BEIJING: China Mobile, the China Construction Bank and ICBC have once again topped the list of China's most valuable brands, a group dominated at the top end by tech firms and banks according to a new study from Interbrand.

The consultancy's report, Best China Brands 2013, recorded a 7% decline in brand value for China Mobile to RMB 196.5bn but it remained comfortably ahead of the next two, China Construction Bank on RMB 118.4bn and ICBC, another bank, on RMB 117.8bn.

The fastest growing brand, however, was internet company Tencent Holdings, whose value had rocketed 84% to RMB 90bn, propelling it into 4th place from 8th one year ago. Observers said this was down to the success of its WeChat messaging app, which has seen user numbers quadruple to 400m.

"Tencent has devoted much effort to build its brand by providing first-rate service to its customers, which is the core value of the company," Thomas Chen, managing director of Interbrand China, told China News.

Other fast-growing brands included PC maker Lenovo, up 64% to RMB 22.2bn and 13th spot, and Baidu, the search engine, up 57% to RMB 24.5bn to put it in 11th spot. Interbrand noted that Baidu was looking to bridge the tech and financial sectors with the launch of its Baidu Finance Center.

Tang Yaqian, deputy strategy director of Interbrand China, observed the inevitable trends towards digital and mobile. "A new structure has been formed," he said, "with Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent taking the most shares of the market."

He suggested that China Mobile was changing its strategy as a consequence, adding that "being more customer-oriented is of utmost importance in the process of its restructuring".

Banks and insurers accounted for the majority of the remaining top ten places, with Bank of China retaining its fifth spot and Ping An its sixth. China Life saw its brand value decrease 18% and dropped three places to seventh, while modest increases in brand value put the Agricultural Bank of China at eighth and China Merchants Bank in ninth.

Kweichow Moutai, the liquor brand, was unable to repeat the previous year's performance, when brand value had grown 33%. In 2013, its value tumbled 24% tp RMB 29.7bn, but it held onto a place among the top ten.

Data sourced from Interbrand, China News; additional content by Warc staff