Platform Revolution & Breakthrough

Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School

Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School


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Who should attend

This programme is designed for leaders in platform organisations or in the traditional firms that must compete with them. C-suite, to operations managers, technology officers and R&D in all industries are welcome. No pre-requisite is required.

About the course

What do these top companies like Alibaba, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Tencent and Ctrip have in common? Apart from being the world's highest valuated businesses, they are the world's most influential platforms.

By operating as open ecosystems, companies match suppliers of products, services, or content to consumers, and gain enormous value and market share. These companies, known as multilateral platforms, act as intermediaries, connecting service providers and users to serve users of different needs.


The next generation of Fortune 500 companies in the decade of 2020 will be mostly platform-based business. Platforms, a near-monopolistic business model, are quietly taking over the global economy. Today's more than $1 billion "unicorn" start-ups, such as Airbnb, Grab, Robinhood, Spotify and more, are mostly platforms. These platforms make much of their money not by what they sell but by facilitating the interactions or transactions of others. More importantly, they are experts in delivering great customer experience and monetising the data captured in their platforms.

Traditional product manufacturers, brands and intermediaries (or “the middleman”) in all major industries are being seriously disrupted by these platforms. Their competitiveness and even survival are highly questionable if they don’t act now in the right way. Platform owner is on the driver seat while the rest are just the passengers with not much bargaining power on their pockets.


Building a successful platform like Alibaba, Amazon, Uber, Ctrip, have lots of challenges. There are countless ways to fail it. While there are many ways to seed users into a platform, the strategies all have the potential to backfire.

Rather than having a feature mindset in traditional product or middleman businesses, business leaders in digital economy need to have a seeding mindset. However, recruiting a popular user to kick start the platform and draw other users can backfire if that user violates the platform’s governance. For instance, how well a driver in Uber’s platform behaves on that Uber ride may cause a big impact on Uber’s success. Focusing on low prices or free services can backfire when users become accustomed to and anchored at that low price in the long run. The list of challenges goes on. Business leaders need to overcome these challenges or the platform will fail. Every business leader today, no matter they are in traditional companies or existing platforms, has an urgency to formulate a winning and sustainable platform strategy for their company.

Learning Outcomes

The programme will prepare the participants to lead their organisation’s platform strategy. The participants will learn about where their company fits best within a platform ecosystem and formulate a winning strategy for their companies. The learning outcomes of the programme are as follows:

  • Understand the disruptiveness and dominance of platform in the new economy
  • Leverage on a platform to co-create values for customers and its ecosystems
  • Design platform strategies to compete effectively with other major platforms
  • Transform from a traditional product/service company to a leading platform
  • Set up right governance to manage and sustain a platform
  • Master the key underlying technologies of a platform

Certificate Of Attendance

Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to participant upon completion of the programme.


Toa Charm

Prof. Toa Charm has been contributing to the innovation and technology industry for more than 30 years. He held senior management positions in leading multinational, Hong Kong and mainland enterprises including Cyberport, HSBC, IBM, Oracle, Kingdee and Jardine Pacific. Prof. Charm is currently an...

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Platform Revolution & Breakthrough at Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Marketing

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