Mall developer Joy City is one of China's leading brands, according to the ranking.

SHANGHAI–China’s explosive growth has made it home to the world’s fastest growing brands, expanding at a pace nearly 8 times faster than overall global rate, new research from Brand Finance shows.

“The country’s impressive portfolio of high-performing brands has claimed 9 spots among the top 10 brands with the largest increase in brand value over the last decade,” the report said.

The combined brand value of Chinese brands in the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking of the world’s most valuable brands has risen 1,100 percent increase from $111 billion in 2010 to $1,334 billion in 2020.

“This is by far faster than brand value growth recorded by brands from any other country, with – for instance – the United States seeing a 177 percent and Japan a 94 percent increase, and nearly eight times faster than the overall growth of brand value within the Brand Finance Global 500 ranking – 143 percent,” it said.

The most valuable Chinese brands are financial institutions ICBC and Ping An, which sit in the first two spots, followed by phone maker Huawei. The top end of the ranking is dominated by finance, tech, utilities and telecommunications–it’s not until the 74th spot that a clothing and sportswear brand, Anta, appears–but ecommerce giants made a strong showing.

WeChat was ranked seventh, while its parent group Tencent was tenth. Taobao ranked 13th, TMall was 15th, and B2B site Alibaba.com was 22nd, with the report noting that Alibaba.com had grown a staggering 4,029 percent over last 10 years. NetEase was 30th and JD.com came in 31st, while Pinduoduo was ranked 122nd. Tik-Tok-owner Bytedance appeared for the first time on the list this year.

By geography, the key areas of Beijing, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Shanghai, and Hong Kong contributed the most brand value to this year’s Brand Finance China 500. But Beijing remained in a league of its own with its 100 brands in the ranking reaching a cumulative brand value of $787.2 billion, equating to 42 percent of total brand value. China’s southern hub, the Greater Bay Area, is increasing its share, however.

“The number of brands in the Brand Finance China 500 2020 ranking coming from the Greater Bay Area, which includes Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Macau have increased from 135 brands in 2019 to 138 brands in 2020, with a total value of $532.6 billion, which accounts for more than a quarter of the total brand value in the table. The great performance of the region demonstrates the success of China’s Reform and Opening-Up policy on Shenzhen’s 40th anniversary,” the report said.

Property developer Joy City, with an estimated brand value of $2.7 billion stood out in particular as the real estate sector’s and Beijing’s strongest brand. The company has a solid reputation across China for being trendy and forward thinking and in May last year, the brand launched Le Joy Hotel, the group’s first hotel brand, further expanding its portfolio of properties.

“As with all real estate brands across the sector, Joy City will have to learn and grow from the repercussions of and trends borne out of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Scott Chen, managing director at Brand Finance China, commented. “With a large chunk of the brand’s revenue hailing from its shopping mall business, Joy City will have to be ready to tackle the challenges of the steep rise in demand for online shopping and prolonged social distancing rules, which will no doubt have implications for the popularity of malls in general.”

Other notable mall developers include Vanke, Greenland, China Resources, Longfor Properties, Poly Real Estate, Evergrande, Dalian Wanda, Sun Hung Kai Properties, and New World Development. Fashion brands that made the ranking include Heilan Home, Bosideng, Li Ning, 361 Degrees, Peacebird, Metersbonwe, La Chapelle and Staccato. Beauty companies Pechoin and Chando also feature.

The Brand Finance survey is not the only piece of data reflecting China’s rise. For the second year in a row, the nation has dominated the Fortune Global 500 list, accounting for 133 of the top 500 global companies by revenue, with the U.S. in second with 121.

“While many of the leading Chinese companies on the list – Sinopec Group, State Grid Corporation of China, China National Petroleum – primarily operate within their domestic market, their growing revenues in 2019 highlight the size of China’s fast-growing market,” Lux Research senior analyst Yuang-Sheng Yu said.

“Other companies, such as Tencent, Huawei, and Alibaba, are also quickly reaching the international market, and this will likely be a continuing trend as the country attempts to transform itself into the world’s leading provider of advanced technologies and higher-value-added products and services across several key industries.”

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