2018 is the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening. Numerous goods have been stamped as Made in China during past 40 years, but what is the current reputation of Chinese brands?
On January 1, as is shown in Google Trends, China’s five major home appliance brands – Haier, Hisense, Midea, Gree and TCL – have remarkable performance among eight major countries including the United States, Germany, France and Japan. The data confirms the global era of China’s brands has come.
As is shown in the figure above, Haier is China’s first home appliance brand in terms of globalization. Since purchasing Fisher and Paykel of New Zealand, GE Appliances of the US and Sanyo of Japan, Haier has evident global synergy. It ranks first in terms of comprehensive influence with absolute advantage. Hisense has performed well in Japan, Germany and other countries, mainly due to its sponsorship of sports events. Midea, Gree and TCL have performed well in Russia and Thailand. The overall situation is good.
Experts say the Chinese brand is unleashing unprecedented global vitality. In September 2017, Forbes published an article titled “Imitator to Innovator: How China Could Soon be the World’s Tech Leader,” stating that, “In the past few decades, Chinese enterprises have developed from ‘copycats’ to influential innovators.”
In 2012, the BBC collected opinions and feelings about Chinese goods. At that time, in the eyes of some consumers, Chinese goods were synonymous with cheap and poor quality. But in recent years, with the awakening of brand awareness in Chinese enterprises, the global impression of Chinese manufacturing has gradually improved. Chinese brands have gradually become one of the world’s leading brands. In 2017 alone, the growth of trademark applications in China accounted for more than 80 percent of the world.
In 2016, when BBC reporters came to China to film the documentary Create in China, they said, “China is no longer the manufacturer of others’ designs. Now, Made in China is transforming into Created in China.”
As the first Chinese enterprises to go abroad, some household appliance brands have witnessed the transformation from Made in China to Chinese brands. In 2017, Kantar Millward Brown, a leading global data, insight and consultancy company, released China’s National Image Global Survey. It shows that in terms of home appliances, Haier is the most famous among overseas users, followed by Hisense, Midea, Gree and TCL. Just the same as Google Trends.
Chinese companies are more willing to understand overseas users rather than blindly use existing business models, which is another reason why overseas users change their attitude towards mainland brands,” said Scott Kronick, the president and CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific Region, in a report with CNBC.
As early as 20 years ago, when Chinese enterprises exported products and manufactured for other brands, Haier created its brand integrating research and development, manufacturing and marketing. John Kotter, the most authoritative spokesperson in world’s top business leadership and change, argues that Haier is creating a successful global enterprise model in the 21st century. The new model not only creates a very great company, but also helps the whole country.