Four companies from Shenzhen have made it onto the list of the 2018 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands released by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown in London, UK, on May 30, 2018. Additionally, the overall growth of Chinese brands is now more than double that of US brands.
The evaluation of brands used for the ranking adopts a unique investigation method within the industry by combining the business performance of each company with interviews of over three million consumers globally, both of which are used to determine the final ranking. This list has now become one of the world’s most definitive brand rankings.
Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Tencent took the top five places in the ranking, while China’s Alibaba also broke into the top 10. Fourteen Chinese brands appeared in the Top 100 ranking compared to just one (China Mobile) in 2006. The total value of China’s Top 10 grew year-on-year by 47%, more than double that of US brands (23%).
Specifically, four companies headquartered in Shenzhen made an appearance in the rankings, with China Ping An rising 18 places from a year earlier to 43rd. Meanwhile, Huawei climbed one place to 48th and SF Express came in at 90th.
Tencent, which is valued at US$178.99 billion, jumped to the No. 5 spot after entering the top 10 last year. “The growth of Tencent’s brand value has benefited from the rapid development of digitization in China, as the Internet and new technologies have been integrated into the country’s economy, culture and people’s livelihoods, transforming from a digital economy to digital China. In light of this trend, Chinese brands will have a bigger global influence,” said Seng Yee Lau, who serves concurrently as Senior Executive Vice President, Chairman of Tencent Advertising, and Chairman of Group Marketing and Global Branding at Tencent. “Tencent aims to become a ‘digital assistant’ for all industries and leverage the ‘spirit of digital craftsmanship’ to help all industries achieve digital transformation and allow more innovative Chinese brands to be represented worldwide.” The report showed that Tencent had moved up three places from last year’s ranking as its “house of brands” offers consumers everything from social media, mobile payments and booking services for trains, ships and flights. Its dominant social media platform WeChat recently saw its user number surpass 1 billion worldwide.
Huawei has now made it onto the list for four consecutive years, growing its brand value by 22% to US$24.922 billion and coming in at 48th, up one place from its 2017 ranking. Thanks to the strong performance of its products such as phones and laptops as well as its continuous efforts to internationalize, the company has seen a stable annual increase in brand value and ranking. According to data released by IDC, the world’s smartphone shipments reached 336.1 million in the first quarter of 2018, down 2.4% year on year. Against such a backdrop, Huawei, the world’s third-largest smartphone manufacturer, saw its market share grow steadily to 11.7%. Due to hot sales of its flagship products, Huawei improved its market share in the premium handset market (those priced over US$500) to more than 10%.
The report pointed out that the value growth of Chinese financial service brands including Ping An, is mainly due to the rise of the middle class in China and policies issued by the Chinese government to boost consumption. The report also mentioned that respondents believed that Ping An can provide a wide range of financial services to meet consumers’ different needs. Ping An recorded higher scores than the insurance industry’s average value in brand objective, innovation, dissemination, brand experience, and brand preference.