While Alibaba and Tencent remain by far the most valuable brands in the ranking, two video streaming companies, iQiyi and Youku recorded the biggest annual growth, up 158% and 136% in value respectively.
BrandZ also noted a record number of 17 newcomers to the 100-strong ranking, including services booking app Meituan, food delivery app Ele.me and and consumer finance brand Lufax, which specialises in peer-to-peer lending.
The success of this group, BrandZ said, has been driven by a mobile-centric, convenience-driven Chinese lifestyle.
Overall, the value of the top 100 brands increased 30%, fuelled by expansion into lower tier cities, which have seen rapid development and rising consumer buying power, and increasingly positive attitudes to Chinese consumer brands with a global presence.
And there is “vast potential” for further brand growth overseas, BrandZ believes, as China moves beyond the industrial focus of its Belt and Road initiative towards establishing leadership in areas including AI, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) and green energy.
"Whether going abroad or expanding domestically, the potential for brand growth is huge for China's most valuable brands,” said Doreen Wang, Global Head of BrandZ at Kantar.
“But realising it requires the knowledge and expertise needed to surmount new challenges,” she added. “This report highlights the importance for Chinese brands to build difference in the domestic and global marketplace."
As well as building difference, BrandZ advice includes: don’t rely on insights from coastal metropolises when entering lower tier interior cities; deliver a memorable brand experience; use human and artificial intelligence to provide convenience.
Sourced from Kantar; additional content by WARC staff