Manufacturers exceed consumer and realty brands in innovation: survey

Despite being hurt by rising raw material prices, manufacturers' value in innovation grew faster than other industries, driven by supply-side reform.

China’s continuous supply-side reform has pushed manufacturing brands above consumer and realty brands in innovation value, a survey showed in Shanghai today.

The survey, conducted by Fudan University and Shanghai Institute of Corporate Culture and Brand, ranked the 100 most valuable brands out of over 16,000 listed Chinese companies by innovation ability, said Jiang Qingyun, chairman of the department of marketing at Fudan University who led the survey.

Urged by China’s continuous efforts in supply-side reform, which aims at upgrading the country’s competitiveness in manufacturing by phasing out inefficient capacity and nurturing high-tech industries, “manufacturing companies, especially those giants, are speeding up innovation faster than many other industries,” Jiang said.

They are increasing investment in both scientific research and marketing, which can suggest a company’s competitiveness in strategic actions and business management.

“These are the main factors to bolster a brand’s value in innovation, which is the focus of our research,” he said.

The latest ranking added 13 manufacturing brands compared with a year ago, with eight manufacturers such as SAIC (an auto maker), China State Construction and China National Petroleum Corp listed among the top 20.

By contrast, realty giant Vanke fell to 15th from 7th place, despite a growth in its sales, “as its research and marketing investment didn’t grow as significantly as other brands,” Jiang said.

Liquor maker Yanghe fell from 24th to 40th place, while jewelry brand Chow Tai Fook dropped to 50th from 22nd.

While many manufacturers were hurt by a surge of raw material prices over the past two years, “their value in innovation remains robust, driven by supply-side reform,” Jiang said. “They have to do more, such as merging with rivals or taking in new technologies, to keep a place in the market.”

The survey is based on public data of the 16,232 Chinese companies listed both domestically and in the United States, covering all sectors except financial institutes “as banks normally don’t release data of scientific research,” Jiang said.

Their team is expected to unveil a ranking for the finance industry separately next year, he said.

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