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China’s 100 most valuable brands grow 13 per cent despite economic slowdown


By Charlotte McEleny, Asia Editor

March 22, 2016 | 3 min read

The confidence of Chinese consumers has been shown to be standing strong, despite a wider economic slowdown in the country. Millward Brown’s annual BrandZ report reveals the 100 most valuable brands, revealing that the total value of the list has risen 13 per cent over the past year.

According to the research, for the first time ever, market-driven brands contributed more than half (51 per cent) of the value of the China Top 100.

It tallies with comments made by senior marketing figures in the region in February who advised on how the industry should tackle the China economic slowdown, with most optimistic that the majority of brands can still flourish.

Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ of Millward Brown, commented: “Despite the slowdown in economic growth and extreme stock market fluctuations, consumers feel optimistic: they still hold on to the Chinese Dream of a better life for themselves and their families.”

Top of the list is technology business Tencent, owner of mobile messaging site WeChat, which increased its brand value 24 per cent to $82.1bn. Second on the list is China Mobile, with a two per cent growth to $57.1bn. Thirdy is Alibaba, which dropped from second last year and saw a 20 percent decrease in brand value to $47.6bn this year.

Alibaba this week released a blog post from executive vice chairman Joe Tsai, which announced that the business transacted $476 billion (or 3 trillion RMB) in gross merchandise volume (GMV) within a year for the first time.

Despite hitting such scale, Millward Brown’s research reveals that its brand may be impacted by the growth of rival which has expanded its mobile offering, taken its ecommerce platform worldwide and partnered with premium international brands.

David Roth, CEO EMEA and Asia, The Store WPP, said: “Brand strength is the key determinant for success. The brands in the Top 100 are not immune to economic and market influences, but the strongest have survived and even thrived. To grow in value in the coming years Chinese brands must invest more in being unique and innovative, and continue to make meaningful connections with consumers.”

Millward Brown also looked at how innovation and uniqueness impacted brand value, showing that the top third most innovative brands grew 29 per cent between 2014-2016, compared with 3 per cent for the least innovative. Similarly, the top third most unique brands grew 29 per cent, compared with 3 per cent for the least unique.

To see the full 100 brands, see the Millward Brown BrandZ report.

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