NEWS27 January 2015

Tencent tops China brand value table

Asia Pacific News

CHINA — Internet service company Tencent has become the most valuable Chinese brand for the first time, ahead of Alibaba and China Mobile, in WPP and Millward Brown’s fifth annual BrandZ ranking.


China Mobile, which has held the top spot since the start of the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands in 2011, has been pushed to third with newly-listed online retailer Alibaba ranked number two.

The 2015 ranking shows a rapid rise in the brand value of technology and tech-related retail brands. The technology category has now surpassed financial institutions as the highest value category ($106.9 billion), contributing 23% of the Top 100’s total value.

Brands from private enterprises dominate in terms of value growth, rising 97% since 2013, while SOEs (state-owned enterprises) declined 9%. While five years ago the Top 5 brands were all SOEs, three of this year’s Top 5 – Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu – are market-driven or private companies. Together, the three represent almost half ( 48%) of the value of the Top 10, led by Tencent which nearly doubled in value in the past year alone.

The total brand value of the Top 100 Chinese brands is $464.2bn, a rise of 59% since the ranking launched in 2011.

As Chinese companies improve the way they develop and execute marketing strategies, the gap between Chinese brands and multinational brands in China is also narrowing. Consumers increasingly see little difference between the two – choosing brands based on the value they offer, rather than provenance.

Five years ago, Chinese and multinational brands were 26 points apart on the BrandZ™ Brand Power Index, which measures a brand’s competitive position in its category. Today their scores are almost identical.

Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ, Millward Brown, said: “Consumers increasingly accept Chinese brands because they see them as meaningful and dynamic, not only because they’re well-known. The big question now is what brands must do to be accepted in international markets. Success will depend on understanding consumers’ behaviour and needs, integrating technology to improve the brand experience and playing on China’s unique identity to offer meaningful points of differentiation.”