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China backs domestic brands

News, 13 May 2016

BEIJING: The Chinese government wants to see more domestic brands gain a global reputation, as it seeks to encourage innovation and improve quality in the consumer goods sector.

A State Council executive meeting discussed a series of measures aimed at accelerating this process over the next two years, China Daily reported.

"Developing consumer goods, improving product quality, nurturing brands and increasing product variety – these are demands from the market, especially when China's economy has reached a certain stage," said Premier Li Keqiang.

Particular sectors are being targeted, including domestic appliances, watches, bicycles, daily necessities and sports and cultural products.

The government is also insisting on quality over quantity, something Li addressed earlier this year when he talked about fostering "a craftsmanship spirit of striving for the best, so that more types of products, products of a higher quality, and brand products will be made".

Business will be urged to spend more on research and development and to develop product design to meet international standards, while also incorporating "Chinese national features".

All this is already happening to some extent, according to Huang Qunhui, director of the Institute of Industrial Economics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He pointed out that the growth in cross-border e-commerce is forcing Chinese producers to take steps to upgrade product quality and branding.

A report last year from Accenture forecast that China's cross-border e-commerce transactions would increase more than ten-fold to reach $245bn by 2020.

It also pointed to opportunities for foreign brands to highlight Chinese concerns about product safety – consumers are already searching for goods labelled "Made in America".

Data sourced from China Daily, Shanghai Daily; additional content by Warc staff