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BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


Welcome 4

by David Roth,
The Store WPP,
EMEA & Asia

Feng Xiao, Chief Financial Officer, Air China Ltd.

Zhiyu Chen, Chief Commercial and Product Officer,

AliExpress (Alibaba Group)

Xianlin Xie, Cofounder and President,

The BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 24

The BrandZTM Top 30 Brands in Brief 26

Elex Technology Company, Ltd.

Glory Cheung, Chief Marketing Officer,

Huawei Consumer Business Group,
Seven Critical Observations for Brand Building 34
Huawei Technologies Company, Ltd. Methodology 92
1. Chinese brands need to build
INTRODUCTION awareness and consideration Lufeng Gao, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Ninebot Inc.
BrandZ Reports, Apps and iPad
Alice Lee, General Manager, Brand Innovation Center, 94
2. Familiarity with Chinese brands Magazine
varies widely by country TCL Corporation

3. Consideration rises for WPP Resources 96

Overview 10
Internet-driven brands
Thought Leadership 82 WPP Company Contributors 98
Historical Context 14 4. Brands in established categories
Innovative Chinese brands ride digital wave
dominate in Brand Power 101
Takeaways 16 by Doreen Wang, Gobal Head BrandZ WPP in China
5. Digital leaders reflect shift
in the notion of Brand China More Chinese brands achieve global stature 101
Kantar Millward Brown in China
by Scott Beaumont, Vice President, Google
6. Brand Power varies by
category and country Brand Building Experts 102

7. Brands in established categories

Top 30 Chinese Global Brand 103
need to differentiate Builders Team

2 3
BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


I remember my impressions when I first visited China, in the

1990s. As the marketing director for a large UK retailer I was
charged with creating our China entry strategy. After months

China enters
of focus groups we concluded that Chinese consumers
would welcome our western brands and products. We
prepared for an immense and exciting opportunity.

opportune time What a difference 20 years makes.

Today, western consumers are
increasingly looking to China for the
newest products and brands. Brand
awareness is only the start. The
messaging and media for getting
consumers to consider a brand can
vary significantly market-by-market.

for building
China, formerly associated with low
quality, is becoming synonymous That is why we have produced,
with innovation, especially among in conjunction with Google this
young people. This transition is most groundbreaking report, the BrandZ
apparent in technology, such as Top 30 Chinese Global Brand
smart phones and home electronics.

global brands
Builders 2017. We analyze consumer
perceptions of Chinese and non-
The movement of ideas and product Chinese brands across nine product
leadership across continents is not categories and seven countries.
reversing its course. Rather, it is Then we identify the gaps in Chinese
beginning to move in all directions, as brand performance, and provide
it has throughout most of history. For recommendations for building brand
these reasons, this is an opportune strength.
time for Chinese brands to reach new
audiences by expanding abroad and We based the research on WPPs
competing with their global and local BrandZ database, the worlds
country market peers. largest, consumer-focused source of
brand equity knowledge and insight,
To realize this potential, however, and we partnered with Google, to

New report examines Chinese brands need to overcome

many challenges. First, Chinese
leverage our proprietary BrandZ
resources with Google Surveys and

challenges across brands are still relatively unknown

outside of China, and building
Google search capability. The result is
must reading for any Chinese brand

categories and countries

awareness, especially in developed owner who is considering expanding
markets, requires market insight and overseas or who is already overseas
communications expertise. Second, and contemplating the next moves.

David Roth
CEO, The Store WPP, EMEA & Asia
Twitter: @davidrothlondon

4 5

reports, including: BrandZ Top 100

The time is now Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2016;
Unmasking the Individual Chinese
Thats how Id summarize all the
Investor; The Power and Potential
knowledge, original findings
of the Chinese Dream; The Chinese
and insights that we packed into
New Year in Next Growth Cities; and
this report. The time is now. The
The Chinese Golden Weeks in Fast
winning Chinese exporters will act
Growth Cities. To download these
with boldness and speed to build
and other BrandZ reports, please
valuable brands, consistent in core
visit For the
values and meaningfully different in
interactive BrandZ mobile apps go
each market served.

But I invite you to draw your own

At WPP, were passionate about
conclusions. I suggest first reading
using our creativity to create and
the introduction. It begins with an
build strong, differentiated brands
overview of key findings, continues
that deliver lasting shareholder value.
with a historical context for Chinas
To learn more about how to apply
export experience, and concludes
our experience and expertise to
with 20 takeaways, practical ideas
benefit your brand, please contact
for overseas brand building. When
any of the WPP companies that
you have more time, read through
contributed expertise to this report.
Part 2 for consumer perceptions
Turn to the resources section at the
of Chinese brands compared with
end of this report for summaries
global and local brands.
of each company and the contact
details of key executives. Or feel free
If you are wondering how all
to contact me directly.
this knowledge and insight gets
applied in the real world, go to Part
3 for our interviews with c-suite
executives from six of the BrandZ
Top 30 Chinese Global Brand
Builders 2017. These confident
leaders share some of the elements
of their success. And they describe
how the consumer perception of
Brand China is changing. David Roth
CEO, The Store WPP, EMEA & Asia
For additional knowledge about
Twitter: @davidrothlondon
China and Chinese consumers, I Blog:
direct you to our library of BrandZ

6 Photograph by Paul Reiffer



Photograph by Paul Reiffer

INTRODUCTION BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


These summary findings emerged such as consumer electronics, and
from the BrandZ Top 30 Chinese Internet-driven categories, such as
Global Brand Builders 2017, a e-commerce.
groundbreaking examination of
consumer attitudes toward Chinese And because Chinese brands

brands emerge,
brands as they shift from product already have extensive experience
makers to global marketers. exporting to nearby developing
Produced by BrandZ and Kantar markets in Asia, we examined
Millward Brown in collaboration consumer attitudes about Chinese
with Google, the report identifies brand in seven developed markets,
and ranks Chinese brands based including three continental European

but established
on the strength of their brands countries, the UK, the US, Australia,
overseas. It also reveals challenges and Japan. We compared how
Entrepreneurial, internet-driven and opportunities, and provides vital consumers view Chinese brands with
Chinese brands are finding insights and recommendations for how they view non-Chinese brands
acceptance overseas, and global brand building. both global brands and local country
consumer electronics brands brands.

brands dominate
By leveraging WPPs BrandZ
dominate the ranks of Chinese
analytics with Google Surveys, Across all categories and countries,
exporters. However, consumers we calculated the Brand Power of the BrandZ Top 30 Chinese Global
worldwide are still less likely Chinese brands outside of China. Brand Builders 2017 ranking breaks
to choose a Chinese brand in We ranked the brands based on down like this:
most categories. As Chinese their Brand Power, the BrandZ
companies continue to expand metric of brand equity, the consumer > BY NUMBER OF BRANDS
predisposition to choose a particular The ranking divides equally in
beyond nearby Asian countries,
brand. And we studied product brands: 15 come from established
export success will require
categories and country markets categories, and 15 come from
extensive market insight and most critical to future growth. (For Internet-driven categories
brand building. methodology details, please see
page 92) > BY BRAND POWER

Expansion to developed Rather than focus exclusively on

the industrial and infrastructure
The ranking is less balanced
in Brand Power. Brands from
established categories make up
markets makes brand categories that produced Chinas
remarkable GDP growth over
57 percent of the rankings Brand

building more critical the past 35 years of economic

reform, we selected nine product > BY PRODUCT CATEGORY
categories, including many Seven of the Top 10 brands come
associated with Chinas ongoing from established categories. In
rebalancing to a consumer-driven fact, one established category
economy. The findings are relevant consumer electronics produces
to both established categories, 40 percent of the ranking Brand

10 11
INTRODUCTION BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


In addition, three of the Top 5 are meets customer needs in a relevant brands enjoy awareness, but also Chinese brands demonstrate 2017 include Alibaba, which reaches capital, Internet-driven brands have
consumer electronics brands. way, and at the right price, inspires face a lot of competition. Internet- their quality with their digital overseas consumers with its rapidly entered overseas markets
Lenovo, ranks Number 1, followed word of mouth and is step one in driven brands are growing quickly sophistication and ability to AliExpress site, as well as GearBox to compete with more established
by Huawei. Xiaomi ranks Number 5. building a strong brand. In fast- in awareness and consideration. create ecosystems that integrate and Light in the Box. Chinese and global brands. Many
Although we classify the consumer growing markets, especially those e-commerce with mobile payment younger brands are in growth
electronics as an established in Southeast Asia where Chinese Differentiation apps and a wide variety of other Ranking reveals categories and are expanding
category, these brands are products are present and consumers > Brands in established categories services. Chinese innovation and potential organically now, having survived a
emblematic of Chinas new economy, are familiar with Chinese brands, a need to differentiate. Consumers quality is also evident in other competitive shake out in China.
as are the brands ranked third and strong product and word of mouth say that brands in established technology sectors. DJI, ranked 13 in Chinese brands have a good story to
fourth: Alibaba, the e-commerce sometimes can propel expansion. categories have understood the BrandZ Top 30 Chinese Global tell, but they need to tell it better and These entrepreneurial brands can
giant, and mobile gaming brand Elex. and met their needs in relevant Brand Builders 2017, is a global more often. Perception is changing, be more nimble than some of the
But brand becomes vital in slower- ways, but the brands have not leader in drone development, for in part because of a generational larger BrandZ Top 30 Chinese
These results reflect the transition of growth developed markets, where sufficiently differentiated. In example. But these achievements are influence. Younger consumers have Global Brand Builders 2017 brands,
Chinas economy from a production- companies encounter greater contrast, the newer Internet- not sufficiently well known outside experienced Chinese products in more mature categories, which
driven past to a consumer-driven competition and demographic driven brands have had less time of China. Consumers in the seven differently than their parents or have built their international presence
future. Brands in the established diversity. Some developed markets to meet consumer needs, but markets studied were less aware of grandparents. For young people, through acquisition. These include
categories dominate the top of the are better understood as collections consumers are likely to view these Chinese brands than non-Chinese China makes cool stuff. Our research Lenovo, with its purchases of the
ranking. In general, these brands of submarkets with certain niches brands as distinctive because of brands, across all categories. discovered that in one category, IBM personal computer and server
drove economic growth and built more accessible to Chinese brands. their technology and innovation. mobile gaming, consumers prefer divisions, and Motorola Mobility;
Brand Power over time. The Internet- Brand can expedite market entry, Similarly, brands like Huawei or Chinese brands over the local or Haier, which expanded US market
driven brands are more present and accelerate consideration, by Changing market Xiaomi produce smart devices that global brands. They like the graphic share with the recent purchased GEs
toward the bottom of the ranking. raising awareness and trust and dynamics rival Apple and Samsung in function style of Chinese games and the home appliance division; and TCL the
These newer brands indicate the alerting consumers about product and design. Yet when BrandZ strategic thinking required to play. home appliance brand that achieved
potential for economic growth and innovation and diversification. Here Chinese brands are increasing their research compared the Number 1 initial prominence with acquisitions,
rising Brand Power. are several summary observations: export efforts at a time when several Chinese mobile phone brand with The mobile gaming category including the telecommunications
market dynamics are aligned in the Number 1 global or local mobile illustrates the enormous potential brand, Alcatel.
Core observations Awareness and Consideration their favor. First, Chinese brands phone brand in five country markets spread throughout the BrandZ Top
> Chinese brands need to build have changed. For several reasons, (the UK, Germany, Australia, Japan, 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders Regardless of their category or
We corroborated and enriched our awareness and consideration. including pressure from increasingly and Spain), consumers viewed the 2017 ranking. With one exception, export strategy Chinas export
analysis of research results with In the countries and categories sophisticated Chinese consumers, Chinese brand as less trustworthy, Elex, the mobile gaming brands fall leaders are raising awareness of
insights from WPP companies and studied, consumers are much and production experience gained desirable and creative. This in the second half of the ranking, and Chinese brands overseas and
Google brand experts and executives less aware of Chinese brands as Original Equipment Manufacturers disconnection between reality and four of them Tap4Fun, IGG, Youzu, improving the perception of Brand
from several of the BrandZ Top or likely to purchase them (OEMs), Chinese brands have perception particularly challenges and Ourpalm, are clustered together China. As these companies build
30 Chinese Global Brand Builders compared with local market or improved in quality during the any Chinese brand that intends to in ranks 19 to 22. Compared with the their brands abroad, they also enjoy a
2017. This exercise yielded seven international brands. past decade. They now are more reach a space where no Chinese Top 10, which represents 57 percent bonus return on investment at home.
core observations about how capable of meeting international brand has gone before - premium. of Brand Power, the Bottom 10
consumers outside of China perceive > Awareness and consideration expectations. Second, consumers produces only 16 percent. According to BrandZ research
Chinese brands. We amplified these varies by country and category. have changed. Equipped with greater It seems as if the quality of Chinese about the Chinese Dream, around
observations with brand implications. Consumers in Spain and Australia product choice and knowledge, brands is improving faster than Two consumer electronic brands, two-thirds of Chinese see a link
(For complete analysis, please see are relatively more receptive consumers worldwide are more the image of Chinese brands. The smart phone producers Oppo between building strong brands
page 34) to Chinese brands, especially capable of assessing brand quality gap exists at a time when western and Vivo, appear at ranks 26 and worldwide and achieving the Chinese
compared with consumers in and willing to select less well-known consumers have greater access to 27, respectively. Like the mobile Dream. Exporting success confers
Export success begins with the the US, the UK, and Japan. In brands, when justified. products from China, in part because gaming brands, they illustrate how status on a brand and potentially
product. A quality product that established categories, Chinese of the e-commerce brands that Chinas export economy is tilting raises trust. Chinese consumers
market Chinese products abroad. to technology and innovation, and view acceptance by an international
Those ranked in the BrandZ Top how, with greater access to venture audience as an endorsement, a
30 Chinese Global Brand Builders guarantee of quality.

12 13
INTRODUCTION BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


China goes
This network of overland and sea the first four Special Economic
trading routes was established Zones, two years later. These Zones,
during the Han Dynasty, more than on Chinas southeastern coast in
a century before the Common Era. Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Xiamen, and
By the eighth century, when Europe Shantou operated with lower

back to a future
China was a great innovator was in the Middle Ages, the Tang import duties and other concessions
Dynasty presided over a golden to encourage foreign investment and
and exporter of products and
period of medical, scientific, and trade, and local manufacturing.
ideas long before most western
cultural advancement. Changan
nations existed. The common (now Xian), at the eastern terminus The economic reforms resulted
perception of China as an of the Silk Road, became the Imperial in a production-driven economy

of ingenuity
imitator disregards the ingenuity capital and one of the worlds most and extraordinary GDP growth.
that altered world history with populous cities with around a million Many Chinese companies served as
the inventions such as paper, people. Original Equipment Manufacturers
(OEMs), making products that
printing, the compass, and gun
The perception of China as western companies branded and
powder. And it ignores the Silk an imitator is a more recent marketed. During this period, China

and invention
Road that brought products to phenomenon. Other nations gained a reputation for making
neighboring Asian lands, and to experience this stage of cheap, low-quality merchandise,
Rome and other parts of Europe. development that, for China, is including knockoffs of major brands.
linked to the disruption caused by
the industrial revolution and western To create sustainable growth, China
powers need for raw materials and today is rebalancing its economy
markets in which to sell finished by raising the quality of its products
goods. China has been rebounding and services, and promoting
for over 100 years, since the end consumption at home and abroad.
of Imperial China with the fall of President Xi Jinpings One Belt, One
the Qing Dynasty in 1911, and the Road strategy evokes the Silk Road
creation a modern state, culminating by encouraging international trade
in 1949 with the establishment of the cooperation among modern nations

Entrepreneurs see
Peoples Republic of China. along those historic routes. Many of
the young entrepreneurs who today
The gradual reengagement with the create and export new Chinese
opportunities along the West reached an important inflection
point with the introduction of
products and services were not yet
born when Deng first opened the

Silk Road and beyond economic reforms by Deng Xiaoping

in 1978, and the establishment of
economy over 35 years ago.

