Chosen Company: The Hong Leong Group with specific focus on City Developments Limited.
The primary features that define a Dragon Multinational Corporation in their simplest form are large Multinational Enterprise’s that stem from the Asia-Pacific region that have ‘successfully internationalized and in some cases become a leading firm in its sector’ (Mathews). The Singapore based Hong Leong Group fits this classification almost seamlessly as with its many offshoots it is worth an estimated $30 billion boasting highly successful projects within property, finance, hospitality and trade and industry (hongleong.com.sg). Unlike many of the companies Mathew’s makes reference to in his theory the Hong Leong Group was not instantly a global success, in fact it was started in 1948 by Kwek Hong Png as a modest shop dealing in construction materials. Later on in the 1960’s the group moved into Finance for small local firms and a small amount of property investment.
In the 1970’s The Hong Leong Group obtained a dominant stake in its most well known venture ‘City Developments Limited’ which was then a mere 8 employee’s and slowly expanded into commercial development. It was in the late 1980’s under the control of Kwek Hong Pngs son and future Executive Chairman Kwek Leng Beng that the company made its move into the hotel industry. This is where we witness what Mathews refers to as the “Gestalt Switch” from domestic to global competitor.
The Hong Leong Group is what Mathews classes as a ‘Second Wave MNE’. These corporations are characterised by using ‘pull factors that draw firms into global connections rather than push factors