The China National Tobacco Corporation: From domestic to global dragon?

Glob Public Health. 2017 Mar;12(3):315-334. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2016.1241293. Epub 2016 Oct 13.


The China National Tobacco Corporation (CNTC), which produces one-third of the world's cigarettes, is the largest tobacco company in the world. Over the past 60 years, the CNTC has been focused on supplying a huge domestic market. As the market has become increasingly saturated, and potential foreign competition looms, the company has turned to expansion abroad. This paper examines the ambitions and prospects of the CNTC to 'go global'. Using Chinese and English language sources, this paper describes the globalisation ambitions of the CNTC, and its global business strategy focused on internal restructuring, brand development and expansion of overseas operations in selected markets. The paper concludes that the company has undergone substantial change over the past two decades and is consequently poised to become a new global player in the tobacco industry. This article is part of the special issue 'The Emergence of Asian Tobacco Companies: Implications for Global Health Governance'.

Keywords: China; global business strategy; globalisation; tobacco control; tobacco industry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Government Agencies
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Marketing / economics*
  • Marketing / methods
  • Marketing / organization & administration
  • Marketing / trends
  • Smoking / economics*
  • Smoking / trends
  • Tobacco Industry / economics*
  • Tobacco Industry / organization & administration
  • Tobacco Industry / trends