14 15
INTRODUCTION BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


20 action points Build the brand...

to achieve 01 02 03
Start with the product Build the brand Be Bold

Start with the product (or Focusing solely on the product, Overseas expansion should be a key
service). The product needs to without a brand platform, goes part of the strategic plan, an element
meet the quality expectations of only so far. It may work in a of the company DNA, particularly for

export success
international consumers, and it nearby market, but without start-ups. The traditional expansion
needs to be different in ways that a brand, exporting to new sequence required first succeeding
make it exciting and desirable to markets is like moving into an domestically before exporting.
customers outside of China. unfamiliar neighborhood. It is That conventional wisdom is dated.
possible to make friends, but it The overseas market is ready for
takes a lot of time and effort. A Chinese brands. Young people, in
well-known and differentiated particular, associate Chinese brands
brand increases the chances of with innovation and diversity of
a faster and warmer welcome. offering. Many Chinese competitors
are moving quickly to realize this

Start with the product,

add insight, innovation,
Project leadership
Collect a bonus

and rapid execution Gaining awareness is an important

accomplishment. But it is not enough
Brand success abroad can
raise brand stature at home.
for brands that aspire to differentiate It is a dividend earned because
and project leadership in overseas Chinese consumers view overseas
markets. That requires explaining the success as validation that the
brands core values and describing, brand meets international
in a relevant and authentic way, how quality expectations and is
the brand improves peoples lives. trustworthy.

16 17

... Adapt to the market...

Gain insight
Identify local partners
Set ambitious goals

Consumer receptivity to Chinese Accelerate the understanding and Chinas successful exporters set
brands varies by country market penetration of country markets by ambitious goals that they pursue
and by category. Identifying those finding partners that best meet the diligently and for the long-term,
variations, and understanding why need for local knowledge and access. regardless of the inevitable quarter-
they exist, helps to shape export These relationships can take many to-quarter fluctuations. Overseas
priorities and focus marketing forms, from strategic alliances to brand building takes time and
investment most efficiently. mergers and acquisitions. patience. But it is cumulative. The
Influencing each audience investment in each market can help
requires first understanding their elevate the brand across all markets.
values, desires, customs, attitudes,
and preferences.

Hire local people
Champion diversity
Respect the rules

Hire local people with the right Recruit multicultural talent to Every country has its own laws
experience for key positions. demonstrate respect for others, and and rules and regulations for
They can do a good job of as an expression of global citizenship. doing business. Follow the rules
understanding the brand and A multiplicity of voices results in of the game; do not game the
communicating in ways that greater creativity, energy, and deeper rules. Building a brand for the
connect with local consumers. local knowledge and insight. long term requires respecting
standard business practices,
not trying to subvert them.

18 Photograph by Paul Reiffer

INTRODUCTION BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


... Execute with

... Innovate, differentiate, communicate... speed and care

Execute with speed

Chinese brands are far along in the Especially in established categories, Chinese brands usually export Chinese companies tend to move
process of improving quality and Chinese brands have long met only after they have built a faster than western companies. One
shifting from imitation to innovation. consumer needs in relevant successful brand with a proven explanation is their relative youth.
But consumers outside of China ways. But as categories filled communications strategy in China. Many Chinese companies are still
have not gotten the message. More with competitors, many Chinese Do not assume that the strategy will run by their founders. Western
Chinese brands need to tell the brands became less sharply work to build awareness abroad. companies, in contrast, more
innovation story. That chorus will differentiated. That disadvantage is While the brands core values will typically are run by a later generation
raise the image of Brand China and compounded when brands expand remain constant, they need to of family owners or by professional
help Chinese exporters overall. to competitive markets abroad. be communicated in ways that managers. Keep moving quickly.
resonate with the local audience. Speed is a competitive advantage.


Challenge the conventional
Go digital
Reach young people
Be confident
Moderate with care

The approaches for introducing Create comprehensive media If young people think of Brand China It may not always be necessary Many western companies are
and promoting Chinese brands plans based on how consumers at all, they probably associated it to advertise the brands Chinese more systematized than Chinese
overseas do not necessarily use media in particular markets. with stylish and affordable smart provenance, but neither is it companies. Too much systemization
need to follow conventional Do not neglect TV and other devices and other cool stuff. But always useful to ignore it. In can create sluggish bureaucracy. But
communication approaches. A little traditional media, but broaden the through young people brands some categories a Chinese systems used well enable a company
non-conformity goes a long way media strategy as necessary. For can influence older generations, brand can be an advantage. In to move quickly while exercising
for challenger brands that need example, outside of China digital and the parents or grandparents who mobile gaming, Chinese brands control. Systems can simplify
to quickly make an impact and video communication, on sites like remember the China of cheap, low signal design originality and a decisions and add useful knowledge.
differentiate from the competition. YouTube, is more common. quality products. need for deep strategic thinking Adopt systems as appropriate, to
that many gamers desire. avoid a competitive disadvantage.

20 21


Photograph by Paul Reiffer

BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017

# 1 Brand Power Score

1,682 # 2 Brand Power Score

1,256 # 3 Brand Power Score

1,047 # 16 Brand Power Score

386 # 17 Brand Power Score

373 # 18 Brand Power Score


Consumer Electronics Consumer Electronics E-commerce Mobile Gaming Internet Services Home Appliances/Consumer Electronics

# 4 923 #5
Brand Power Score

716 #6
Brand Power Score Brand Power Score

709 # 19 346 #20

Brand Power Score

332 #21
Brand Power Score Brand Power Score


Mobile Gaming Consumer Electronics Airlines Mobile Gaming Mobile Gaming Mobile Gaming

# 7 572 #8
Brand Power Score

501 #9
Brand Power Score Brand Power Score

498 # 22 264 #23

Brand Power Score

242 #24
Brand Power Score Brand Power Score


Home Appliances Consumer Electronics Mobile Gaming/Internet Services Mobile Gaming E-commerce Airlines

# 10 482 #11
Brand Power Score

GO Launcher
481 #12
Brand Power Score

Brand Power Score

454 # 25 228 #26

Brand Power Score

227 #27
Brand Power Score Brand Power Score


Home Appliances Internet Services Consumer Electronics Online Fast Fashion Consumer Electronics Consumer Electronics

# 13 431 #14
Brand Power Score

426 #15
Brand Power Score Brand Power Score

410 # 28 219 #29

Brand Power Score

209 #30
Brand Power Score Brand Power Score


Smart Devices Airlines Consumer Electronics Smart Devices Mobile Gaming/Internet Services Cars
Source: BranddZ/Kantar Millward Brown
BRANDZTM TOP 30 CHINESE GLOBAL BRAND BUILDERS 2017 BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


01 Lenovo 02 Huawei 05 Xiaomi 06 Air China

Company Lenovo Group Ltd. Company Huawei Technologies Company, Ltd. Company Xiaomi Inc. Company Air China Ltd.
Brand Power 1,682 Brand Power 1,256 Brand Power 716 Brand Power 709
Headquarters City Beijing Headquarters City Shenzhen Headquarters City Beijing Headquarters City Beijing
Industry Consumer Electronics Industry Consumer Electronics Industry Consumer Electronics Industry Airlines
Year Formed 1984 Year Formed 1987 Year Formed 2010 Year Formed 1988

A global leader in personal computer and mobile Present in over 170 countries, Huawei is a large Xiaomi is a manufacturer of smart phones and other Air China is the largest Chinese airline. The state owned
technology, Lenovo products include PCs, smartphones, manufacturer of telecommunications equipment mobile devices, along with a range of appliances and enterprise operated 377 routes as of June 2016, including
tablets, and smart TVs. Strategic acquisitions to increase and smart devices, and gains almost 60 percent of consumer electronic products and accessories, such as 98 international routes to 39 countries or regions. In
sales and expand internationally, include the purchase its revenue outside of China. Huawei smart phones TVs, rice cookers, fitness bands, and routers. Established cooperation with its airline partners in Star Alliance, Air
of IBMs PC division in 2005, and Motorola Mobility rival Apple and Samsung in quality and design, but in 2010, the company rapidly grew in popularity in China China reaches 193 countries. Air China also operates a
from Google two years ago. The company, which also retail at lower prices. The company sold 100 million and began exporting its products in 2014, the year it cargo business. Air Chinas overseas activities generated
operates an enterprise business, derives over 70 percent smartphones in 2015, becoming the second most become the worlds most valuable technology start-up. almost 30 percent of the companys total revenue, and
of its revenue overseas in over 160 countries. popular smartphone in Europe, after Samsung. The brand strategy involves developing an ecosystem more than 72 percent of its air cargo revenue.
connecting its devices and smart home appliances.

03 Alibaba 04 Elex Tech 07 Haier 08 Anker

Company Alibaba Group Holding, Ltd. Company Beijing Elex Technology Company, Ltd. Company Haier Group Company Hunan Ocean Wing E-Commerce Technology Company, Ltd.
Brand Power 1,047 Brand Power 923 Brand Power 572 Brand Power 501
Headquarters City Hangzhou Headquarters City Beijing Headquarters City Qingdao Headquarters City Changsha
Industry E-commerce Industry Mobile Gaming Industry Home Appliances Industry Consumer Electronics
Year Formed 1999 Year Formed 2008 Year Formed 1984 Year Formed 2009

Chinas leading online marketplace, Alibaba gained Elex is a developer of multiplayer online and mobile Haier makes a wide range of major appliances, including Anker makes and markets consumer electronics
worldwide attention with its record IPO on the New games, such as Clash of Kings, that stimulate air conditioners, washing machines, and refrigerators. It products, such as headphones and LED lighting, as well
York Stock Exchange in 2014. Its marketplaces include competition and strategic thinking. Available in sells its products in over 100 countries and manufactures as portable chargers, USB cables, and other accessories
Taobao, which connects sellers with consumers and small multiple languages, Elex games reaches over 50 around half of them locally, in factories located for mobile devices. Originally an e-commerce brand
businesses; Tmall, a third-party, business-to-consumer site; million users in 40 countries, primarily in Asia-Pacific, throughout the world. Overseas sales contribute more exclusively, Anker is now present offline in Staples office
and AliExpress, which provides international consumers Europe, and Latin America. The games promote than a quarter of annual revenue. In April 2016, Haier supply stores. Anker sells products in over 30 countries
with access to Chinese products. The marketplaces, social interaction and enable people worldwide to completed the purchase of the appliance division of GE, and processes as many as 30,000 orders daily. The
along with entertainment, cloud, and financial services participate and communicate across national borders. significantly expanding its presence in the US. company initially targeted overseas markets but now sells
businesses, are designed to help customers move in China as well.
seamlessly within the Alibaba ecosystem.

26 27
BRANDZTM TOP 30 CHINESE GLOBAL BRAND BUILDERS 2017 BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


09 Cheetah Mobile 10 Hisense 13 DJI 14 China Eastern Airlines

Company Cheetah Mobile Company, Ltd. Company Hisense Company, Ltd. Company DJI Technology Company, Ltd. Company China Eastern Airlines Corporation, Ltd.
Brand Power 498 Brand Power 482 Brand Power 431 Brand Power 426
Headquarters City Beijing Headquarters City Qingdao Headquarters City Shenzhen Headquarters City Shanghai
Industry Mobile Gaming/Internet Services Industry Home Appliances Industry Smart Devices Industry Airlines
Year Formed 2010 Year Formed 1969 Year Formed 2006 Year Formed 1988

Cheetah Mobile is best known as the developer of Hisense is a state owned producer of mobile devices and DJI is a global leader in developing and manufacturing Chinas second largest airline, China Eastern Airlines
mobile device optimization and security software, home appliances, including TVs. The company markets innovative drone and camera technology for commercial reaches 177 countries and regions with through its
such as Clean Master, Battery Doctor, and CM under several brands, including Hisense, and also and recreational use. Along with its easy-to-use signature partner airlines in SkyTeam. Together with its subsidiary,
Security. By offering its software free, the company manufacturers for other companies. Hisense exports to Phantom series, DJI also makes drones for commercial Shanghai Airlines, China Eastern Airlines maintains
has attracted over 634 million monthly active users 130 countries, and sells Hisense-branded products in uses including filmmaking, agriculture, and search and a dominant presence in Shanghai, an important
worldwide, as of December 2015. Advertising drives over 80 countries. Around 30 percent of revenue comes rescue. The company sells its products worldwide, with international hub. The airline also operates from hubs
revenue. In August 2016, Cheetah Mobile acquired from overseas sales. Because its reach far exceeds over 70 percent of sales coming from markets outside of in Kunming and Xian. It recently entered a marketing
News Republic, a French news aggregator, which is its brand recognition, Hisense calls itself, the biggest Asia, particularly in North America and Europe. agreement with the new Shanghai Disneyland Resort,
expected to draw more users and enhance Cheetah company youve never heard of. To raise its profile and added flights to Prague, Amsterdam, Madrid,
Mobiles data analytics and ability to target ads. overseas, Hisense recently became an official partner of St. Petersburg, and Chicago. International passenger
the Union of European Football Association (UEFA). service produces over 30 percent of revenue.

11 GO Launcher 12 OnePlus 15 ZTE 16 FunPlus

Company 3G Company OnePlus Technology Company, Ltd. Company ZTE Corporation Company FunPlus Technology Company, Ltd.
Brand Power 481 Brand Power 454 Brand Power 410 Brand Power 386
Headquarters City Guangzhou Headquarters City Shenzhen Headquarters City Shenzhen Headquarters City Beijing
Industry Internet Services Industry Consumer Electronics Industry Consumer Electronics Industry Mobile Gaming
Year Formed 2010 Year Formed 2013 Year Formed 1985 Year Formed 2010

A free app developed by 3G, GO Launcher provides OnePlus makes smartphones that offer technical and ZTE is a provider of information and communication FunPlus is a developer and publisher of online
a suite of design themes, transitions, gestures and design quality at affordable prices. Having launched its systems and equipment for business, government, and mobile games. Family Farm for Facebook
utilities to help users organize and personalize their first products both in China and overseas markets in and consumers, including cloud services and other and Family Farm Seaside for iOS and Android are
Android mobile devices. GO Launcher became 2014, OnePlus now is present in around 43 countries, aspects of mobile Internet technology. It enables FunPluss two signature games. Available in many
available on Google Play in November 2010. primarily online, although it has experimented in pop- voice, data, and broadband communications in languages and free to players, the games generate
up stores and service centers in India, one of its largest over 160 countries and regions, and derives over 40 revenue when players purchase virtual products.
overseas markets. The overseas markets, including the percent of its operating revenue outside of China. Most revenue comes from players in Europe, North
US, Europe, and India, produce the majority of sales. America and the Middle East. FunPlus also invests in
game start-ups through its Publishing Plus business.

