Chinese firms progress

29 February 2012

BEIJING: Tingyi, China Telecom and Ping-An are all among the "most promising" companies that are based in China but boast considerable international potential, according to a new report.

The Asset magazine, the business title, named 20 firms "on their way to becoming leaders", premised on data like profit margins and return on equity, as well as their growth plans, possible challenges and corporate governance.

One player making the list was Tingyi, the food group, which makes the leading Master Kong range of noodles, beverages and baked foods, and currently pursuing an alliance with PepsiCo.

ACNielsen reported that Master Kong's noodles took a 41.4% volume share and 56.5% value share in September 2011. Tingyi's emphasis on R&D and brand building were equally praised in the study.

Dynasty Fine Wines, a joint venture backed by Remy Cointreau and Tianjin Development Holdings, also featured, not least because demand for quality high-end brands in this category is rising rapidly.

Lenovo, the IT group, was awarded a similar status. The firm purchased IBM's PC business in 2005 and has continued to expand both organically and through acquisitions, like the recent takeover of Medion, a German computing specialist.

A joint venture with NEC Corporation has also helped Lenovo enter Japan, and its fledgling Brazilian unit now takes 8% of this market, as part of a wider effort to expand overseas.

Elsewhere, China Telecom was credited for adding 21m new 3G subscribers in the first 11 months of last year, easily beating its annual target of 17m, and taking its total to 120m. The firm has also just signed a deal to distribute the iPhone 4G in China.

Similarly, China Unicom, previously the sole domestic distributor of the iPhone, was selected by the study. It had 36.5m customers with 3G devices as of November 2011, and was lauded for developing a range of value-added services.

Turning to finance, Ping-An, the insurance provider, was credited for creating a "one-stop" model offering multiple accounts and services under one platform, enhancing the opportunities for cross-selling.

Three of the country's big banks made the rankings, in the form of the Agricultural Bank of China, the China Construction Bank and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

Other featured corporations included Digital China, the IT distribution firm, and China Communications Services, which plays a similar role in the telecoms industry.

Data sourced from The Asset; additional content by Warc staff