Tencent remains the most valuable APAC-based brand, surpassing Facebook, AT&T and Visa to reach the fifth spot on Kantar Millward Brown's just-released BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report.
Tencent also has a new Chinese neighbour in the otherwise all-American top 10, as Alibaba vaulted from 14th spot to ninth.
Meanwhile, Samsung made a respectable gain of five spots to 33, Japanese and Australian companies lost ground, and the top 100 has its first-ever member from Southeast Asia: Indonesia-based bank BNC at 99.
When the list is sorted according to year-on-year growth in brand value, Chinese brands appear in the top three spots: JD.com at 94%, Alibaba at 92% and Moutai at 89%. JD.com's near doubling in value brought it into the top 100 at 59. And Moutai surged a remarkable 30 positions, landing at 34.
Other Asia-based gainers, on a year-on-year basis, include:
- ICBC (+6 to 22)
- Ping An (+18 to 43)
- Huawei (+1 to 48)
- China Construction Bank (+5 to 49)
- AIA (+9 to 86)
- SF Express, which enters the top 100 at 90.
APAC companies suffering declines since last year include:
- China Mobile (-4 to 21)
- Toyota (-6 to 36)
- Baidu (-2 to 41)
- NTT (-5 to 55)
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia (-8 to 68)
- ANZ (-17 to 92)
- Honda (-6 to 97).
Here is a list of all the companies from Asia (including Australia) in the global top 100 for 2018, with their 2017 ranking for comparison:
|2018 ranking||2017 ranking||Brand||Country|
|49||54||China Construction Bank||China|
|59||(not in top 100)||JD.com||China|
|68||60||Commonwealth Bank of Australia||Australia|
|69||72||Agricultural Bank of China||China|
|84||94||Bank of China||China|
|90||(not in top 100)||SF Express||China|
|99||(not in top 100)||BCA||Indonesia|
Factors driving growth
"Alibaba’s ecommerce businesses continue to perform strongly, with $25 billion worth of purchases on Singles Day alone, yet one of the key growth drivers is its cloud business, growing by more than 100% in the last year," Elspeth Cheung, head of BrandZ Valuation at Kantar Millward Brown, told Campaign Asia-Pacific. "As consumers and enterprises all over the world move to the cloud, AliCloud has an undisputable advantage given it can provide unrestricted access in China. With a stronghold in its home market, AliCloud is ready to challenge Amazon Web Service (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure globally."
Another growth engine for Alibaba is the Alipay third-party payment solutions platform, which is set to go beyond China and aggressively expand overseas, Cheung added.
"JD.com shows similar patterns of growth through its financial arm JD Financial," she added. "More importantly, its core ecommerce platform continues to be disruptive to the retail industry in China."
Meanwhile, Tencent's 65% growth in brand value, while not as sparkling as Alibaba's and JD.com's, should not be underestimated. "The unprecedented power coming from the East builds on its far-reaching ecosystem setup that satisfies the many needs of an average Chinese consumer," Cheung said. "The brand is also restlessly refining its WeChat platform, allowing the world’s largest brands to reach their target consumers in China more effectively."
As for Moutai, two forces explain its rise, according to Cheung. "On the one hand, Moutai has broadened its customer base by strengthening its lower-price product offer after the ban on excessive government spending," she said. "On the other hand, high-end Baijiu used to be purchased for gifting. But as disposable income rises and consumer confidence is at an all-time high in China, normal Chinese consumers are more ready to purchase premium products for their own pleasure."
Overall, 14 Chinese brands now appear in the top 100 ranking, and the total value of China’s top 10 grew 47% year-over-year, more than double the 23% growth recorded by US brands. India and Indonesia are also showing strong regional growth, Kantar Millward Brown reported.
Globally, the total brand value of the top 100 grew by a record 21%, adding almost $750 billion to the ranking, which is now valued at $4.4 trillion. Eight out of the top 10 are technology or tech-related brands.
Other than Tencent's rise, the most significant mover in the top 10 was Amazon, which passed Microsoft to climb from fourth to third on the back of 49% growth. Elsewhere, Netflix grew by 71% and climbed 31 places to 61.