28 29
BRANDZTM TOP 30 CHINESE GLOBAL BRAND BUILDERS 2017 BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


17 360 18 TCL 21 Youzu 22 Ourpalm

Company Qihoo 360 Technology Company, Ltd. Company TCL Corporation Company Youzu Interactive Company, Ltd. Company Ourpalm Company, Ltd.
Brand Power 373 Brand Power 366 Brand Power 309 Brand Power 264
Headquarters City Beijing Headquarters City Huizhou Headquarters City Shanghai Headquarters City Beijing
Industry Internet Services Industry Consumer Electronics/Home Appliances Industry Mobile Gaming Industry Mobile Gaming
Year Formed 2005 Year Formed 1981 Year Formed 2009 Year Formed 2004

Qihoo 360 is an Internet security company specializing TLC is a maker and marketer of consumer electronics Youzu is a game development and distribution A leading PC, mobile, and virtual reality gaming
in antivirus software for computers and mobile devices. worldwide, with a special focus on multimedia company. It operates eight overseas branch offices marketer, Ourpalm has evolved through acquisition from
Over 550 million people worldwide have use 360 security entertainment and smart TVs. The company also and is present in 150 countries in Europe, North its formative days as a telecommunications provider.
products, which are available as a free download. produces DVD players, air conditioners, refrigerators America, South America, and Asia. Sales of the Ourpalm now owns The King of fighters 98: Ultimate
Revenue comes from advertising and value-added and other large appliances. It markets mobile devices companys overseas gaming business more than Match OL, which produces around half of the brands
services like premium membership. Qihoo 360 originated under the Alcatel brand, which it acquired over 10 doubled in each of the past two years. The companys total income from gaming. It is strategically focused
in China and expanded overseas. It provides customer years ago. TCL Corporation operates sales offices in Junior Three Kingdoms mobile game experienced on expanding globally and developing virtual reality
support in multiple languages. over 80 countries and regions, and serves over 160 particular success in the US, and its League of Angels products. Its other popular games include MU and
countries. Overseas sales produced almost half of game ranked high in gross sales in over 80 countries. World of Dragon Raja.
the companys revenue in 2015.

19 Tap4Fun 20 IGG 23 GearBest 24 China Southern Airlines

Company Tap4Fun Company, Ltd. Company IGG Inc. Company Shenzhen Globalegrow Electronic Company China Southern Airlines Company, Ltd.
Brand Power 346 Brand Power 332 Commerce Company, Ltd. Brand Power 232
Headquarters City Chengdu Headquarters City Singapore Brand Power 242 Headquarters City Guangzhou
Industry Mobile Gaming Industry Mobile Gaming Headquarters City Shenzhen Industry Airlines
Year Formed 2008 Year Formed 2005 Industry E-commerce Year Formed 1995
Year Formed 2007
Founded as NibiruTech Ltd., the companys 2011 IGG (I Got Games) is a developer and publisher of Operating from several hub cities, including Guangzhou
name change toTap4Fun coincided with a strategic mobile and online games. Established in China, the brand GearBest is a B2C English language website owned by and Beijing, China Southern Airlines flies to destinations
shift to focus exclusively on developing mobile operates from regional headquarters in Asia and the US, Globalegrow, a cross-border e-commerce company that throughout China and to 40 countries and regions
games aimed at connecting players from around the and serves customers in around 200 countries.. It recently also operates and other sites. The worldwide. With its partner airlines in the SkyTeam
world to compete and collaborate. Leading games launched a game called Lords Mobile. The companys sites promise Chinese-made products of high quality network, China Southern Airlines reaches 179 countries
include Invasion and Galaxy Legend. Overseas most popular game, Castle Clash, produces over 50 and lower prices than generally available outside of and regions. Overseas passenger flights generate around
users drive almost all of the companys revenue. percent of revenue and is available in 15 languages. Of the China. GearBest offers over 50,000 items in categories 21 percent of China Southern Airlines total revenue.
300 million user accounts that IGG reported at the end of including apparel, auto, consumer electronics, home and The airline, which operates both passenger and cargo
2015, over two-thirds are in North America and Europe, garden, health and beauty, and mobile devices. businesses, is focused on developing Guangzhou into an
with around a quarter in Asia. international hub and gateway to South Asia, Australia,
and New Zealand.

30 31
BRANDZTM TOP 30 CHINESE GLOBAL BRAND BUILDERS 2017 BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


25 LightInTheBox 26 OPPO 29 Tencent PARIS

Company LightInTheBox Holding Company, Ltd. Company OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Company, Ltd. Company Tencent Holdings Ltd.
Brand Power 228 Brand Power 227 Brand Power 209
Headquarters City Beijing Headquarters City Dongguan Headquarters City Shenzhen
Industry Online Fast Fashion Industry Consumer Electronics Industry Mobile Gaming/Internet Services
Year Formed 2007 Year Formed 2004 Year Formed 1998

LightInTheBox is an e-commerce retailer of apparel and OPPO designs, manufactures, and markets smart phones Tencent is Chinas largest Internet portal, and its most valuable
small accessories, as well as home and garden products. and consumer electronics products, such as Blu-Ray brand, according to the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable
The company operates several websites in 27 languages. Disc players. The company started as an MP3 and MP4 Chinese Brands 2016. The company operates an ecosystem
Europe and North America are its primary markets. To manufacturer, and expanded to mobile devices four years of e-commerce and social media offerings that delivers
minimize inventory, the company locates its offices near later. The first overseas business opened in the late of news, video, music and games, and includes the popular
its manufacturing partners in China, and it focuses on 2009, in Thailand. Present today in 21 markets, including the social networking app WeChat. Tencent offers both PC and
products that can be customized at scale. Mobile drove US, Australia, Europe, and Southeast Asia, OPPO positions mobile games and is focused on growing its mobile game
one-third of the companys 2015 revenue. its devices as offering quality comparable to Apple or business in part by leveraging its PC titles. Tencent games are
Samsung, but at a lower price. To emphasize design as a subscription based. The company recently acquired a major
point of differentiation, OPPO uses the tagline, The art of stake in maker of Clash of Clans and Clash Royale. Tencent
technology. OPPO is owned by BBK Electronics. derives around 8 percent of its total revenue from overseas.

27 Vivo 28 Ninebot 30 Great Wall

Company Vivo Mobile Communications Company, Ltd. Company Ninebot Inc. Company Great Wall Motor Company, Ltd.
Brand Power 226 Brand Power 219 Brand Power 208
Headquarters City Dongguan Headquarters City Beijing Headquarters City Baoding
Industry Consumer Electronics Industry Smart Devices Industry Cars
Year Formed 2009 Year Formed 2012 Year Formed 1984

A maker and marketer of smartphones, Vivo attempts to Ninebot designs, develops, manufactures, and
differentiate its devices with the slimness of the design markets short-distance transportation products, Great Wall Motor markets primarily under two brands,
and the quality of the cameras. Emphasizing quality at a such as two-wheel, self-balancing vehicles. Well- Haval and Great Wall, and manufactures three types
relatively affordable price, Vivo competes against Apple established in Asia and Europe, the company of vehicles: SUVs, passenger cars, and pickup trucks.
and Samsung, particularly in China. The brand expanded recently merged with the industry pioneer, Segway, Great Wall recently introduced a luxury SUV named
overseas in 2014, and is gaining popularity in India and which is based in the US. The combined company is Wey. The company launched its export business in
other Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, represented in over 80 countries, and manufactures 1998, and derives less than 2 percent of operating
Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. in both China and the US. revenue from overseas markets. Its largest export
The company is exclusive smartphone partner of the destinations include Latin America (particularly Chile),
National Basketball Association (NBA) in China. Vivo is Iran, and Algeria. Great Wall Motors recently established
owned by BBK Electronics. sales offices in Australia, Russia, and South Africa.

32 33
BRANDZTM TOP 30 CHINESE GLOBAL BRAND BUILDERS 2017 BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017

BRANDZTM ANALYSIS Awareness and Consideration

The challenge of raising awareness Only 10 percent of consumers were

crosses many product categories and aware of the original 170 Chinese
Observation 1 Most Chinese brands are little
known by consumers outside of
includes even Chinese companies
that have exported for decades as
brands. We then selected a subset of
Chinese brands that registered some
China compared with consumer Original Equipment Manufacturers awareness. But awareness for that
awareness of global and local (OEMs). The OEMs, silent partners subset rose only to 15 percent.
country brands. This statement that made merchandise for western
Chinese brands need to build may sound unremarkable, but brands, received little public
In contrast, 60 percent of consumers
were aware of the non-Chinese
our findings reveal and quantify
awareness and consideration the size of the awareness gap. It We started with a group of almost
brands, and 27 percent of consumers
had considered purchasing a non-
is wide and Chinese brands will 600 brands, including global and Chinese brand. Only 8 percent of
need to work hard to close it. local country brands and around 170 consumers had considered a Chinese
Chinese brands. In the seven country brand.
markets studied for this report we

asked consumers whether they had
heard of particular brands or thought
about purchasing the brands.

consumers Implications
for Brands
Chinese brands with exporting
Chinese brands are not well known overseas
The primary challenge for Chinese brands going global is their substantially
lower levels of awareness and consideration relative to other brands.

are unfamiliar
ambitions need to begin
with a realistic appraisal of Awareness
their standing in overseas
markets. Most Chinese brands 15% 60%
need to assume that they are
starting with an awareness
disadvantage. Although Consideration

with most
Chinese products are rapidly
improving in quality, unless 8% 27%
Chinese brands communicate
that improvement they may 82 Chinese brands in total, small ones (awareness<10%) removed
fail to benefit from its full 399 non-Chinese brands in total
commercial potential. The
Non-Chinese brands include local brands and global brands in these seven country markets: US, UK, France,
same sophisticated digital

Chinese brands
Germany, Japan, Australia, and Spain, in these nine categories (consumer electronics, airlines, home appliances,
communication skill that automobile, e-commerce, mobile gaming, online fast fashion, smart devices, and Internet services). The awareness
Chinese brands demonstrate and consideration scores are averaged score across the seven markets and nine categories for Chinese and non-
Chinese brands. People who said they would consider a brand had first indicated their awareness of the brand.
at home, they now need to
demonstrate abroad. Source: Kantar Millward Brown

34 35
BRANDZTM TOP 30 CHINESE GLOBAL BRAND BUILDERS 2017 BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017

BRANDZTM ANALYSIS Awareness and Consideration

The reasons for these differences Spanish consumers, who are open
are complicated and usually market to niche brands in categories where

Observation 2 The awareness gap between

Chinese brands and other brands
specific. The higher awareness and
consideration levels in Australia
Chinese brands are present, such
as smart phones and other mobile
is narrower in France, Germany, probably reflect the large presence devices.
Spain, and Australia. The of Chinese ex-patriots. After the UK
and New Zealand, China ranks third Conversely, the wider awareness and
consideration gap is narrower
Familiarity with Chinese brands in France, Germany, and Spain.
as the country of birth for Australians
born abroad. In addition, Chinese
consideration gaps in Japan reflect
the higher quality expectations
Conversely, both the awareness
varies widely by country
companies sometimes use Australia of Japanese consumers and a
and consideration gaps are wider as a proxy test market for the US preference for local goods. The
in the US, the UK, and Japan. because of similar consumer attitudes wider gaps in the UK and US result
and lower media costs. from market competitiveness and
other factors. UK consumers may
The receptivity to Chinese brands in be curious about new brands, but

Local factors
Spain suggests that they resonate conservative about trying them.
with the value-driven priorities of

Awareness of Chinese brands differs by country And consideration differs too

determine levels
The awareness gap between Chinese brands and The consideration gap is narrower in France,
other brands is narrower in France, Germany, Germany, and Spain.
Australia, and Spain.

63% 63% 62%

of awareness,
59% 59%

GAP = 41
GAP = 52

GAP = 41
GAP = 50
GAP = 44
GAP = 51

GAP = 42
33% 34% 34%

GAP = 21
GAP = 26
27% 28%

GAP = 25

GAP = 18

GAP = 17

GAP = 22
22% 21%

GAP = 15
15% 15%
13% 13%
12% 12% 11%
8% 9% 8%
6% 5%

US France UK Germany Japan Australia Spain US France UK Germany Japan Australia Spain

82 Chinese brands in total

399 non-Chinese brands in total
Source: Kantar Millward Brown

36 37

Implications for Brands

Chinese brands typically begin their expansion in
Asia or Southeast Asia, where they are relatively
well known. Our research reveals some of the
challenges and opportunities that await Chinese
brands beyond those markets. These new findings
should help Chinese brands more effectively plan
their international expansion.

Spanish consumers seem more aware of

Chinese brands than Americans. But nuances
are important. Building awareness in the US can
require substantial investment. However, Chinese
brands entering the US already have a strong
foundation. Although Americans are unfamiliar
with most Chinese brands, they use Chinese
products all the time. But the products are
marketed as western brands. The challenge for
Chinese brands is to accelerate presence in the US
by more aggressively promoting Chinese brands,
or by partnering with market leaders.

Western consumers overall are impressed with

the wide diversity and innovativeness of products
coming from China. This impression is stronger in
Europe compared with the US, and it is especially
pronounced among young people, according to a
recent BrandZ study of Chinas image worldwide,
which also found that Chinese brands still need to
address consumer concerns about product quality.

