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The value of Chinese brands has increased 30% to $889.7bn according to the 2019 BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands survey. Alibaba topping the poll for the first time.

The survey published by global consultancies WPP and Kantar, suggest Alibaba has grown its brand value by 59 per cent year-on-year to $141bn.

The growth has been fuelled by brands accelerating their expansion into China’s lower tier cities and increasingly positive attitudes to Chinese consumer brands with a global presence.

Entertainment grows fastest

The Entertainment section saw the largest year-on-year growth of 186%, followed by Education (57%) and Retail (55%). Technology accounted for the most brands in the Top 100 with 11 brands, contributing 26% of the ranking’s total value. It also dominated the top 10 leaders in terms of Overseas Presence with six brands – double the number last year.

These include the world’s largest drone-maker DJI (no.50, $2.8 bn), robot company UBTECH (no.85, $910m), smartphone maker Xiaomi (no.11, $20.6 bn), Lenovo (no.47, $2.9 bn), Huawei (no.6, $33.2 bn) and ZTE (no.72, $1.2 bn). 

The study, expanded in 2019 to include four new categories – consumer finance, entertainment, lifestyle platforms and transport. The study’s authors suggest that digitisation and sophistication of Chinese consumers is creating a unique marketplace of products and services available with unprecedented speed and convenience.

Innovators in AI, e-commerce, new retail and social media performed strongly. The fastest rising brands are video streamers and iQiyi (no.28, $5.6 bn) and Youku (no.31, $5.0 bn), up 158% and 136% in value respectively.

Xiaomi, services booking app Meituan (no.13, $19.9 billion), food delivery app Ele.me (no.24, $7.3 billion) and consumer finance brand Lufax (no.26, $6.9 billion), which specialises in peer-to-peer lending, are the most valuable brands among a record number of 17 newcomers to the ranking this year.

BrandZ says this has been driven by what it describes as a mobile-centric, convenience-driven Chinese lifestyle.

Vast potential for global growth

The survey says there is vast potential for further brand growth overseas as China moves beyond the industrial focus of its Belt and Road initiative towards establishing leadership in areas including AI, robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and green energy.

It says one such brand is home appliances and IoT brand Haier, ranked 15th in the Top 100 with a brand value of $16.3 bn.

The report also suggests that the investments which brands make to build value are measurably rewarded in the stock market.

The BrandZ China Top 100 stock portfolio, comprising the same 100 brands, has outperformed the MSCI China Index by almost four times, growing 111% since July 2010 vs. 28%.

David Roth CEO of The Store WPP, EMEA and Asia, says: “China’s stock market volatility over the past year has provided a real-life stress test for valuable brands, which continued to outperform the market. Put simply, valuable brands deliver superior shareholder returns. One hundred dollars invested in the MSCI China Index in 2010 would be worth around $128 today. That $100 invested in the BrandZ™ China Top 100 would now be worth $211.

“The threshold to enter the BrandZ China Top 100 has more than doubled from $311m in 2018 to $681m in 2019, demonstrating the continued pace of growth. Against a backdrop of heightened competition and disruption, building stronger brands is what it takes to stay in the game.”

Alibaba’s brand value has grown 136% over the past five years in BrandZ’s Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands, outperforming the Top 100 overall which increased 92% over the year.

The full report is available here.

The study is published by global media consultancy WPP. The valuations were calculated by brand equity research firm Kantar.

The ranking analyses market data from Bloomberg with consumer insights from over 3.7m consumers around the world, covering more than 166,000 different brands in over 50 markets – including opinions from nearly 290,000 Chinese consumers on over 1,100 brands in 75 categories.

The eligibility criteria are as follows –

the brand was originally created in China

the brand is owned by a publicly traded enterprise, or its financials are published in the public domain

Bank brands derive at least 20 percent of earnings from retail banking

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