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Big data-driven business model innovation by traditional industries in the Chinese economy

Sarah Cheah (Department of Management and Organization, National University of Singapore Business School, Singapore, Singapore)
Shenghui Wang (School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai, China)

Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies

ISSN: 1754-4408

Article publication date: 2 October 2017



This study aims to construct mechanisms of big data-driven business model innovation from the market, strategic and economic perspectives and core logic of business model innovation.


The authors applied deductive reasoning and case analysis method on manufacturing firms in China to validate the mechanisms.


The authors have developed an integrated framework to deduce the elements of big data-driven business model innovation. The framework comprises three elements: perspectives, business model processes and big data-driven business model innovations. As we apply the framework on to three Chinese companies, it is evident that the mechanisms of business model innovation based on big data is a progressive and dynamic process.

Research limitations/implications

The case sample is relatively small, which is a typical trade-off in qualitative research.

Practical implications

A robust infrastructure that seamlessly integrates internet of things, front-end customer systems and back-end production systems is pivotal for companies. The management has to ensure its organization structure, climate and human resources are well prepared for the transformation.

Social implications

When provided with a convenient crowdsourcing platform to provide feedback and witness their suggestions being implemented, users are more likely to share insights about their use experience.


Extant studies of big data and business model innovation remain disparate. By adding a new dimension of intellectual and economic resource to the resource-based view, this paper posits an important link between big data and business model innovation. In addition, this study has contributed to the theoretical lens of value by contextualizing the value components of a business model and providing an integrated framework.



Cheah, S. and Wang, S. (2017), "Big data-driven business model innovation by traditional industries in the Chinese economy", Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 229-251.



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