38 Photograph by Paul Reiffer

BRANDZTM TOP 30 CHINESE GLOBAL BRAND BUILDERS 2017 BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017

BRANDZTM ANALYSIS Awareness and Consideration

Because brands in established In the mobile gaming category, both

categories typically have exported the local and global brands and

Observation 3 for years, many score well in

awareness overseas. However, when
the Chinese brands are relatively
young. The ease of market entry for
they compete against well-known Internet-driven brands also helps
global and local brands, a wide explain the results. For the brands
awareness gap results. Brands in in more established categories,

Consideration rises for Internet-driven categories entered

overseas markets later, but grew
exporting a product and building
a brand outside of China is more

Internet-driven brands The BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese

Global Brand Builders 2017
quickly in awareness, often in
markets with few local competitors,
capital intensive and time consuming.

ranking divides evenly into resulting in a narrower awareness In addition, a generational

gap. factor exerted influence. Young,
two baskets of brands: 15
internationally educated Chinese
brands come from established
A gap of 55 percentage points entrepreneurs launched many of

Awareness high
categories, such as consumer separates people aware of a local or Chinas Internet-driven brands. They
electronics and home global consumer electronics brand are knowledgeable about the world
appliances, and 15 brands from those aware of a Chinese brand. beyond China and open to engaging
come from Internet driven- The gap in the home appliances with it. Similarly, the customers
categories, such as mobile category is 57 percentage points. In for these products are relatively

for established
contrast, a gap of only 5 percentage young, receptive to new products,
gaming and smart devices.
points separates people aware of a and less likely to hold negative
local or global mobile gaming brand preconceptions about Chinese
from those aware of a Chinese brand. brands.
The gap in smart devices is only 10
percentage points. The final factor is the unique

brands, but so
character of Chinese games, evolved
When we studied consideration, the from the countrys long history of
gap disappeared in one category game development. The games
mobile gaming. We showed require the deep strategic thinking
consumers a neutral list of mobile that gamers like. Although Chinese
gaming brands and asked which they mobile gaming brands do not usually

is competition
were likely to consider. The majority promote the provenance of their
selected a brand that happened to products, the Chinese character of
be Chinese. The gap disappeared for the games differentiates them.
several reasons.

40 41
BRANDZTM TOP 30 CHINESE GLOBAL BRAND BUILDERS 2017 BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


The Top 30 brands divide evenly into established and Internet categories Brands in internet-driven categories are rising in consideration
The BrandZ Top 30 Chinese Export Brands ranking divides evenly into two baskets: 15 brands come from In Internet-driven categories, Chinese brands increasingly compete effectively with global and local brands.
established categories, such as consumer electronics and home appliances, and 15 brands come from Internet
driven-categories, such as mobile gaming and Internet services. 48%

15 Brands 15 Brands 36%
GAP 32%
GAP = 38
Established Categories Internet-Driven Categories = 26
= 28 = 23 22%
Consumer Electronics 9 brands Mobile Gaming 8 brands GAP 20%
Airlines 3 brands Internet Services 4 brands = 22
11% = 14 GAP = 15
Home Appliances 3 brands E-commerce 2 brands 13% =5
8% 9% 9% GAP 8%
Cars 1 brand Smart Devices 2 brands = -2 6% 7%
Online Fast Fashion 1 brand
Consumer Airlines Cars Home E-commerce Mobile Online Smart Internet
Tencent/WeChat and Cheetah Mobile are categorized in two categories: Mobile Gaming and Internet Services. TCL is categorized in two categories:
Electronics Appliances Gaming Fast Devices Services
Home Appliances and Consimer Electronics. Therefore the number of brands totals more than 30.
Category contribution, based on search volume, was considered when calculating the Brand Power in proportion to categories. 82 Chinese brands in total
Source: Kantar Millward Brown
399 non-Chinese brands in total
Source: Kantar Millward Brown
... Brands in established categories are high in awareness
Because Chinese brands in established categories have exported for many years, they
often score well in awareness overseas, but usually not as well as global and local brands. Implications for Brands
84% Brands in established and Internet- Chinese products are declining; Then it may be useful to promote
81% driven categories can learn from and positive curiosity about a brand as Chinese, particularly
76% each other. Internet-driven brands China is rising. These conclusions in certain categories, like gaming,
benefit from rapid trial and error. emerged from a recent BrandZ where aspects of Chinese history
They innovate and adjust as study about the image of China and heritage inform the products
necessary to local markets. These across 19 country markets. with differentiating and desirable
GAP practices can be difficult for Marketing Chinese brands abroad ingredients.
= 55 GAP
= 65 brands in established categories, during this transition period, as
but they are worth exploring. Chinese brands rise in global Associating the product with
GAP GAP GAP Digital brands also rely heavily on stature, is best accomplished step- its country of origin could add
= 57
= 66 = 55 = 57
41% digital marketing. For example, by-step. brand strength, in the way France
Google data and translation connotes luxury or Germany,
services helps gaming brands The first step, following the quality engineering. And as more
23% = 32
build audiences across national example of gaming brands, is to Chinese brands with quality
26% GAP 23% GAP borders. introduce innovative products innovative products confidently
19% = 10 without emphasizing their Chinese promote their provenance, the
16% Both brands in Internet-driven origin. As the image of Chinese stature of Brand China should rise,
14% 13% 13% and established categories are products improves, Chinese helping to facilitate the overseas
10% 9% 82 Chinese affected by two dynamics that provenance should shift from a growth of Chinese brands in the
brands in total seem to be happening in parallel: disadvantage to an advantage. future.
Consumer Airlines Cars Home E-commerce Mobile Online Smart Internet 399 non-Chinese
Electronics Appliances Gaming Fast Devices Services brands in total negative connotations about
Source: Kantar Millward Brown

42 43
BRANDZTM TOP 30 CHINESE GLOBAL BRAND BUILDERS 2017 BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


Rather, brands in established 1,682 in Brand Power. The consumer

categories dominate, accounting electronics brand Huawei, ranked

Observation 4 Although the BrandZTM Top 30

Chinese Global Brand Builders
for 57 percent of the Top 30 total
Brand Power, which is the BrandZ
Number 2, derives almost 60 percent
of revenue from overseas and scored
2017 ranking divides evenly measurement of brand equity. 1,256 in Brand Power.
in number of brands (half Achieving High Brand Power is
important for exporting brands In contrast, the Internet-driven

Brands in established categories from established categories

and half from Internet-driven
because it indicates the inclination
of consumers to select a particular
brands appear lower in the ranking
with closer scores. Four mobile

dominate in Brand Power categories), the division by

Brand Power is not balanced.
brand. gaming brands, for example, are
clustered toward the bottom third
Brands in the established categories of the Top 30, at ranks 19 to 22. The
dominate the top of the ranking, brands and their Brand Power scores,
while the Internet-driven brands are are: Tap4Fun (346), IGG (332), Youzu
more present toward the bottom (309), and Our Palm (264).

Internet brands
of the ranking. This division reflects
the transition of Chinas economy
from a production-driven past to a
Brand Power is concentrated at
consumer-driven future. In general,
the brands in established categories the top of the ranking

have potential
drove economic growth and built The Top 10 brands produce 57
Brand Power over time. The newer percent of total value of the Top 30,
Internet-driven brands indicate the while the Bottom 10 produce only
potential for economic growth and 16 percent.
rising Brand Power.

16% 57%

for Brand Power

We ranked the Top 30 Chinese
Global Brand Builders by totaling
their Brand Power scores in the
seven countries studied. Seven of the
Top 10 brands are from established
categories. The Top 10 scored an

average of 839 in Brand Power, more
than double the average 401 score of
brands 11 to 20, and more three times
the average score of 236 for brands
ranked 21 to 30. 27%
The Number 1 ranked brand, Lenovo, Top 10
an established consumer electronics Ranks 11 to 20
leader, derives over 70 percent of Ranks 21 to 30
its exports overseas, and scored Source: Kantar Millward Brown

44 45
BRANDZTM TOP 30 CHINESE GLOBAL BRAND BUILDERS 2017 BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


Implications for Brands

Established brands have emerged happened during a period of Huawei is perhaps the best
as global players over time, consumer interest in PCs and drew example. Having built a strong
sometimes growing through a wave of publicity. The transition brand in China, the company
acquisition and benefiting from period continued an ongoing and elected to establish the Huawei
state support. The Internet-driven mutually beneficial relationship brand worldwide as a global
brands more typically have grown between Lenovo and IBM. leader in quality and innovation.
organically. But both acquisition The companys success selling
and organic growth strategies In contrast, Haiers acquisition millions of Huawei-branded smart
can work and result in category of GEs appliance division phones worldwide illustrates
leadership. Selecting the right accelerated Haiers market share the importance of brand. In
option depends on the category growth in the US. But appliances is the early phases of exporting,
involved and the competitive a relatively low interest category, when Chinese brands typically
circumstances. and Haier chose to retain the expand to neighboring markets,
GE name rather that convert it may be possible to rely on the
Lenovo, for example, gained the business to the Haier brand. strength of a particular product.
knowledge and market share Similarly, when Ninebot, a Chinese But dependence on product
with its acquisitions of IBMs PC maker of self-balancing vehicles, alone only goes so far; and not
division and Motorola Mobility. acquired US-based Segway, the far enough for extensive overseas
The acquisitions helped form industry leader, it retained the expansion. At that point, a brand
a platform for innovation in Segway name, which enjoys high adds marketing efficiency and
both consumer and enterprise brand awareness across many effectiveness. Brand serves as a
businesses. Lenovos IBM country markets. global identity, like a passport.
SHANGHAI acquisition benefited from It can signal a high level of
excellent timing and a strong Of Chinese brands that have innovation, product diversity and
transition plan. The acquisition chosen the organic growth option, quality, and trustworthiness.

Brands from established categories rank higher And brands from established categories
comprise 57% of Brand Power
Although the Top 30 Chinese Global Brand
Builders are divided evenly between established The seven brands from established categories in
and Internet-driven categories, the brands are the Top 10 produce 71 percent of Top 10 Brand
dispersed unevenly through the ranking. Seven of Power. In the lower ranks, Internet-driven brand
the Top 10 brands are from established categories. produce the greater portion of Brand Power.

Top 30 by Number of Brands Top 10 Top 30 by Brand Power Top 10

70% 30% 71% 29%

Rank 11 to 20 Rank 11 to 20

40% 60% 41% 59%

Rank 21 to 30 Rank 21 to 30

40% 60% 38% 62%

Established Brands
Internet-Driven Brands BERLIN
Source: Kantar Millward Brown

46 47
BRANDZTM TOP 30 CHINESE GLOBAL BRAND BUILDERS 2017 BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


The consumer electronics brands ranking, which includes three airlines

are scattered throughout the Top and one car brand, for example.
Observation 5 Consumer electronics, a
category of established brands,
30, although three appear in the Top
5: Lenovo, Huawei, and Xiaomi. The Some of the newer brands
and mobile gaming, a category mobile gaming brands are mostly reversed the usual export process
of Internet-driven brands, lead clustered lower in the ranking, by starting in overseas country
although Elex ranks Number 4. markets. Sometimes the brands
Digital leaders reflect shift the BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese
Global Brand Builders in both This composition reflects the
only conducted business abroad,
while in other instances they

in the notion of Brand China number of brands represented

and Brand Power contributed.
transformation of Brand China, which
consumers abroad increasingly
eventually entered China, but only
after achieving overseas success.
Together, these categories associate with innovative digital By following this sequence, many
account for more than half of the devices. Many of these brands are of these brands benefited from the
start-ups launched relatively recently Internets easy access to overseas
Top 30 brands and 59 percent of
by young entrepreneurs. Fewer markets, and then leveraged their

Two categories
the ranking Brand Power.
established categories appear in the stature as global brands to impress
Chinese consumers.

Consumer electronics and mobile gaming dominate ranking

represent over
Consumer electronics and mobile gaming together account more than half of
the Top 30 brands and 59 percent of the ranking Brand Power.

Smart Devices Online Fast Fashion

Implications 4% 2%

for Brands

half of the
There is more than one way Consumer
for Chinese brands to expand Electronics
internationally. Chinese
consumer electronics brands
Internet Services 40%
9% of Brand Power
have done a good job of
9 brands

brands and the

product innovation and
international marketing. Some
started as OEMs, making
products for western brands,
and grew both organically Mobile Gaming
and through acquisition in an
effort to follow the overseas

Brand Power
of Brand Power
expansion arc of Japanese
and Korean electronics 8 brands
brands. The gaming brands Cars Home Appliances
have benefited from easy 1% Airlines 7%
Established Categories
market entry because of the 9%
Internet-Driven Categories
Internet, and easy access to
Tencent/WeChat and Cheetah Mobile are categorized in two categories: Mobile Gaming and Internet Services.
a global audience of young Therefore the number of brands totals more than 30. Category contribution, based on search volume, was
gamers. considered when calculating the Brand Power in proportion to categories.

Source: Kantar Millward Brown

48 49
BRANDZTM TOP 30 CHINESE GLOBAL BRAND BUILDERS 2017 BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


The Brand Power scores for mobile The consumer electronics brands
gaming brands are fairly consistent reach a broader and more mixed
Observation 6 Consumer electronics and mobile
gaming, the categories that lead
across country markets, while the
scores for consumer electronics
audience, where attitudes vary by
country. Spanish consumers tend to
the BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese brands fluctuate. The consumer be more value-driven. In the US and
Global Brand Builders in number electronics brands score higher in Japan consumers enjoy extensive
Spain and lower in the US and Japan. product choice, which includes
Brand Power varies by of brands and total Brand Power,
achieve high Brand Power scores These variations point to market
many domestic brands. Quality is
a concern, particularly in Japan.

category and country in each of the seven country

markets studied for this report,
differences that impact export
efforts in these categories. The
A recent BrandZ global study
found that worldwide 16 percent
but in different ways. consistency of mobile gaming Brand of consumers hold negative views
Power scores reflects the relative about Chinese products, compared
uniformity of the categorys unique with 29 percent of consumers in
demographic, a global audience of Japan.

Gaming brands
young people with similar values and
a shared interest in gaming.

Brand Power fluctuates by category and country

score consistently
The Brand Power scores for mobile gaming brands are fairly consistent across
country markets, while the scores for consumer electronics brands fluctuate.

Mobile Gaming Brand Power Consumer Electronics Brand Power

Distributions by Countries Distributions by Countries 21%

Implications 18%

in Brand Power,
16% 16% 16% 16%
for Brands 15%
13% 13%
12% 12%
These findings reveal how
Brand Power scores fluctuate 9%
by category and by market, 7%
important knowledge for

electronics brand
understanding the consumers
inclination to purchase a
brand. This knowledge can
help brands assess markets,
decide what markets to
target, and more effectively US ce UK an
a ain US ce UK an
a ain
an rm Ja str Sp an rm Ja str Sp
allocate investment for brand Fr Au Fr Au
Ge Ge

scores fluctuate
% of total Brand Power contributed by each country market.
Source: Kantar Millward Brown

50 51
BRANDZTM TOP 30 CHINESE GLOBAL BRAND BUILDERS 2017 BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017

BRANDZTM ANALYSIS Meaningful, Different, Salient

To understand the various ways while the brands in Internet-driven

brands achieve high Brand Power, categories scored 129. The lower
Observation 7 Brands in both established
and Internet-driven
we analyzed the Meaningful,
Different, and Salient (MDS) scores
Different score for brands in
established categories results, in
categories achieve their Brand of the brand that scored highest in part, from the extensive competition
Power scores with differing Brand Power in each category. In in each category, and the sameness
most instances, the highest scoring among competitors that happens
Brands in established mixtures of the ingredients
that comprise Brand Power:
brand scored significantly above
average, which is 100, but the
over time.

categories need to differentiate Meaningful (meeting

functional and emotional
variations indicate challenges and
Salience scores were higher for
Internet brands, 113, than for
needs in relevant ways), established categories, 104. The
Different (begin distinguished The brands in established categories Salience score was computed in part
scored 160 in Meaningful compared from the brands indexed search
from the competition and
with a score of 143 for the brands volume on Google across the seven

Scores show
trend setting), and Salient
in the Internet-driven categories. markets studied. The number of
(coming to mind quickly at the This finding reflects the longer time searches for brands in Internet-driven
moment of purchase). period that brands in established brands was 2.6 times greater than
categories have had to understand the number of searches for brands
the needs of consumers and meet in established categories. Search

great potential
them in relevant ways. indicates Salience. It reveals what
brands the consumer thought about
In contrast, the brands in established when considering a purchase or
categories scored only 91 in Different, looking for a solution.

for Internet-
Mixture of Brand Power ingredients varies by brand type
Brands in both established and Internet-driven categories achieve high Brand
Power, but in different ways.

