Rahul Sachitanand
Jun 22, 2021

Chinese brands record stellar year in Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands 2021

Four of the five brands that doubled their values in the new Global Top 100 hail from the mainland, and China now has 18 homegrown brands in the ranking.

Chinese brands record stellar year in Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands 2021

Four of the five companies that doubled their brand value in the just-published Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands ranking come from China. Pinduoduo, Meituan, Moutai and TikTok all doubled their value, along with Tesla, which became the most valuable auto company globally. 

China has a total of 18 homegrown brands in the Global Top 100 this year. 

Despite battling through the pandemic, companies' brand values seemed to gallop along unfettered. According to the listing, the world’s most valuable brands have a total worth of $7.1 trillion, a strong 42% increase from last year. While US brands yet accounted for over half of this (56%), China has consolidated its lead over Europe. Chinese brands have grown from 11% of the Top 100 value in 2011 to 14% today. European brands, in contrast, now represent 8% of the ranking’s value, versus 20% a decade ago.

Overall, Amazon maintained its position as the world’s most valuable brand, growing 64% to $684 billion, with the retail giant's figure up by $268 billion this year. Amazon and Apple constituted the only two half-trillion-dollar in the listing. Technology dominates the top end of the Kantar BrandZ ranking, with seven of the top 10 brands coming from the tech sector. The report also shows that tech has also enabled non-tech brands to achieve significant growth, for example Gucci, which harnessed the power of TikTok during the pandemic, and Domino’s, which of course leverage online and delivery innovations.


The Top 10 brands are today valued at $3.3 trillion, compared to $800 billion in 2011. Thirteen new entrants joined the 2021 global ranking, including Nvidia (No. 12, $105 billion), Zoom (No. 52, $37 billion), AMD (No. 57, $33 billion) and Spotify (No. 99, $19 billion).


Elsewhere, the media and entertainment space was overtaken by Apparel, which grew by 53%, as Adidas, Nike, Puma and Lululemon all secured 50%+ value growth. If this growth was fuelled by a merging of work and office wear in the pandemic, fast fashion brands took a knock, with the exceptions of Uniqlo (+88%) and H&M (+47%).


Speaking of the pandemic, ecommerce and online shopping companies performed strongly this year, with Chinese names standing out. According to this listing, Chinese ecommerce brands showed strong growth; Alibaba, at seventh in the global ranking consolidated its position as the second most valuable retail brand, and Pinduoduo was the fastest growing retail brand. 

Another trend that was likely adopted and saw the companies' brand valuation lifted over the past year were subscription services providers. While old hands such as Microsoft surged brand value by 26% by innovating with new business models, Disney (+13%) and Netflix (+55%) saw growth, while Spotify entered the ranking following a 454% growth in subscribers from 2015 through 2020. Beyond technology, subscription-based models are also increasing the value of a broad range of brands including Lululemon, Nike, Mercedes-Benz and Heineken.

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