A decade ago Japanese information and communications (ICT) companies were perceived as posing a significant competitive threat to their Western competitors. Now they are perceived as being in a state of crisis and decline. Have Japanese ICT firms collapsed? Are they to be written off in the global competitive race? This paper examines these questions in two ways: by analysing the strengths and weaknesses of Japanese competencies in the computer, telecommunications equipment, semiconductor, and consumer electronics sectors; and by examining how well they have adapted to the radical change constituted by the emergence of the Internetworked World. Particular attention is paid to the specific case of Japanese consumer electronics and the Sony success story. The paper ends with an examination of the implications of the current crises facing these Japanese firms and their corporate restructuring responses. Several predictions are made regarding the future. The other companies discussed include Fujitsu, Hitachi, Matsushita, NEC, and Toshiba.
- ICT Firms
- Consumer electronics