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China's top brands soar 22% in value

Updated: 2014-11-15 10:30
By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily)

China's top 50 brands have soared 22 percent in value this year, with Internet and financial services organizations dominating the rankings.

The list was calculated by New York-based global branding consultancy Interbrand and published within its 2014 Best China Brands report, using three key measurements of value: financial performance of the product and service; the role the brand plays in influencing customer choice; and the strength the brand has to command a premium price or secure earnings for the company. 

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The study rated Internet communication platform operator Tencent Holdings Ltd as China's most valuable brand name, followed by China Mobile Ltd, adding that in light of digital and mobile technology transforming the global marketplace, there were increasing similarities between this year's top Chinese brands and those brands recognized on the world stage.

The report said the strong performance of China's Internet brands marked the end of an era for the financial services and telecommunication brands that had previously dominated the rankings.

Eight new names entered the report this year: recently floated Alibaba Group Holding Ltd at third, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd at 13th, People's Insurance Co of China (20), the diversified conglomerate Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Ltd (22), JD.com Inc (25), Internet security company Qihoo 360 Software Co Ltd (41), Chinese medicine maker Dong'e Ejiao Co Ltd (48), and Shanghai Lao Feng Xiang Jewelry Co Ltd (50).

Overall, the total brand value of this year's top 50 Chinese firms increased 22 percent compared with last year, representing the largest ever increase in the table's overall brand value.

Yao Chengang, general manager of Interbrand Shanghai, said: "The age of mobile Internet brings great opportunity for Chinese brands to outpace competitors.

"The annual shipments of Chinese 4G smartphones can surpass 100 million. Based on the economic value brought by mobile Internet, the scale of China will likely be three to four times of the United States in the future."

He said today's leading brands must be able to create "a well-rounded brand experience and co-create value together with consumers".

Jez Frampton, Interbrand's global chief executive officer, said: "Brands across geographies are entering 'the Age of You' - that means they are working to develop truly personalized experiences around individual consumers."

With those eight new brands making an appearance, the Best China Brands ranking has become, said the report, more diversified and consequently Interbrand had been able to identify key trends emerging in the Chinese market.

For instance, brands from all categories and sectors are getting "smarter" it said, with products and devices working in concert with one another, across supply chains and in tandem with individual data sets. The report also found that those brands that have embedded technology and mobile applications throughout their core offerings have performed the strongest.

The total brand value of Internet brands increased from 11 percent to 24 percent compared with last year, making the industry the second most valuable after the financial services industry.

Three internet giants - Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu Inc - are either cooperating with or surpassing traditional industries in changing how consumers live, work, learn and connect with each other and the world at large, the report said.

China's telecom and banking industries, meanwhile, need transformation as their growth rate continues to slow down.

The report highlighted the top four banks, particularly, as garnering less than 5 percent growth in brand value. Facing numerous difficulties, Chinese telecom brands have implemented a series of actions to accelerate transformation, it said.

The report suggested many Chinese enterprises, however, still lack a deep understanding of brand and digital strategy in the new mobile age, with their knowledge of digital limited to brand communication and e-commerce channels.

It emphasized that Chinese enterprises need to adjust their mindset in both strategies to focus on a brand's authenticity and differentiation, to clarify the direction of a brand's development, and simply be more imaginative.

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