Leading Brands in Established Categories Leading Brands in Internet-Driven Categories

driven brands CHINESE BRAND



Meaningful Different Salient Meaningful Different Salient

Source: Kantar Millward Brown

52 53

Implications for Brands

The need to strengthen differentiation is
especially important for brands in established
categories. This need to raise Different scores is
common across Chinese brands, according to
recent BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese
Brands research. A high score in Difference is
important because it raises the likelihood that
consumers will pay a premium for the brand,
and it correlates with higher brand value. Over
a 10-year period, brands ranked in the top half
of the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global
Brands ranking increased 124 percent in brand
value. In contrast, the brands ranked in the lower
half of the ranking increased only 24 percent.

Salience was critical when brands in established

categories grew in prominence in China. But, in
the digital age, Difference becomes somewhat
more important. Difference acts as the stop
sign, particularly when Chinese brands enter
developed markets in North America or Europe,
where a lot of shopping is habitual. Difference
is the reason why consumers with a lot of
choice might pause and pay attention to a new
brand. Difference is also an important quality
for appealing to new generations of shoppers
who are more open to trying new products and
brands. The Internet-driven brands are good at
projecting Difference, which they derive from
their strength in technology and innovation.
Difference alone is not enough, however.
Once the consumer is paying attention, only
Meaningful Difference that meets consumer
needs in relevant ways will lead to a sale.

54 Photograph by Paul Reiffer



Photograph by Paul Reiffer

C-SUITE Q&As BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


Chief Financial Officer, Air China Ltd.

a promotion and do not mean

Air China
Brand Building What are Air Chinas key
Air China follows a budget airline
challenges as it expands
strategy. In fact, we do the opposite.
What is Air Chinas long-term internationally? And how do
Air China delivers a high level of
goal as a global brand? those challenges vary by country passenger experience that starts
or region? with state-of-the-art equipment,

flights reach
Air China is committed to becoming and includes seat upgrades, quality
a large carrier that is recognized by The first challenge is competition, entertainment systems and Wi-Fi,
the entire world. Meanwhile, we have sometimes even with our Alliance and improved food and beverage
a comprehensive, balanced network partners. That is a typical service.
of flights, divided evenly between phenomenon in the aviation industry.
domestic and international markets. The second challenge is the need to
In overseas markets, does a gap

That is rare in Asia. Besides, we have understand cultural differences. The
third challenge is to both expand and
in brand recognition or customer
a large customer base and have
transported 143 million passengers. be accepted. It will take more time preference exist between Air
All of these factors can help Air before markets worldwide recognize China and other airlines? How
China to stay on track for consistent Air China as a mainstream carrier. does Air China narrow any gap?
operations and rapid development. Meanwhile, we continue to develop

exceptionally strong operational Frankly, there is a gap. Air China
capabilities and competence in enjoys far greater brand recognition
Do you expect international
product design and development. in China than in developed countries
growth to happen organically or Regarding specific markets, we overseas, so we need to continue
through merger and acquisition? encountered challenges in South building brand popularity. Our main
Africa, including visa restrictions strategy for narrowing the gap is to

the world
We prefer organic growth because and the poor infrastructure in some improve passenger experience at
this ensures consistency of brand African countries we fly to from each contact point, and to constantly
development, without confusing South Africa. We are rather satisfied improve our operational smoothness.
passengers. Air China does not with markets in developed countries.
reject merger and acquisition We are now profitable in the US and What is the overseas consumers
opportunities. However, trade unions Europe, and doing well in Japan and
in developed countries have a big
impression of Air China?
impact, so we need to be cautious
Passengers in developed countries
about the choice of partner.
How does Air China position its still see Air China as an emerging

Brand building efforts increase brand globally? brand that needs to raise the
standards of its products and
services. Specifically, crewmembers
awareness outside of China
Air China has consistently positioned
the brand as a high-end provider, need to improve their language
both at home and abroad. The skills; the electronic and print
brand image has already formed in entertainment need to offer richer
China and needs to be enhanced content in languages other than
overseas. Although current airfares Chinese; and the level of luxury
are relatively low, they are merely and comfort needs to be higher.
Air China is the flag carrier airline of China. As a member of Star Alliance,
it is the only airline in Asia with flights to six continents. Air China
operates 377 routes, including 98 international routes, flying to 65 cities in
39 countries or regions. Air China has collaborative flights in 193 countries Feng Xiao
around the world with other Star Alliance members. Chief Financial Chief Financial Officer
Air China Ltd.
Officer Feng Xiao previously served in executive positions at Shandong
Airlines, an Air China subsidiary. He has a background in engineering.

58 59
C-SUITE Q&As BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


When passengers describe the Air China has made great strides in Chinese companies need to improve
China brand as a personality, they improving brand popularity and quality and increase brand impact.
compare Air China to a person with raising marketing effects overseas. Competing on price alone will lead
college education professional In addition, Googles big data assets the brands nowhere. Third, Chinese
and dedicated, but still young and enable Air China to access a wide companies must continue to
lacking in flexibility and humor. audience of consumers, while innovate. The whole company needs
ensuring target marketing. Googles to be aligned to support clients, and
Will the lack of flexibility in location-based services help reach it is important that the company is
style be a problem for young the right customer at the right time
and place. We have a multitude of
willing to adopt new technologies to
improve products and services.
Chinese companies need to improve

Yes, I think so. Young people are

new communication options, such
as social media. We often launch a What does the airline sector quality and increase brand impact.
promotion overseas first and then need to do to improve Brand
Competing on price alone will
independent, self-centered, and
introduce it in China.
prefer customization and self- China?
service. To satisfy this generation,
Brand China
Air China is aggressively improving
travel convenience. We have already
In the mainstream markets of the
world, the aviation industry is a
lead the brands nowhere. Chinese
made changes in Tokyo and Los How do you think the reputation traditional industry. Reviving this
Angeles. In addition, the younger of China affects the overseas sector is the aim of Chinas aviation companies must continue to
generation does not trust authority expansion of Chinese brands? industry. We need to use Internet
and publicity, but loves social media.
Air China invested heavily in social Its very important. Chinese brands
thinking and a big data mindset
to understand and respond to
innovate. The whole company needs
media and has collaborated with consumer needs. These are business
to be aligned to support clients, and
must go global. China is growing
Facebook and Twitter since 2013. in influence, and the whole world aspects that Air China is striving to
desires greater knowledge about improve.
What media strategies and
tactics are most important as
China and Chinese brands. This is a
wonderful opportunity for Chinese
it is important that the company is
you build consumer awareness
and acceptance of Air China
willing to adopt new technologies to
What advice do you offer
Chinese brands that want to go improve products and services.
Google has been our trustworthy global?
marketing consultant overseas, with
one-stop services that begin with First of all, Chinese companies
providing market and consumer need to have deep knowledge of
insights. Google also helps with consumer preferences and the
marketing strategy formulation, cultural background of target
media selection, and ad placement. markets, especially in the case of
With the help of Google, Air brands in service industries. Second,

60 61
C-SUITE Q&As BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


Chief Commercial and Product Officer, AliExpress (Alibaba Group)

niche markets, we also look for

Exposure on
Brand Building opportunities to serve the needs
What approaches have you
of mass-market consumers in
What important lessons can found to be most effective in
developed markets by providing
Chinese exporters learn from the communicating the AliExpress diverse and sophisticated products
global success of AliExpress? brand? from our quality sellers.

It all starts with the products. It varies by market. In developing
As you build your global business,
Without a quality product it is not markets, such as Brazil, Russia, and
Africa, we relied a lot on word-
and you face strong competition,
really possible to build an overseas
of-mouth communications. This especially from Amazon,
business. Once you have a quality
product, then it is important to approach worked because we what are your competitive

helps Chinese
invest in the brand building, which deliver a good consumer experience advantages?
will facilitate business to go for that has led to high customer
long-term growth. A brand needs loyalty and engagement, and strong Its important to understand that
to acquire new customers, which organic growth. We are adopting a AliExpress is a marketplace for
becomes increasingly challenging different approach for developed individual merchants to sell their
when a brand goes overseas. markets, such as Europe and the products directly to international

companies build
Advertising has its role, of course, in US. In developed markets the consumers. AliExpress does not sell
brand building but lets not ignore products our sellers offer need to or store products directly, but we are
the power of word-of-mouth. To be more sophisticated. We want to a marketplace that connects global
achieve all of these objectives a communicate to consumers that sellers and buyers. AliExpress targets
great product, a strong brand, a we are a sophisticated brand and millennials, and we are especially
growing customer base, we need to we provide a wide range of product popular among young people in

brands globally
recruit talented professionals with offerings by quality Chinese sellers Russia and Spain. Also, in many
extensive experience in overseas on our platform to meet their overseas markets with large Chinese
operations and marketing. We can specific needs. communities, consumers find it easy
help Chinese brands that want to to shop on AliExpress. There also are
export for the first time or expand How do you communicate the operational or cultural differences
their export business. With high brand in developed markets? between AliExpress and other
traffic on our website, exposure on e-commerce players. AliExpress is an
AliExpress could help build a brands Because the developed markets are open ecosystem that makes it easy

Strategies vary for developed presence across many markets. enormous and diverse, we look at for us to grow with our local partners
niche sub-markets. Beyond these in key markets.

and fast-growing markets

Launched in April 2010, AliExpress is a global retail marketplace targeted at

consumers worldwide, many of them located in Russia, the US, Spain, Brazil, France
and the UK. The platform enables consumers worldwide to buy an extensive range
of products at competitive prices directly from manufacturers and distributors
in China. AliExpress is a business of Alibaba Group. Zhiyu Chen is responsible Zhiyu Chen
for sales, business development, mobile marketing, CRM, services proposition, Chief Commercial and Product Officer
AliExpress (Alibaba Group)
product management, payment, and logistics. Prior to his appointment at
AliExpress, he was Head of Financial Products for Alipay International.

62 63
C-SUITE Q&As BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


How has Google helped the perception that the Made in can buy on our platforms. Some
China label signals low quality, of the specific initiatives include
AliExpress go global?
but thats no longer true. China is co-branding and co-marketing
moving through the same cycle that with local brands in an effort to
AliExpress has been working
Japan and Korea went through a strengthen an image of trust and
with Google since day one.
few decades ago and is building its reliability. Russia is a good example
Google and AliExpress cooperate
reputation as a center for creation of cooperation with local brands.
broadly on mobile, branding and
in other areas. AliExpress has a
and high-quality manufacturing. But
the transformation of Brand China
With our app already downloaded
to about 50 million smartphones
Without a quality product it is not
great YouTube channel and a live
will happen more quickly because of in Russia, we receive a lot of orders
streaming promotion on Singles
Day. In addition, we always early test
the increased speed of production from Russian consumers. But we really possible to build an overseas
and the information exchange in the cannot deliver to every address
Googles new products. We are using
Googles Smart Bidding, for example,
to rapidly review millions of signals
Internet age. In addition, Chinese
companies are among the leaders
by ourselves. We work with local
businesses to fulfill the delivery
business. Once you have a quality
in new businesses and technologies, needs. The relationship leads to
and find the optimum bid.
such as virtual reality shopping and
mobile app development.
growth for both AliExpress and our
local brand partners. It is win-win.
product, then it is important to
invest in the brand building, which
What kinds of potential mistakes
should Chinese exporters try to Are there any generational Ensuring customer satisfaction
will facilitate business to go for
influences on the transformation is critical for building and
of Brand China? sustaining a brand and for
It is important to understand and
elevating the image of Brand
respect the customs and practices
of local markets. Respect can be
Yes. The real game changers are
young people. These customers
China. How do you ensure long-term growth. A brand needs
expressed in several ways, including customer satisfaction across all
setting up local companies and hiring
local people. It is also important to
can accelerate the improvement in
the image of Brand China because
the countries that you serve? to acquire new customers, which
they were born during a period
be aware of government policies and
when Chinese industry has already
improved, and they are more
We have some standard practices
across all country markets and we becomes increasingly challenging
also adopt a tailor-made approach
when a brand goes overseas.
open to new things and products
Brand China from overseas markets. They are
to cater to local conditions and local
consumption behavior. In every
consumers that would move the
Alibabas record-breaking IPO place that we do business we will
needle, and they enjoy online
not tolerate any behavior that hurts
on the New York Stock Exchange shopping.
the customer experience. We work
increased awareness of Chinese
closely with our partners to improve
brands worldwide. Do you think What special steps is AliExpress
that the image of Chinese brands taking to help change how
and products is changing? overseas consumers view
Chinese brands?
It depends on what part of the
world were looking at. In Europe We are investing more in the effort
the perception is changing slowly. to build consumer trust in the Made
Some consumers still hold on to in China products that consumers

64 65
C-SUITE Q&As BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


Cofounder and President, Elex Technology Company, Ltd.

is an amazing part of our games.

