Matthew Miller
Oct 19, 2021

BrandZ China: Tencent overtakes Alibaba; Kuaishou, Meituan and Douyin surge

The top 100 most valuable brands in China gained 57% in brand value year-over-year, reaching $1.56 trillion, according to Kantar's latest ranking.

BrandZ China: Tencent overtakes Alibaba; Kuaishou, Meituan and Douyin surge

Internet platforms in China saw the biggest increases in brand value over the last year, according to Kantar's just released annual BrandZ ranking of the mainland's top 100 most valuable brands.

Tencent tops the ranking (see the top 10 below and the full top 100 here), having increased its brand value by 85% since last year's ranking to overtake last year's top brand, Alibaba, which notched a 32% brand-value increase. While the giant stalwarts still sit atop the list—by a considerable margin in dollar value—up-and-coming platforms recorded bigger increases in brand value: 282% for Kuaishou (up from 25th to 10th position), 131% for Douyin (up from 14th to eighth) and 121% for Meitaun (up from ninth to fourth).

As for non-internet brands, Moutai and Hauwei held their top 10 positions with brand-value increases of 106% and 25%, respectively, while banking brand ICBC fell from fourth to ninth with a mere 1% increase in brand value. 

The top 10:

Newcomers to the top 100:

Biggest gainers across the top 100:

Overall, the top 100 brands gained 57% in value and now boast $1.56 trillion in brand value, according to Kantar.

This was the most difficult year for brands looking to enter the top 100:

Kantar states that 'meaningful difference' is especially important for growing brand value. The brands that grew their brand value by 30% or more in the past year had a clear advantage across meaningfulness, difference, and salience:

Sector highlights

  • Five food-and-beverage brands in the top 100 are worth almost $70 billion. Two new brands, condiment maker Haitian and premium water brand NongfuSpring, joined the ranking.
  • The Consumer Technology category includes four brands that together are worth a total of almost $79 billion. Big names like Huawei, Xiaomi and Lenovo all posted double-digit growth.
  • The IoT Ecosystem and Home Appliances categories grew by 41% and 9%, respectively. Haier, for example, found success with AI-powered systems to automatically purchase washing-room supplies and new cooking equipment to allow families to enjoy restaurant-style meals at home.
  • The Business Solutions and Technology Providers category placed five brands in the top 100, with a combined value of almost $14 billion. Among these, B2B marketing platform Ocean Engine (81st; $2.6 billion) led to the brand being valued separately from Bytedance for the first time.
  • Athleisure brands Anta and Li-Ning drove a combined 116% increase in the apparel category’s value.

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