Much has been said about the rise of China as an international commercial juggernaut, but recently the distinction has been made clear for all. While before, none of the many Chinese brands, while increasingly prominent in Asia and other parts of the world, they have never actually ranked on certain lists of the Top Global names. That has finally changed this week. Two companies have finally elevated their brands to join contemporary heavyweights like Apple and Google, and they are internet and e-commerce giants Tencent and Alibaba, the first time two Chinese firms have ever been included in this list.
CNN has it that the Alibaba Group, founded by visionary business magnate Jack Ma, now stands at 9th place among the world’s most valuable brands. This is thanks to the company, based on emerging tech-hub city Hangzhou, making great strides in cloud computing and mobile payment services, which has helped its brand value reach an impressive $113 billion. Ahead of Alibaba is Shenzhen’s holding conglomerate Tencent Ltd., which is best known for its internet-related subsidiaries. It stands at 5th place with a $179 billion brand value – larger than Facebook. This ranking is on the BrandZ Top 10 Brand Value List.
The achievements of these two brands on the worldwide stage are notable indeed for the fact that they managed to power through some obstacles that are specific to the Chinese market. BrandZ head Doreen Wang relates how most companies in China are hampered by near-minimal brand awareness, the international market’s predisposition to think of China-made products as of questionable quality, and cold feet by Chinese brands to advertise globally. Thankfully, more young consumers are seeing the worth of brands from China, leading to a change in attitudes. Tencent’s regional dominance in online gaming apps has made it worth more than well-established banks like JPMorgan Chase in terms of market capitalization.
To review, the most valuable global brands according to BrandZ are, from the top: Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Tencent, Facebook, Visa, McDonald’s, Alibaba and AT&T. Part of the two China brands’ latest successes has been due to establishing themselves outside of their country and Asia, with Alibaba now making waves in Latin America, which is increasingly using their e-commerce platform AliExpress. Tencent meanwhile is now penetrating into the markets of Thailand and Singapore. Meanwhile, Google continues to reign as the number one most valued brand, at $302 billion at current.
The BrandZ brand value ranking is annually co-published by the UK’s WPP advertising company and its data investment management division, Kantar Millward Brown. To get into the list, Alibaba had to see its previous brand value go up by almost double, while Tencent had a one-year value increase of 65%.