Elex endeavors
Brand Building What challenges do you face
People find new friends in other
trying to expand the brand
parts of the world. We use a Google
How do you raise awareness beyond familiar country markets?
translation service, so people can
and consideration of your brand communicate in different languages
We make our games to be standard
when you enter a new market? in real time. We learned about a
around the globe. But a market

to introduce
How important is brand? couple that met playing an Elex
like Japan, for example, has local
game and got married.
gaming companies with a lot of
Awareness and consideration were knowledge and experience. And
not our first concerns. We thought Japanese consumers have their own How do you shift from the focus
about how we could make a game preferences for how a game should on products to brand building?
that would be wildly accepted by a look and how it should be played.

global consumers
global audience. How could we make We need to modify our games to We try to promote individual games.
it high quality and exciting? Later we meet those local expectations and When a game matures, and we have
realized that this is not enough. Once seem like a Japanese product. In the lot of users, we work on establishing
you establish in a market it is critical UK, where consumers are curious the brand. When our customers have
to build a brand that has a clear about new things, but relatively several game brand names in their
sense of mission. The brand helps conservative about accepting them, minds, they realize that its all coming

to the creativity
communicate to a broader audience we develop local market strategies from Elex. At that stage, we will work
beyond the core customers. It to overcome this reluctance. with local agencies and we will do
takes time. Having a product alone, The US is competitive and the everything a traditional brand would
without a strong brand, may work in gaming companies are expert at do. We will run ads on TV, in print,
markets that have affinity with China, communicating with their audiences. on video, and outdoors. We look for
like Southeast Asia. But in markets local influencers on social media. We

of Chinese brands
Also, the US is an expensive media
with higher entry levels, such as the market. We take the time necessary will work with celebrities to connect
US, the UK, or Japan, it is important to learn about the competition and with the local market. In Germany, for
to have a brand that surrounds the the consumers. example, we worked with the captain
product with a promise of quality. of the national football team.
Becoming known in each new
market is critical. How do you And what can other Chinese
do that? brands learn from the Elex
Brand building multiplies Our first step is to get enough users.

impact of quality products We do this several ways, including

using Google. We also rely on our
We want to bring Chinese creativity
to the global market. Chinese
players to find new players. And this creativity is rooted in Chinese culture.
phenomenon helps us expand across Its about what how we think and
borders. Most games divide players what we do and how that is different
by country. We do not. Our games from the western mind. The way we
have an important social aspect. design games is different from how a
Getting to know people from other western gaming company designs.
countries and learn about their lives

A developer of online and mobile games, such as Clash of Kings, Xianlin Xie
Elex reaches over 50 million users in 40 countries, primarily in Asia- Cofounder and President
Elex Technology Company, Ltd.
Pacific, Europe, and Latin America. Company President Xianlin Xie
is a co-founder of Elex and has served as Chief Technology Officer.

66 67
C-SUITE Q&As BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


People find the games interesting. How has the companys Is innovation a characteristic of China also come from a younger The most important aspect of
They like to experience something generation. Younger customers are
experience abroad changed or Brand China today across many
they are not too familiar with. Our
games are fair and they are strategic.
improved the way the brand categories, or only the Internet-
more opened minded. They like to
try new things and theyre curious
establishing a brand is knowing
is positioned or perceived at driven categories?
You have to think. And the games
have strong social aspects. We create home in China?
about China. And the attitudes of this
generation of international customers
yourself. What is your purpose
the games using a Chinese mentality, I think it is across categories because affects the perceptions of Chinese
but we also make them simple and Having a strong overseas presence all of these brands recognize the brands held by their friends and even for coming to work every day?
accessible. Also, we work quickly, helps the brand a lot in China. Now, power of innovation and they want their parents the older generation.
and that enables us to introduce Chinese customers think of Elex to introduce new things. Whether What drives you to wake up
new features and functions so our as a company that can conduct its a brand from an established
Are there any advantages that
audience doesnt get bored. business successfully overseas. category or an Internet-driven
category, we are doing the same
an exporting Chinese brand in the morning and work until
They see that our products are
enjoys simply because it is
What practices used by widely respected by people in other
countries. That overseas respect
thing. A key driver of this change is
the pain of not being able to enter a Chinese and conducts business midnight? What is the belief
successful Internet-driven brands
in a particular way?
are also useful for brands in
builds trust in the Elex brand. It is
an endorsement of the brand, a
market. You want to enter overseas
markets but you cant because of the
deep in your heart? You will
traditional categories? competition. And thats when you If I needed to choose one
guarantee that our products meet
the highest global standards. need to identify the gap between characteristic that distinguishes need to tap that power. That is
Trial and error is important. One Chinese brands and international Chinese companies it would be
of the reasons for the success of
Brand China brands. That gap is mostly about speed. Chinese companies are able your brand vision. Our vision is
Internet-driven brands is that the innovation. Another driver is the to work faster because they are more
cost of trying new things is relatively
Based on the international
Chinese consumer. Twenty years ago focused on creating quality products that we want to bring Chinese
low. These brands can move quickly Chinese consumers had little choice. and less focused on thinking about
success of brand like Elex, do
to try something and, if it doesnt
work, go in another direction. Brands you think that the perception of
Now Chinese consumers can choose how to create quality products. The creativity to the global market.
among domestic and international faster you can do something, the
in more traditional categories can use
trial and error when launching a new
Chinese brands has changed? products. That competition
motivates Chinese brands to
faster you can change and adapt.
Chinese brands can achieve speed
We want the world to recognize
product or adding a new service or
feature to an existing product. We
The perception has not change
completely, but it has moved
improve. because people are willing to work
long hours. Its common for game
that China, and Chinese people,
also pay attention to customizing and on from the days when Chinese Is there a generational aspect developers to work until midnight.
localizing our products for specific products were considered to be
to the improving perception of Gaming companies are filled can make exciting games. That
audiences. And these are initiatives cheap and of low quality. Chinese with young faces. Its hard to find
that can happen in more traditional brands are becoming more
Brand China?
someone older than thirty-five. And makes the long days worthwhile.
categories. Even though we create innovative. Years ago in the gaming many of these people have studied
Yes, Chinas younger generation has
standard products, we also tailor industry some Chinese brands abroad. That means companies are
grown up in an Internet environment
them to meet local market needs. were seen as copy cats. Now we staffed with talented, educated, more
with few borders. These people think
have a unique and innovative way opened-minded workers.
globally. They combine the strengths
of creating games. We try to infuse
of local culture with international
our games with Chinese creativity. I
experience and best practices.
think people outside China see this
And yes, our customers outside of
change and like it.

68 69
C-SUITE Q&As BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


Chief Marketing Officer, Huawei Consumer Business Group
Huawei Technologies Company, Ltd.

I dont think it was important. In Actually Huaweis brand has

Brand Building the context of globalization and been developed in less than five
the emergence of mobile Internet, years. I hope that Huawei will be a
What are the key factors that Huawei has been an international trendsetter in future technology and
explain Huaweis success enterprise and positioned as an culture. We want to be an integral
overseas? international brand from the very part of consumers lives all over the

locations, heavy
beginning. Our vision has always world. As for a luxury brand, we
Huaweis success was not achieved been to build up a first-class havent given that much thought.
overnight; rather, it resulted from international brand while adapting to
two factors. The first is that Huawei the cultural nuances of each market. Does the Huawei media strategy
has been devoted to international or media mix change outside of
markets for many years. We now Do you position the Huawei brand China? Does the media strategy

R&D investment
have 170,000 employees in over differently outside of China than or mix change market-by-market?
150 locations around the world, you do in China?
of which 45 percent are R&D staff
There is no one-size-fits-all strategy.
and 79 percent are overseas local The brand positioning is the same At our core we are a global brand,
employees. The other factor is our in both overseas and domestic but digital media and traditional
consistent commitment to R&D, an markets. Huawei is delivering a new media strategies need to be adapted

build global
investment of at least 10 percent Tech+Culture brand that empowers to align with the requirements of
of each years revenue. In the past consumers to be our greatest different local markets.
10 years, Huawei has invested $38 advocates, and this is applies to
million in R&D, and established 16 every market in which we operate.
R&D centers and 28 joint innovation
How has traditional and digital
However, in different regions,
centers globally. We can only say that media assisted Huawei to build a
considering the cultural differences

tech brand
current achievements are the result and Huaweis business progress,
global brand? What efforts has
of years of continual investments. each is at a slightly different brand Google made to help Huawei go
development phase. global?
How important was it to build
a strong brand in China before Digital media provides more
Would Huawei consider growing
opportunities that enable brands
expanding outside of China? through acquisition or is the brand
to communicate with their target
committed to organic growth? audiences. At Huawei, we actively
use digital media to engage our

Digital and traditional media

Expansion is not our ultimate goal. customers and provide deeper
What is important to us is that we understanding of Huawei. Our
can serve more users worldwide with

strategies vary by country

cooperation with Google has been
more innovative and high-quality great. Google has a mass of global
products. Well consider anything user data and offers excellent
that may help us achieve that goal. support to help us understand the
characteristics of consumers in
How is the Huawei brand different markets.
evolving? Do you expect that
Huawei will become a luxury
Established in 1987 as a telecommunications company, Huawei has brand? If yes, over what period of
successfully developed its consumer-facing business by focusing on time will that happen?
innovation that emphasizes quality and design. Huawei is the first Glory Cheung
Chief Marketing Officer
Chinese company to ship more than 100 million smart phones in a Huawei Consumer Business Group
year, with many of those products purchased by consumers in Europe. Huawei Technologies Company, Ltd.

70 71
C-SUITE Q&As BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


Our research suggests that How does Huawei gain insights Brand China Do particular cultural or operational
awareness and consideration about the markets it enters? styles provide Chinese brands with
of Chinese brands is higher Has the way international competitive advantage?
in markets such as Spain or We have our own methods. In
consumers view brands or
general, we will look into three In the Web2.0 era, we have witnessed
Australia, and lower in Japan, the products from China changed?
different factors: market, product, emerging collaborative innovations, with
US, and the UK? Is that similar to Is there still a perception that
the Huawei experience?
and consumer.
Chinese brands are imitators or
enterprises integrating social networking
and open source culture. In light of this,
In my opinion, in the
How do you explain with clarity is there a perception of Chinese Huawei has established a new model for
First of all, Huawei is an international
brand that happened to be
the breadth of Huawei, with brands as innovators? engaging the collective wisdom of all
our staff worldwide. We call it the Global
future there will be no
headquartered in China. Secondly, technology infrastructure
consumer tech brands can be and consumer smart device International consumers are rational.
They recognize authentic innovation
Innovation Hive. First, we set up a high-
level unified goal, then motivate the difference between
impressively different from others. businesses fitting under one team through shared interest, and finally
in products and respect companies
General consumer products may
be greatly affected by their country
brand? and brands that make real
innovations. Take the P9 smartphone
gather resources globally to realize
innovations. A universal shareholder
B2B and B2C brands. All
of origin and cultural influences.
brands should focus on
In my opinion, in the future there will as an example. Our partnership policy enables employees to become
However, for tech products, be no difference between B2B and with Leica brought revolutionary part owners of the company and make
consumers are expecting more in B2C brands. All brands should focus innovative dual-camera photography, enterprise development a shared
terms of product innovation. Of
course, there is still great cultural
on B2C communications, because
ultimately all communications are
and the integrated marketing
campaigns globally helped to propel
business operated by all Huawei people. B2C communications,
variation from country to country, about influencing individuals.
so to tell a story based on local
understanding is very important.
Huawei onto a new stage. We have
figures indicating that global sales of
Does this approach provide other
because ultimately
How important to the brand the P9 series have already exceeded

Huawei has enjoyed great success

are social responsibility
initiatives, such making digital
9 million units and hopefully can
reach 12 million. This is the clearest
Thats also why Huawei can concentrate all communications
better on its development without
in Europe and less success in
the US. Why is that, and do you
communication more widely
barometer for true innovation. capital constraints. Furthermore, we
operate this model on a global scale
are about influencing
expect to build the brand more Is there a difference in the like never before. We have established
aggressively in the US? As an international company and way younger consumers view a user interface design center in San
Francisco, a design center in London,
responsible corporate citizen, brands and products from China,
As an international brand center, Huawei has always been committed an algorithm center in Moscow, a
compared with the view of older
the US is a very important market to sustainable development of the communication research center in
for Huawei. We will not give up on
generations? Japan, and a software center in India,
social economy, bridging the digital
it, and will continuously provide divide, network operation stability, to collect top-level wisdom globally for
Yes, there is a clear difference. innovations. Weve learned a lot from
competitive products and services to and environmental protection, in
Especially in the ways that traditional business models, and also
meet consumers needs. We are very order to build a connected society
technology enables greater day-to- created our own model for the new era.
confident in Huawei products. Great for everyone to enjoy.
day convenience, as well as opening
products can always win the support
up modes of self-expression, younger
of consumers, so opening up the US
consumers are more open-minded
market is just a matter of time.
about embracing the innovations.

72 73
C-SUITE Q&As BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


Founder, Chairman and CEO, Ninebot Inc.

and pricing strategies, with Ninebot We have officers with deep

Brand Building being more tilted toward younger experience in multinational business
users and online channels. Segway operations and have headquarters
What is the scale of Ninebots has unique strengths in intellectual in three regions. This structure
global export business? And properties and Ninebot is strong in helps ensure our strategies and
what strengths do you rely on for product R&D and iteration. In the implementation respond in relevant

acquisition and
growth? western markets, we sell Ninebot ways to local market challenges.
products under the name Ninebot Before that, we had a cross-
Ninebot has maintained a high by Segway. regional department responsible
annual growth rate of 300-to-400 for providing product and strategy
percent, with our operations mainly As a global player, how do you support for the various regions. We
covering Asia Pacific, Europe and also have a well-structured system
adjust for regional or country

organic growth
North America. Our strengths in for integrating the three regions and
differences? two brands, which to some extent
intellectual properties provide strong
support and favorable conditions can defuse certain region-specific
We cater to the needs of various
for us to expand globally. Ninebots risks.
markets by differentiating product
strong growth has been supported features and by adjusting the
by our commitment to continuously speed of product launch. Overall, What challenges or difficulties

yield global
consolidate our first-mover the European and North American has Ninebot encountered in the
advantages. markets are quite similar, and process of globalization?
they are remarkably different
Ninebots acquisition of Segway, from the Asia-Pacific market. First, Ninebot operates at a large
in 2015, extended your global The Asia-Pacific market evolves scale and faces a high trial-and-

reach. How do you position the quickly. Competitors are nimble, error cost, which means that we
which requires us to move with must reduce misjudgments of
two brands?
speed. Market entry in Europe market conditions. Second, while
and North America moves at a Ninebot is in a favorable position,
We position the two brands
slower pace. But once you enter we need to continuously solidify
differently. They complement each
those markets, you can steadily our advantages through constant
other in target users, product types,
grow your business. The European innovation and disruptive change.
and North American markets and Although our products enjoy high
the Asia Pacific market are highly consumer acceptance in Europe
complementary. and North America, market entry
and channel development tend to

Ninebot and Segway brands How do you ensure the effective

implementation of business and
be slower in those markets. In a way,
this slowness counts as a barrier to

targeted to diverse markets

brand strategies across so many
country markets?

Ninebot makes and markets short-distance transportation vehicles. It acquired Lufeng Gao
Segway, the category pioneer in self-balancing vehicles, in 2015. The company also Founder, Chairman and CEO
Ninebot Inc.
provides mobile robotics solutions for the home and for transportation. Lufeng
Gao founded Ninebot in 2012, and has led its rapid rise to industry leadership.

