Shanghai Shentong Metro Group: Strategic Transformation through Transit-oriented Development

Daniel Han Ming Chng, Liman Zhao, John Clarke, Alexander Sleptsov

Research output: Other contributionCase Studies


This case describes Shentong Metro Group's ("Shentong Metro Group" or "the Group") strategic transformation ("Three Transformations") focusing on its transit-oriented development (TOD) between 2009 and 2020. As the world's most extensive urban metro system ("Metro"), its strategic transformation grew from the strategic intent to contribute to Shanghai's vision of improving residents' quality of life while ensuring the Group's sustainable development. The Group successfully planned and implemented its TOD initiative, completing three projects between 2012 and 2019. However, as a Chinese State-owned Enterprise (SOE), the Group faced multiple challenges. First, conceptualizing and implementing the TOD initiative was not easy as Shentong Metro Group has to meet various social, financial, and operational goals. These goals were often vaguely defined (e.g., more environment friendly), while others were incompatible or even contradictory (e.g., increase employment while reducing costs). Second, the Group's core capabilities were in engineering, construction, and operational management of the Metro system. It lacked real estate development and management capabilities that were fundamental to the initiative. Third, the institutional environment and policies relating to TOD in Shanghai were underdeveloped and continually evolving. While the past TOD projects had, to some extent, overcome these challenges, the Group still faces many more ahead of future TOD projects. Some important questions include: What lessons could be gleaned from previous TOD projects? How should the Group fine-tune future TOD initiatives to realize the "Three Transformations?" How could it seize new opportunities based on Shanghai's urban development master plan?
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2022

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Case type

Field Case

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Published by

China Europe International Business School


  • strategic transformation
  • State-Owned Enterprise (SOE)
  • partnership
  • Transit-oriented Development (TOD)

Case studies discipline

  • Strategy

Case studies industry

  • Other Services
  • Transportation and Warehousing


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