Stories of success in China’s real estate market invariably come from the country’s largest firms. But not always. The stunning rise of China’s Zhongliang Group Limited is one such exception. Its triumph is a reminder that strategy, not scale, anchors a firm’s competitiveness.

Zhongliang, founded in China’s entrepreneurial heartland of Wenzhou, experienced rapid national expansion driven by a novel business model — as it also benefited from the central government’s interest in improving the quality of homes in China’s small- to mid-sized cities. The company’s success is a striking example of how mid-sized players can triumph despite financial pressures, regulatory constraints, and intense competition. (This report in Chinese.)