BEIJING: China Mobile, ICBC and the Construction Bank of China are the most valuable brands in China, a list increasingly dominated by financial, telecoms and online operators.
Millward Brown, the insights provider, drew on data from Bloomberg and Kantar Worldpanel, alongside interviews with over 35,000 consumers, to identify the Chinese assets boasting the highest net worth.
Overall, the top 50 members of this group saw their collective valuation climb by 16% on an annual basis to $325bn, a total representing more than 5% of China's gross domestic product.
China Mobile, the mobile giant with a subscriber base of 600m users, led the rankings, as was the case last year. However, its net worth actually declined by 4% to $53.6bn.
The reasons for this incorporated rising competition from China Unicom and China Telecom and issues related to driving uptake of its 3G devices, especially as this portfolio does not include Apple's iPhone.
Second position went to ICBC, the financial services company, on $43.9bn, up 15% year on year having become the world's biggest bank by market capitalisation, customer deposits and profitability.
The remainder of the country's "big four" banks came next, headed by the China Construction Bank on $22bn, beating the Bank of China on $18.6bn and the Agricultural Bank of China on $16.3bn.
Baidu, the search engine, was sixth on $16.3bn, a 67% increase year on year, not least as it has expanded into sectors like web communities, ecommerce and entertainment.
Also in the top ten were China Life, the insurance provider, on $15.3bn, Sinopec, the energy group, on $13.8bn, PetroChina, also in oil and gas, on $13.8bn, and Tencent, the internet company, on $12.6bn.
Elsewhere, Baidu posted a maximum five points for its "brand contribution", or the share of corporate earnings linked to its "close bond" with consumers. Mengniu and Bright, two food and dairy firms, and Yanjing and Tsingtao beers matched this score.
Further analysis by Millward Brown and CIC, the consultancy, revealed China Telecom, China Mobile, Haier, the appliances manufacturer, and Mengniu, the food and dairy group, were making the best use of social media at present.
The typical member of top 20 most successful brands in this area - based on their number of fans, digital "presence" and recommendation levels - was worth $9.6bn, an above-average figure.
Data sourced from Millward Brown; additional content by Warc staff