74 75
C-SUITE Q&As BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


From what other industries How will you close the gap with What advice would you offer
or product categories do you benchmark brands? What is your Chinese brands that would like
face potential pressure and vision for the Ninebot brand? to go global and reach the level
competition? of success that Ninebot has People tend to see the globalization
In the industry where we operate, we achieved?
In robot products, we have a large
workforce and industry-leading
are benchmarked against Panasonic.
Our products are user-oriented People tend to see the globalization
of a brand as a daunting thing to do.
and we hope that one day every
Consequently, some companies act
partners. We are the world leader of a brand as a daunting thing to
in terms of both products and R&D. household in the world will have at do. Consequently, some companies
In the short-distance transportation least one Ninebot product. We hope act too cautiously because of
business, we have expanded our
presence from self-balancing human
Ninebot will offer products and
solutions for all mobile transportation
scale, stage of development, and
intellectual property issues. But the
too cautiously because of scale, stage
transporters to all other major short- scenarios. Our business strategy can
of development, and intellectual
fact is there are many opportunities
distance transportation vehicles and be summed up in three points: one, in Europe and the United States. If
built up our competitive edge. look forward to the future; two, tailor you take the plunge to go global,

How does Ninebots develop its

strategies to different regions and
markets; and three, ride on trends.
you will find that doing business in
overseas markets isnt really that
property issues. But the fact is there
are many opportunities in Europe
brand in overseas markets? difficult. My advice is to be bolder
Brand China and take bigger steps. And after
Our primary strategy has been to you enter an overseas market, you
go a long way quietly, sustaining
high growth before promoting our
Will negative connotations of
Made in China impact Ninebots
should make good use of global
resources to optimize your costs and
and the United States. If you take the
supply chain.
plunge to go global, you will find that
brand on a large scale. Starting next globalization?
year, we will take a more proactive
approach to branding, and maintain Ninebot is not much affected by the
close cooperation with Google. In
2016, we established our brand
Made in China label. I think the label
may be significant for an industry
doing business in overseas markets
isnt really that difficult. My advice is
management center, which has or product category that has many
worked with Google to acquire competitors. But, in our product
new overseas users and engage category, our products dont face
users online. We have substantially
increased our brand awareness.
competition from products with
comparable quality.
to be bolder and take bigger steps.

76 77
C-SUITE Q&As BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


General Manager, Brand Innovation Center, TCL Corporation

Brand Building TCL has built a substantial How does TCLs US experience
business in the US, a challenging differ from its brand-building
TCL is one of Chinas pioneering market for many Chinese brands. activities in developing or fast-
export brands. How did the What role did brand play? What growing markets?
company transform from a can other brands learn from
TCLs success? We have strong business partners

domestic to a global business? in Latin America, in Brazil and
In developed markets like the US, Argentina, for example. These
The business started in 1981,
which are very competitive and partners distribute TCL products,
so this year TCL celebrates its
sophisticated, a Chinese brand but we think of them as true brand-
thirty-fifth anniversary. We first
needs to overcome consumer building partners. They help us
expanded internationally over 10
understand the local markets and

years ago with two acquisitions: preconceptions about the quality of
Chinese products. Brands need to how to promote the brand and
Thompson Electronics for TVs and
exceed consumer expectations. We connect with the consumers life.
Alcatel for phones. Today, were
took a lot of baby steps along the We listen to their insights about
primarily in two businesses: multi-
way in the US. Before consumers the local market. For example, In
media, including smart TVs; and
got to know us we needed to give China we sponsor soccer, basketball,
telecommunications. We have

them reasons to try our brand. Those and volleyball because we want
operations in over 160 countries,
reasons were innovation and quality. consumers to associate TCL with a
and almost half of our revenue
That approach is consistent with how competitive spirit. In Latin America
comes from overseas, primarily
we think of brand as a triangle with soccer is important, and we work
from strong B2B relationships with
three major elements: our corporate with our partners to associate TCL
telecommunication carriers.
commitment, our products, and with soccer. These local partnerships

abroad to try
the consumer perception. We want are our secret recipe.
to be perceived as the corporation
committed to producing brands that How does TCLs success
provide affordable innovation. That overseas impact its stature in
is our product strategy. It is why China?
we produce products in our own

the brand
factories to ensure quality. In 2013 we The Chinese customer learns that
purchased the naming rights to the TCL is not only a local Chinese
famous Hollywood site then called brand, but also a global brand that
Graumans Chinese Theater. It is now produces products of international
TCL Chinese Theater. This building is quality. Similar to the development
not simply a movie theater, it is also of Samsung from a local Korean
a landmark, and it is one way that we brand to a global brand, we know
demonstrate our respect for local
Strong local partnerships
that we need to begin with a strong
brand in China.

build market connections

TCL manufactures and markets consumer electronics worldwide, Alice Lee

especially multimedia entertainment and smart TVs. Having worked with General Manager
Brand Innovation Center
leading brands, such as Samsung and Apple, Alice Lee is now applying her TCL Corporation
extensive brand experience to help TCL grow as a global consumer brand.

78 79
C-SUITE Q&As BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


What are TCLs future goals and What other factors influence Speed. Chinese brands are fast.
Also, many Chinese brands are
what steps are you taking to the more positive view of Brand
relatively young, having been
accomplish them? China?
established during the past 30 years
of economic reform. Many Chinese
As we grow beyond our thirty- Starting 15 or 20 years ago, brand
brands are still run by their founders,
fifth year, we need to take a very choice for Chinese consumers
which results in a high level of
successful brand and unlock its expanded from almost nothing
entrepreneurship and adaptability.
potential for future growth. That
requires unifying our brand across
to virtually unlimited. Chinese
consumers suddenly could choose
In contrast, western companies
are more often run either by a later
As we grow beyond our thirty-
every country where we compete from international brands that
to ensure consistent quality and to
deliver one brand for one world. We
entered China and international
brands that they encountered
generation of family owners or by
professional managers. fifth year, we need to take a very
want to transform ourselves into a
B2C business overseas. Next year
traveling abroad. As their
expectations changed, Chinese
In what areas do exporting successful brand and unlock its
we will do more B2C communication consumers raised the bar for Chinese Chinese brands need to
to demonstrate that we are serious
about establishing deep roots in the
brands, forcing them to improve
quality to remain competitive.
improve? potential for future growth. That
requires unifying our brand across
US, for example. Our brand promises It becomes more difficult for Chinese
to help consumers live what we call, Is the consumer perception companies to remain nimble as
The Creative Life. they expand to multiple overseas
about Chinese product quality

Brand China
changing across all categories?
markets. They then encounter
western companies that have in
every country where we compete
to ensure consistent quality and
place the sophisticated systems that
The perception is changing fastest
help control this kind of expansion.
Has the perception of Chinese for brands in Internet-driven
Chinese companies need to improve
products as cheap and of low
to deliver one brand for one world.
categories. But traditional categories
their use of systems as a way to
quality changed? such as fashion or food, are also
facilitate speed and growth. Also,
transforming, although perhaps at
it is critical for exporting Chinese
Chinese product quality is improving. a slower pace. Over the next five
companies to remember that they
And consumers are seeing this years, with the continued expansion
influence the consumer perception
change. But there is still a gap of Internet infrastructure, all brands
of Brand China. Chinese brands
between the new reality of Chinese will be Internet brands. Then the
need to be sensitive to local market
products and the consumer improved view of Brand China will
needs. They need to be humble and
perception. The gap is narrowing apply across all categories.
respectful of other cultures.
in part because of the changing
perception of China itself. The As they work to raise the
country is influencing the world perception of Brand China,
politically and economically. The do Chinese brands bring any
more positive view of Brand China
competitive advantage that is
is one outcome of the rising global
stature of China.
specifically Chinese?

80 81
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017

What brand is the Number 1 online retailer in Russia, Brazil, and

Israel? What brand is equivalent to the term e-commerce in
these three fast-growing markets? Hint: Its not Amazon. It is

Innovative! Owned by Alibaba Group Holding, Ltd., the
AliExpress marketplace provides international access to a wide
range of Chinese products, drawing consumers with a strong
value proposition, price advantage, and wide product selection.

Chinese brands What brand will own the future of

short-distance transportation? Hint:
It was started only five years ago.
In fact, most people have not heard
leapfrogging western competitors.
Second, Chinese brands are
accustomed to meeting the
desires of consumers who have

ride digital
about Ninebot yet. Pioneering enthusiastically embraced digital and
technology and speedy innovation in mobile. Consumers drive Chinese
personal robotics give the brand an brands to act quickly so theyre not
edge over its competitors. And with left behind.
its recent acquisition of the Segway
brand, Ninebot is present in over 80 In addition, Chinese brands are

wave to greater
country markets worldwide. rapidly combining their digital
expertise with innovation and strong
Alibaba and Ninebot, along with consumer propositions. Smartphone
the consumer electronics leaders brand Xiaomi has successfully
TCL and Huawei and many other repositioned itself from the poor
Chinese brands are increasingly mans iPhone to an exciting,

global reach,
building revenue in overseas markets disruptive brand by crowdsourcing
and at the same time changing improvements to the product
long-held consumer negative interface of its handsets a strategy
perceptions about the quality and that has built an engaged and loyal
originality of Chinese products. This base of fans.
change is happening in part because

of the speed with which many Perception of Chinese
Chinese brands are able to rapidly
digitize products, services, and
brands lags reality
These competencies put Chinese
brands in a strong position to meet
Chinese brands also enjoy several
the needs of an increasingly online
other competitive advantages
global population, especially among
compared with their western peers.
young people, the millennials and

Changing Brand China

First, because of Chinas rapid
post-millennials in fast-growing
economic expansion, many brands
markets, such as Russia, Brazil, and
launched as digital brands, skipping

perceptions will require the analog stage completely, and

Africa. But this emergence of global
Chinese brands happened over time.

insight, communication By Doreen Wang

Global Head of BrandZTM
Kantar Millward Brown

82 83
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017

Brand Building
For decades consumers bought by leveraging their decades of up offices around the world. Also, by
products made in China and branded production experience to make acquiring Segway, Ninebot was able
in the West, and the out-of-date and market quality, value-added to gain brand strength in America
view of Chinese brands as makers of products under their own brand while at the same time adding

Action Points
low-price, low-quality goods has not names. product iterations to meet the needs
yet caught up with reality. According of new market segments.
to a recent BrandZ survey, only 32 Chinese brands take
percent of overseas consumers say Ultimately, international acceptance
they have faith in products that were
a different route to of Chinese companies depends on
Made in China. globalization brands working actively to change
consumers perception of Brand

01 02
And although the revenue that For Chinese brands going global, China. Chinese brands must first
Chinese brands gain from overseas the journey will be different from gain insight to understand the gap
has increased significantly over the the earlier experiences of American, between the quality of the products
past five years, western consumers Japanese, or Korean brands. they produce and the overseas

Act now Act outside the box

awareness of and familiarity with Although those brands experienced perception of those products. Then
them remains relatively low. Kantar great success, they usually confined brands need to narrow the gap with
Millward Browns Going Global their businesses within a category. communications programs that
study finds that only 23 percent of In contrast, brands from China and promote quality and build trust. For
western consumers can name at other fast-growing markets are example, home appliance brand There is no need to wait until Start within a category, but
least one Chinese brand an increase strong on digital innovation that Hisense, which derives around you become a domestic do not necessarily remain in
of just 3 percent since 2012. often applies across categories. 30 percent of its revenue from
giant to go global. Start your the category exclusively. Fully
They define their expansion not by overseas, actively participates in the
The key question Chinese companies the limits of a category, but by the development of international quality
business intending to become leverage your innovation and
need to ask themselves is how they possibilities of technology. standards, and designs its products global, and anticipate the technology strengths to gradually
can drive up brand familiarity with a to surpass them, communicating necessary infrastructure. expand into relevant categories.
sustainable localized brand strategy These brands are also actively clear and powerful messages about

03 04
and persistent marketing investment. seeking merger and acquisition their reliability and efficiency.
opportunities to ensure that their
Among the brands that have technology advantage will be To be seen as more than just
successfully established themselves leveraged at the global level. Many of manufacturers or hot stocks,
in overseas markets are these these companies start their business all Chinese brands must find
technology leaders Lenovo,
Huawei, and ZTE. These brands
with a globalization infrastructure in
their company DNA. For example,
meaningful and appealing points of
differentiation. And telling a powerful Find partners Glocalize
derived over half of their revenue Ninebot first developed the most story that plays on Chinas unique
from outside China in 2015. All cutting-edge robotic technology cultural and social identity may be a
three brands have built a profound and applied it into short distance highly effective way to do this. One There is more than only one way To be effective globally it is
understanding of consumers transportation vehicles. From day thing is certain: A me-too approach to expand overseas. Organic necessary to be connected
needs and desires, and met them one, the founding entrepreneurs set will not build consumer brands that
growth works in many instances. locally. To gain speed and deep
are accepted, valued, and desired in
But stay alert to the possibility of market insight, give local teams
overseas markets.
partnering with peer companies decision-making authority.
that can accelerate expansion and
add knowledge and expertise.

84 85
THOUGHT LEADERSHIP BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017

Less than a decade ago, Chinese brands were commonly

associated with low prices and inferior quality, and oftentimes
referred to as copycats. However, in recent years, there has

As perceptions
been a deserved change in perception: global consumers now
recognize the quality and innovation of Chinese products and
show strong recognition and appreciation for brands across a
wide range of industries.

change, more This change has been driven by the

efforts of Chinese companies to
innovate and evolve, and reinforced
by the speed of their execution.
transformation of Chinese brands.
The consumer electronics brand
TCL, for example, derives almost
half of its revenue from its business

Chinese brands
Young people also influenced in over 160 countries beyond China.
the change. Millennials and post- Established only five years ago,
millennials tend to associate Ninebot has become a world leader
Chinese brands with cutting edge in short-distance transportation
mobile devices and games, and vehicles like self-balancing scooters.
they influence the preconceptions

achieve global
of their parents and grandparents These brands are still exceptions,
regarding Chinese products. however. As the research in this
report reveals, most Chinese
Indeed, the rapid pace at which brands are still relatively unknown
Chinese companies are evolving outside of China. Although Chinese
becomes a key competitive brands overall have improved in

advantage in the global quality, they have not yet enjoyed
marketplace. This change, often the full commercial benefit of that
driven by technology companies, improvement. The need to raise
is reflected in the brands ranked in awareness becomes especially
this reports BrandZ ranking. The important as Chinese brands
Top 3 brands Lenovo, Huawei, and expand beyond nearby Asian
Alibaba defied old perceptions markets.
of Chinese products and brands
to establish themselves as global Some Chinese brands have enjoyed
leaders. Lenovo, for example, success in the developed markets
derives derives over 70 percent of of Europe and North America, but

But growth requires greater

its annual revenue from outside of consumer awareness of Chinese
China. brands and their willingness to
consider them varies by country.

market insight and access The brands featured in the

c-suite interviews in this section
And building on these early
successes will require extensive
of the report also illustrate this market knowledge and insight along
with access to the right audiences
at the right time.
By Scott Beaumont
Vice President

