurialism and business connect the dots surrounding the future of Chinese firms venturing overseas.

Momentum Works CEO and Founder Jianggan Li has cultivated deep experience in venture-building and management across many roles, from Co-founder of Easy Taxi in Asia to the Managing Director of Foodpanda.

Dr. Guoli Chen began his career as an investment banker before receiving his PhD in Strategic Management and becoming an awarded Professor of Strategy at INSEAD.