Collaborative product development (CPD) has become an imperative for companies to strengthen their niche values and remain competitive in the global market. However, most scholars may lack knowledge of deploying CPD in current industrial settings, and their research efforts may thus fail to fulfill practical needs. This paper presents a series of empirical case studies on distributed product development in Asia-Pacific Region. Engineering collaborations among brand-owner, manufacturer, and supplier in six product design chains (desktop PC, IC substrate, LCD monitor, bicycle, mold design, and CPU cooler) are under investigation. A systematic approach is developed that categorizes CPD into three modes based on the number of engineering BOM items and the difficulty of modularization in product design. It provides a preliminary but structured template for CPD deployment by characterizing the implications and software features of each mode. The cases also reveal values which CPD creates for the downstream supplier of a global value chain and new IT technologies enabling the collaboration process. This work is one of the early studies that analyze collaborative product development from the perspective of a manufacturer. The findings complement and corroborate theoretical studies in related research.