Carol Huang
Jul 9, 2020

New powers rise in China, while some earlier standouts stumble

ASIA's TOP 1000 BRANDS: Growing diversity among the China-based brands on the list speaks to greater marketing power emanating from the mainland.

Hot-pot chain Haidilao enters the list at 547.
Hot-pot chain Haidilao enters the list at 547.

In Campaign Asia-Pacific's new Asia's Top 1000 Brands research for 2020, 14 China-based brands have made improvements in their ranking, while 13 have suffered drops. Meanwhile, four new China-based brands have entered the list.

While China's internet juggernauts and electronics makers have made the biggest impact on the list in past years, the group of brands improving their ranking this time around is quite diverse, including:

The new entrants are travel giant Ctrip (at 609), China Merchants Bank (854), China Construction Bank (978), and last but perhaps culturally most significant, hotpot restaurant chain Haidilao (547).

The most improved China-based company this year is Qingdao-based Hisense, and both that company and fellow appliance maker Midea feature in our gallery of this year's biggest movers.

Chinese internet conglomerate Tencent made the second-biggest jump on the list among Chinese brands, improving by 237 positions to reach 381.

Tencent's Wechat ranks the highest among all Chinese brands, improving from 189 in 2019 to 117. Thanks to the continuous growth of Wechat user numbers, the multifunctional app plays an increasingly central role in people's lives: as e-wallet, messaging platform, app-aggregator and news resource. In the first quarter of 2020, Wechat had 400 million daily active users.

Huawei now ranks 120th among Asia's Top 1000 Brands. That's the second-highest ranking for a Chinese brand, but the company has fallen 37 spots from its perch in the Top 100 last year. Getting caught up in China-US trade tensions and later investigated by several governments has clearly taken some of the shine off the brand.

While Huawei tumbled, Oppo gained ground. As one of the major competitors of Huawei in the overseas market, Oppo's ranking improved by 111 spots, making it 361st among the Top 1000 brands. But in general, the momentum for Chinese electronic brands is not as good as before. As the cellphone market saturated in both China and overseas, Chinese mobile phones are facing a decline in brand recognition. Case in point, Xiaomi, which fell from 99th in 2019 (the highest ranking among among all Chinese brands) to 140 this year. The company has been facing criticism ever since its IPO in Hong Kong. Lenovo saw the worst fall among China brands; from a high of 53 in 2017, the brand now stands at 582.

Haidilao's impressive debut at 547 makes it the highest ranked new entrant from the mainland. In January the hot pot brand made headlines by giving tutorial services to students waiting to eat in its restaurants. And although the pandemic has clearly been hard on restaurants since then, the brand has a winning formula surrounding a beloved cultural tradition.

Online travel agency Ctrip, which made an appearance at 934 in 2017, re-enters the list this year at 609. Although its business was seriously affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, Ctrip managed to keep the brand under the spotlight with active communities and local events to help people get through the pandemic.

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