Chinese brands soar in value

Annual ranking notes growing worldwide recognition as local companies thrive despite trade tensions and slower growth. 

The total value of the 100 most valuable Chinese brands increased 30 percent to US$889.7 billion despite trade tensions and slower growth, according to the latest study by WPP and Kantar. 

Alibaba has been crowned the most valuable brand in China for the first time in the annual ranking, according to the “BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands.” 

Its brand value has grown 136 percent over the past five years in BrandZ’s list, outperforming the overall growth of the top 100 brands which was up 92 percent over the same period.

"The threshold to enter the BrandZ China Top 100 has more than doubled to US$681 million in 2019 from US$311 million a year ago, showing that Chinese brands are increasingly recognized as leading the way in innovation," said David Roth, CEO of The Store, the WPP Global Retail Practice, for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia.

"Building stronger brands allows companies to stay in the game against a backdrop of heightened competition and disruption,” he said. 

The growth has been fuelled by brands accelerating their expansion into China’s lower tier cities, which have seen rapid development and rising consumer buying power, and increasingly positive attitudes to Chinese consumer brands with a global presence.

Technology companies, which are gaining worldwide recognition, took the most spots in the ranking and contributed 26 percent of the total value.

The study this year also included companies in four new sectors — consumer finance, entertainment, lifestyle platforms and transport.

Xiaomi, local lifestyle services app Meituan, food delivery app Ele.me as well as Pingan Group's consumer finance brand Lufax were the most valuable brands among 17 newcomers.

There is huge potential for further brand growth overseas as China moves beyond the industrial focus of its Belt and Road initiative towards establishing leadership in areas including AI, robotics, the Internet of Things and green energy, the report adds.

Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ at Kantar, said: "Realizing brand growth requires Chinese companies to have knowledge and expertise to surmount new challenges." 

The ranking was based on a combination of the listed companies' stock performance and insights and opinion drawn from 290,000 Chinese consumers on more than 1,100 brands in 75 categories. 

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