ICBC, China Mobile top brands in China

04 July 2011

BEIJING: The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Mobile and Lenovo are among the most valuable brands in China, according to a new study.

The World Brand Lab, a consultancy, based its findings on financial analysis, an assessment of evolving consumer behavior and overall strength of each intangible asset.

Robert Mundell, president of the World Brand Lab and a professor at Columbia University, said: "The brand is the world language of communications.

"Companies need to brand, and the state also need to brand."

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China - the largest of China's "Big Four" banks - led the rankings, and was estimated to be worth 216bn yuan.

The State Grid Corporation of China, the energy provider, claimed second place, on 188bn yuan.

China Mobile, the wireless telecoms group which has over 600m subscribers, was in third position, delivering a total of 183bn yuan.

CCTV, the broadcaster, followed on 126.1bn yuan, in front of the China Life Insurance Company, with 104bn yuan, completing the top five.

Next in the charts were China Petroleum and China Sinochem, on 101bn yuan and 96bn yuan respectively.

Huawei, the technology group, was on 87bn yuan, trumping automaker China FAW, posting 84bn yuan, and Lenovo, the IT group, rounded out the top ten, on 83bn yuan.

By industry, food and beverage manufacturers contributed 82 members of the table, ahead of 51 for textile and apparel makers and 46 representatives from the media category.

The 500 leading brands were valued at a collective 5.5tr yuan, or an average of nearly 11bn yuan.

In the World Brand Lab's first such study, published during 2004, the country's most valuable asset was priced at just 61.2bn yuan, a figure which has now more than trebled.

Similarly, the last of the 500 featured offerings witnessed an uptick from 500m yuan to more than 1bn yuan, showing the broad impact of China's economic growth.

Elsewhere, 103 members of the list are reported to be worth over 10bn yuan, an increase from 45 in 2004.

One area of pressing importance for Chinese brands is to internationalize their businesses, since 451 brands tracked by the analysis are only available domestically, while 32 have an effectively global reach.

A survey of 8,000 consumers also revealed Chinese products are struggling to secure the trust of shoppers compared with overseas rivals.

The panel awarded German operators a score of 87.5%, ahead of 87.1% for their Swiss counterparts, 86.6% concerning US firms, and 84.9% regarding the UK.

Italian and French products both generated over 80%, while equivalents from Japan, Australia and Sweden received favourable reviews from seven in ten interviewees.

As such, Chinese companies fell out of the top ten from 2010, taking thirteenth position.

Martin Kilduff, a professor from the University of Cambridge Business School, asserted there was an urgent need to move beyond the "Made in China" mentality to creating winning Chinese brands.

"Huawei Technologies, Qingdao Beer and Anshan Iron & Steel have clearly set an example," he said.

Data sourced from People's Daily/World Brand Lab; additional content by Warc staff