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China leads the world with fastest growing nation brand: study

By Wang Mingjie in London | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-10-11 00:30

China is the fastest growing nation brand in absolute terms, rising in value by $3.1 trillion in a year, according to a new report.

The increase is equal to the entire nation brand value of the United Kingdom, which illustrates just by how much China is outpacing other countries.

Brand Finance, a London-based brand valuation consultancy, has evaluated the 100 most valuable nation brands of 2017.

Its research revealed that China's nation brand value grew by 44 percent, to $10.2 trillion, a rate 20-time faster than that of the United States.

Chinese companies make up 50 of the Global 500 most valuable brands, up from eight in 2008.

Chinese brands had no sector leaders in 2008, but now have four – banks (ICBC), spirits (Moutai), insurance (PingAn), real estate (Dalian Wanda).

Alex Haigh, director of Brand Finance, said Chinese brands and the transformed national image of China as an emerging global power are reinforcing each other.

"They are going from strength to strength due both to government support and a market that is maturing in to a dynamic and innovative one," he said.

In 2012, President Xi Jinping said that China should build its own world-renowned brands.

"The Chinese government has integrated brand-building into government policy with major statements in each of the last 4 years," said Paul Temporal, a global expert on brand creation and an associate fellow at Oxford University's Said Business School.

Temporal said China's aim is to strengthen the national brand image, improve the quality of Chinese products and encourage provinces and companies to help the country move from "Made in China" to "Branded in China".

Courtney Fingar, editor in chief of fDi magazine, a division of the Financial Times, said it was inevitable that China's ascendance as a global power would eventually translate into an enhanced nation brand.

"A new breed of globally minded Chinese companies, led by tech players such as Huawei, have led the charge of international expansion and become prolific generators of greenfield foreign direct investment around the world," Fingar said.

While China's nation brand value is growing faster than that of the US, it is still only half that of the US’s and Chinese companies have not succeeded in matching the power of Western brands.

Temporal said while China has a few global businesses, it has no powerful global brands.

"This will change as they master the techniques of strategic brand development and management," he said. "Managers of Chinese brands have to learn how to capture consumer hearts as well as minds."


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