China’s Top 100 Brands: The Private Sector Reigns Supreme – China Real Time Report – WSJ

China’s top brand is no longer a state-owned company, nor is it e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.BABA +0.85% It’s technology player Tencent Holdings TCEHY +3.45%.

In a ranking of the top 100 most valuable Chinese brands by research from agency Millward Brown and media company WPP, Tencent,  China’s largest online-games and social-networking company, ranked No. 1 with a brand value of $66 billion, ahead of No. 2 Alibaba’s $59 billion. Tencent’s WeChat and QQ messaging services propelled it to the top of the list, said Doreen Wang, global head of Millward Brown’s BrandZ division.

Tencent’s rise unseats state-owned telecom giant China Mobile, which has held the top spot since the ranking’s launch in 2010. It also marks a sea change for China’s private-sector companies, which now account for 47% of the value of the top 100 brands. To calculate rankings, Millward Brown and WPP analyze financial data of listed companies’ brands, pairing it with survey data from more than two million consumers in over 30 countries.

China’s state-owned enterprises have long dominated China’s list of leading companies. In 2010, of the top 50 Chinese brands identified in the report, state-owned companies occupied a third of the list and accounted for an estimated 70-75% of the $280 billion total combined value of the top 50.

Today, it’s a different story. In the past year, the government as has pushed private sector reforms and talked about the need to let market forces play a “more decisive” role in the economy. Alibaba’s public listing last year also contributed to the jump in value for market-driven brands, Millward Brown said, adding that technology brands have also for the first time surpassed financial institutions, becoming the highest valued sector in the rankings, representing 23% of the top 100’s value. Search giant Baidu Inc.BIDU -1.66% ranked No. 5, behind China Mobile and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.

Tencent now ranks fifth in the world for global technology leaders’ brand value, according to MIllward Brown. Google Inc. is No. 1 with $158.8 billion, with Apple Inc. holding the No. 2 spot, followed by International Business Machines Corp.and Microsoft Corp.

Yet, even with Alibaba’s record-setting IPO and Tencent’s various successes, Chinese brands haven’t gained global recognition, said Ms. Wang. Only 22% of consumers surveyed outside of China could recognize a Chinese brand in 2014, a slight rise from 20% the year earlier. Chinese brands need to clarify what they stand for and need to ensure that they can satisfy needs beyond the Chinese market for them to gain more recognition, said Ms. Wang. “They need to consider what kind of benefit they bring to global consumers,” she said.

via China’s Top 100 Brands: The Private Sector Reigns Supreme – China Real Time Report – WSJ.

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