86 87
Photograph by Paul Reiffer

YouTube is an essential platform to prioritize new opportunities, find

Google can partner establish a strong brand identity in a ways to strengthen an existing
on the global journey new market. market presence and bridge cultural
divides to establish a brand thats
Whether you are a Chinese airline And Googles support goes understood and truly aspired to by
targeting South Africa, a retailer beyond marketing strategy and the target audience.
expanding into Eastern Europe, or a implementation: we partner with
developer looking to connect with a companies in all stages of their Though theres still a long way to go,
global audience for your latest app global expansion. A typical pain its fantastic to see how more and
Google can be a partner on the point for Chinese companies is to more Chinese brands are opening
entire journey, and in many ways. fully internationalize and adapt to new doors and creating global
Our digital marketing platform and local consumers expectations, so brand identities, and increasingly
expertise, for example, is there to we leverage our global teams as wearing their heritage with pride
make the task easier and more well as our strengths in machine rather than something to shy away
effective. learning to solve complex issues like from. Some players even emphasize
localization. Its fantastic to see how their Chineseness through quirky
Our Search and Display Network companies like Elex, the successful features on their websites and
has global reach and allows gaming brand, use our translation unique offerings in their product
brands to identify and target their tools (Google Translate, Translator portfolios.
customers at the right time, in the Toolkit) to reach consumers across
right way, throughout all stages language barriers and allow for true
of their decision funnel. Tools like global interaction.
Google Trends, Global Market
Finder, and Consumer Barometer In addition, our export partnership At Google, were excited to be part
are there to help you discover of this transformational journey,
teams work hard to set up
and to partner with Chinese
trends and gain insights about localization, payment, and customer
brands in the implementation of
consumer habits and preferences. care consultations, as well as
their globalization strategies.
Googles web analytics and data connection to trusted in-market
measurement tools help to identify partners. Google further provides For further information, please
the role and importance of different deep market, competitor and contact:
platforms and devices, while consumer insights, and can help



Photograph by Paul Reiffer

RESOURCES BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


Methodology combines Step 4: Standardization

and Final Brand Power STEP 1 7 9
BrandZTM analytics and
Country & Category Selection
Once we calculated the preliminary We selected seven country markets with
Brand Power score, we leveraged substantial future export potential, and nine MARKETS CATEGORIES
the levels of awareness and product categories in which Chinese brands

Google capabilities 399 167

are active overseas.
consideration for the 399 non-
Chinese brands to adjust for the
impact that variations of category
size and market competition NON-CHINESE PRELIMINARY
have on the Brand Power scores BRANDS CHINESE BRANDS

the seven country markets, we then of the 82 Chinese brands. This

To measure consumer perception of
Step 2: Brand Selection created multiple questionnaires. standardization enabled us to

Chinese brands outside of China we
created a four-step methodology that and Quality Assurance In each questionnaire we limited make fair comparisons across the
the number of questions to 10, the nine product categories and seven
leverages WPP BrandZTM analytics with
Within the nine categories, we maximum permitted by Google country markets. We added these Brand Selection & Quality Assurance
Googles online reach and data gathering

final Brand Power scores across the We selected 399 non-Chinese brands and an initial
selected Chinese brands based on Surveys in order to maximize
capabilities. BrandZTM is the worlds seven country markets to produce 167 Chinese brands. We then filtered the Chinese
the extensive BrandZ database response. For each question we brands to include only those with relatively high
leading source of brand equity and the BrandZ Top 30 Chinese
and Google expertise. The Chinese presented six brand multiple-choice awareness and consideration scores. This exercise
valuation knowledge and insight. Google brands met two eligibility criteria: answers. We varied the answer Global Brand Builders ranking. yielded 82 Chinese brands. FINAL CHINESE
Surveys is an online market research options to ensure fairness. BRANDS
tool for rapidly gaining knowledge and 1. Each brand was originally
insight about the attitudes and behavior
of people worldwide.
created by a Mainland China
enterprise; and
Step 3: MDS and
Preliminary Brand
Step 1: Country and
Category Selection
2. Each brand derives a portion of
revenue from overseas business.
Market research
tool helps inform STEP 3
MDS & Preliminary Brand Power
Google Surveys also yielded data business decisions We achieved a preliminary Brand Power score by
In each category we also selected for computing the preliminary calculating the scores for each Chinese brand in
Because Chinese brands are Google Surveys is a market the three ingredients of Brand Power: Meaningful
non-Chinese brands (local country Brand Power of each brand. Brand
relatively known in neighboring research tool that enables (meeting functional and emotional needs in
brands and global brands). Power is a BrandZ metric of
countries and emerging markets, users to easily create online relevant ways); Different (being distinctive or
we chose to focus on markets with brand equity, the predisposition of and mobile surveys in order trend setting); and Salient (coming easily to mind
WPP and BrandZ experts in each consumers to choose a particular in a buying situation). Brand Power is a BrandZ
future export potential. We selected to help make more informed

relevant country market reviewed brand. Three ingredients comprise metric of brand equity, the predisposition of
these seven developed markets business decisions. People consumers to choose a particular brand.
the preliminary lists of brands for Brand Power: Meaningful (meeting
from different geographic regions: browsing the web come across
accuracy. functional and emotional needs
the US, the UK, France, Germany, the survey questions when
Spain, Australia, and Japan. in relevant ways); Different (being they try to access premium MEANINGFUL DIFFERENT SALIENT
The preliminary list totaled 167 distinctive or trend setting); and content like news articles or
Chinese brands and 399 non- Salient (coming easily to mind in

We also selected a mix of nine videos and publishers get
Chinese brands. Using Google a buying situation). We computed PRELIMINARY BRAND POWER
established and Internet-driven paid as their users answer the
Surveys, we conducted two rounds the Meaningful and Different scores
categories in which Chinese questions. On mobile, people
brands are active overseas:
of research to measure levels of of each brand based on survey Standardization & Final Brand Power
answer questions in exchange
awareness and consideration for answers. We computed each We leveraged the levels of awareness and consideration
consumer electronics, home for credits for books, music, to adjust for the impact that variations of category
brands in this preliminary list in the brands Salience based on survey
appliances, airlines, cars, smart and apps. Google aggregates size and market competition have on the Brand Power
seven country markets. With the answers and the brands indexed
devices, Internet services, mobile the responses and insights scores of the 82 Chinese brands. This standardization
first round of research we identified search volume. enabled us to make fair comparisons across the nine
gaming, e-commerce, and online are automatically created,
the brands highest in awareness and product categories and seven country markets. We
fast fashion. Chinese brands and freeing users from the burden
consideration. This exercise yielded added these final Brand Power scores across the seven
international brands together total of more difficult analysis. To country markets to produce the BrandZ Top 30
our final list of 82 Chinese brands.
at least 80 percent of the market learn more, Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017 ranking.
To research each category across FINAL BRAND POWER
share in these categories. analytics/surveys.

92 93
RESOURCES BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


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Reports, apps and iPad magazines This exclusive new report provides The Power and Potential of the
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94 95
RESOURCES BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


These companies contributed

expertise and perspective

Burson-Marsteller, established in CTR is the leading market research Hill+Knowlton Strategies was the Kantar Millward Brown is a leading Kantar Vermeer is a global Kinetic is the global leader in
1953, is a leading global strategic company in China. With more first international communications global research agency specializing marketing consultancy that helps contextually connecting and
communications and public than 20 years development, consultancy to establish a presence in advertising effectiveness, brands unleash purpose-led activating audiences on the
relations firm. It provides clients CTR has built expertise in media in China in 1984. Headquartered strategic communication, media growth through the development move. With offices in 34 countries
with strategic thinking and program management, brand and advertising in Beijing, with offices in Shanghai and digital, and brand equity and embedding of consumer worldwide, Kinetic has the scale,
execution across a full range of communications and consumer and Guangzhou, H+K China is one research. The company helps insights-led marketing strategy, partnerships, and location expertise
public relations, public affairs, research. Its Media & Consumption of the largest PR agencies in this clients grow great brands through structure and capability. Rooted to deliver the most efficient and
reputation and crisis management, Behavior Research analysts and market, employing 250 bilingual comprehensive research-based in consumer research, stakeholder accountable media solutions.
advertising and digital strategies. experts help advertisers, media communications professionals who qualitative and quantitative understanding and financial
The firms seamless worldwide owners and advertising agencies provide cross-sector, integrated solutions. Kantar Millward Brown analysis, Kantar Vermeers whole- What makes us different is that
network consists of 73 offices measure their media image, market communications services to many operates in more than 55 countries brain thinking brings an intrinsically we use insights, powered by data
and 87 affiliate offices, together impact and expand development Fortune 500 companies. and is part of WPPs Kantar group, multi-lens approach to creating and technology, to understand the
operating in 110 countries across space. With 30 years of market experience one of the worlds leading data, solutions for strategic marketing entire consumer journey, from the
six continents. Burson-Marsteller is and insights, H+K China has insight and consultancy companies. challenges. Kantar Vermeer is physical to the emotional. And we
a part of Young & Rubicam Group, CTR in-depth knowledge of established itself as an industry part of WPPs Kantar, one of the infuse these insights into everything
a unit of WPP, the worlds leading China local markets, with a global leader in corporate communications, worlds leading data, insight and we do to create innovative, relevant
communications services network. perspective, enables us to inspire marketing communications, public consultancy companies. experiences that drive people to
our clients to make informed affairs, media relations, crisis and take action.
decisions based on our unparalleled issue management, and digital
Deepender Rana and profound understanding of the communications. Hill+Knowlton
Head of Greater China
critical challenges in the Chinese Strategies, Inc. is headquartered
marketplace. in New York, with 86 offices in 49
Ruby Fu Benoit Garbe
countries, as well as an extensive
CEO, Burson-Marsteller China Managing Director King Lai
associate network. CEO, China

Lijun Xu
President, China QC Liang
CEO & President

98 99
RESOURCES BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017


These companies contributed

expertise and perspective

Millward Brown
IN CHINA in China
Kantar Millard Brown in China,
Maxus is a global media MediaCom is The Content + Ogilvy Public Relations (Ogilvy) is In Greater China, WPP companies (including associates) generate please contact:
agency with services including Connections Agency, working an award winning, multi-disciplinary, revenues of $1.6 billion with almost 14,000 people in Beijing, Shanghai,
communications strategy, media on behalf of its clients to leverage communications leader operating Guangzhou and many other cities and provinces. Doreen Wang
planning and buying, digital their brands entire system of in over 85 offices worldwide. Ogilvy Global Head of BrandZ
marketing, social media strategy, communications across paid, PR China was voted no.1 agency WPP is the worlds largest communications services group with billings Kantar Millward Brown
SEO, SEM, direct response media, owned and earned channels to by clients in the latest R3 rankings, of US$73 billion and revenues of US$19 billion. Through its operating +1 212 548 7231
e-commerce, data analytics, and deliver a step change in their Ogilvy also topped the Holmes companies, the Group provides a comprehensive range of advertising
marketing ROI evaluation. business outcomes. MediaCom is Report Global Creative Index, and marketing services including advertising & media investment
one of the worlds leading media ranking no.1 or 2 since 2012, and management; data investment management; public relations & public Claire Pan
Maxus help marketers build solid communications specialists, with holds Consultancy of the Year titles affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, Regional Solutions Consultant
relationships between consumers billings exceeding US$33 billion in APAC and Middle East. Ogilvy promotion & relationship marketing and specialist communications. Kantar Millward Brown
and their brands, offering simple, (Source: RECMA June 2016), was crowned Cannes Lions Network The company employs over 200,000 people (including associates and +886 (2) 2577 5445
creative, effective and efficient employing 7,000 people in 125 of the Year 2016. Ogilvy PR is a unit investments) in over 3,000 offices across 113 countries.
solutions to deliver tangible offices across 100 countries. Its of Ogilvy & Mather, a WPP company
benefit to clients business. global client roster includes Dell, (NASDAQ: WPPGY), and deeply To learn more about how to apply this expertise to benefit your brand, Christine Zhang
Maxus leading change philosophy P&G, Shell and Universal. The integrates across all disciplines. please contact any of the WPP companies that contributed to this Marketing Director, Greater China
ensures that we take our clients agency was recently named Global report or contact: Kantar Millward Brown
on that journey, bringing human Agency of the Year at the 2016 M&M +86 10 5857 9188
insight, a clear point of view and Awards, an accolade it has been TB Song Bessie Lee Juliana Yeh
a straightforward pathway to awarded 6 times in the past 8 years. Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, Head of Corporate
success through the digital world. WPP Greater China WPP China Communications,
Scott Kronick WPP Asia Pacific
Toby Jenner
For further information about WPP companies worldwide,
Annie Hsiao Worldwide Chief Operations Officer
please visit: or contact:
President, China
David Roth
CEO, The Store, WPP EMEA and Asia

100 101
RESOURCES BrandZTM Top 30 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2017



These individuals from WPP These individuals created the

companies and Google provided report, providing research,
additional thought leadership analysis and insight, editorial,
and insight to the report photography, production,
marketing, and communications

Liliana Caro Priscilla Dorresteijn David Roth Hillary Nie
Global CMO, Kinetic Head of Global Expansion Team, APAC CEO, The Store WPP, EMEA and Asia Research Manager, Greater China
Grace Feng Soomin Kim Igor Tolkachev Shanhong Chen
Associate Director - Insight and Knowledge, Kinetic Brand Solutions Activation Expert, North Asia Business Development & Innovation, The Store WPP Industry Analyst
Mark Heap Tony Lee Jay Makwana Shanshan Sheng
Chief Executive Officer APAC, MediaCom Tech Industry Head, Greater China Marketing Assistant to The Store WPP, EMEA & Asia Head of Data Insights, Greater China
Helen Huan Hao Meng Howard Lin
Managing Director, Burson-Marsteller Gaming/App Tools Industry Head, Greater China Google Surveys Program Manager
Kevin Ko Prerna Munjal
Head of Digital, Maxus International Expansion Consultant, APAC
QC Liang Claudio Romano
Chief Executive Officer, Hill+Knowlton Strategies International Expansion Consultant, EMEA
Elaine Su Filip Shen Doreen Wang Ken Schept
Group Account Director, Kantar Millward Brown International Expansion Consultant, EMEA
Global Head of BrandZTM Writer
Eric Xu Guilherme Soares Raam Tarat Cecilie stergren
Associate Director, Kantar Vermeer International Expansion Consultant, EMEA
Global Communications Project Manager Photography
Helen Ye Zhexia Su Claire Pan Paul Reiffer
Chinese Outbound Director, Ogilvy Public Relations Head of Industry, BIM
Associate Account Director, R&D, Greater China Photography
Jason Yu Tommy Zhuang Lucy Edgar Amanda Ma
General Manager, CTR E-commerce Industry Manager, Greater China
Global Marketing Manager Project Manager
Di Dong
Research Executive
Irene Zhu
Account Manager
Maggie Peng
Group Account Director Richard Ballard, Ella Dong, Anthony Marris, Ben Marshall, Stephanie
Bridget Wu Mou, Jenna Wang, Meimei Wang, Rachel Yu, Christine Zhang, Jing
Associate Analysis Manager Zhang and the Kantar Millward Brown Global Innovations Team.

2015 Google Inc. All rights reserved. Google and the Google Logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc.

102 103
Writing Ken Schept
Photography Cecilie stergren
and Paul Reiffer

Reseach conducted using