Brand value of Chinese firms, especially those from the technology, education and logistics sectors, have seen a sharp surge in the latest ranking released on Monday.
The brand value of the top 100 Chinese brands this year achieved a record growth of 23 percent from 7.1 billion a year ago to 3.9 billion in 2018, representing the greatest annual growth since WPP and Kantar Millward Brown's 2018 BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands ranking was first released in 2014.
Logistics brands entered the BrandZ China rankings for the first time as a category, with the largest SF Express coming in at No 11, reflecting the rise of e-commerce and the increase in package delivery volumes in the country.
"More sophisticated in their purchasing decisions, consumers are responding to brands that grab their attention and meet their needs in relevant ways with products and services that are both innovative and different," said David Roth, CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and Asia at The Store WPP, the group's global retail practice.
The game is changing for brands that want to compete successfully in China. They are expected to pursue a higher purpose, one that improves the lives of the Chinese people, helps drive greater economic equality and strengthens the nation, he added.
According to the report, China has become one of the most competitive markets in the world, with market-driven brands seeing a phenomenal increase of 271 percent in value over the past five years. The BrandZ China Top 100 has grown by 80 percent over the past five years, outpacing the BrandZ Global Top 100's 27 percent growth.
The competitive landscape for Chinese brands meant some brands were unable to maintain their rankings within the Top 100. In China, 28 brands had exited the BrandZ China Top 100 rankings over the past five years, versus 17 from the Global Top 100, it said.
Technology giant Tencent has retained the coveted title of China's most valuable brand for the fourth consecutive year, achieving a brand value of 2.2 billion, a 25 percent year-on-year increase.
"Tencent has benefitted greatly from the rapid development and massive opportunities of China's digitalization," said Seng Yee Lau, chairman of Tencent Advertising.
"Technology has become an integral part of our everyday lives. Now the final piece of the jigsaw is ready to be put into place and a completely digital China will emerge," Lau said.
China's largest e-commerce company Alibaba has continued to grow at an exceptional rate, growing 53 percent year-on-year to achieve a brand value of .6 billion.
The BrandZ report combines financial data with consumer opinions gathered from interviews with over 400,000 Chinese consumers to give a dollar value to how brands power business.