Why can’t Chinese build global brands?

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Bruce Einhorn brings up a fascinating question in his post on how Chinese failed to create global brand like Japanese and Korean did it? Even the Indians are managing to do it now?

So why can’t companies from Greater China have more success building global brands? For years now, companies from China and Taiwan have been trying to develop global brand names – and do it fast. Rather than slowly, slowly, slowly building their brands overseas, the way that the likes of Sony and Samsung did, many have tried to go global overnight by buying famous but troubled brands in the West and trying to lower costs by shifting production to China.


Why should it be that in China, a country that produces quality products at low prices, its local consumers still prefer foreign to domestic commodities? I think it can solve by implementing a certain marketing strategy to win domestics customers’ loyalty.

Just consider. Nowadays, we can see that Chinese brand-name products poised to enter U.S. markets include Lenovo Computers — the world’s third-largest desktop PC maker — and Changhong, China’s largest consumer electronics manufacturer.

China’s 500 Most Valuable Brands in 2006 recently released by World Brand Lab (WBL) shows that Haier, with a brand value reaching 63.989 billion yuan, keeps the first place, followed by Lenovo, China Mobile, CCTV, with a brand value exceeding 60 billion yuan respectively. Besides, Chang Hong, Bank of Communications, GOME, China Life, CREC, Sinochem are among the top ten list.

Two years ago, for example, China’s household appliance giant Haier was once named as the country’s most valuable brand-name company in the January issue of the Chinese version of Forbes Magazine.

Li Wuzhou and Tan Zhen of China Today stated that China’s brands already started to go global.

China’s developing brands are also beginning to appear on the international market. Chinese Haier electric appliances account for 10 percent of the European market, and Chinese computer brands Lenovo and Donghai are advancing into the world IT industry. The state-owned Double-Star Group shoe manufacturers have grown from a 1980s small workshop to a concern encompassing 10 overseas companies registered in 46 countries. A large number of excellent and well-reputed local brands, such as Golden Star, Changhong, and Konka are also gaining ground on the world market where, in contrast to China, the Made in China label is actually becoming a common sight.

Indeed, China’s brand names prepare to go global but a Purdue University international marketing expert warns China has political problems such as the nation’s communist political system that involves the government as a major stakeholder in its companies. According to Jay Wang, another is its non-democratic political philosophy. Both of these issues affect brand perception and connection, and might put off some customers, Wang says.

Only time will tell.

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