Alibaba isn’t number one — at least within Kantar Millward Brown’s latest rankings of the top Chinese brands for 2018 that was detailed in the brand strategy firm’s review, “BrandZ Top 50 Chinese Global Brand Builders Report.” The analysis takes a deep look at the impact made by Chinese brands within the global consumer market — and how they can grow the brands on an international stage.

“Chinese brand builders aren’t just concerned with reaching a wider global audience, they are aiming to change customers’ perceptions too. Brands that succeed in China’s formidably competitive marketplace are not just out-gunning the competition in terms of innovation, they are deploying an equally powerful weapon — branding,” said Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ at Kantar Millward Brown.

To devise the rankings, Kantar Millward Brown deployed an algorithm that was applied to 168 brands across 12 product categories. The algorithm relies on three powerful data sets to discern the rankings that included Google Surveys, Google Search Volume and WPP’s BrandZ database. The scoring displays brand strength as viewed from international consumers in France, Germany, Spain, the U.K., U.S, Australia and Japan.

Devised in collaboration with marketing communications firm WPP and Google, the report noted that largely due to President Xi Jinping’s 2013 “Silk Road Economic Belt” initiative, electronic and gaming companies have grown substantially. “China’s insatiable appetite for new technology is fueling the growth of many brand categories and powering innovation at an incredible pace,” said a spokesman for Kantar Millward Brown.

“The companies behind China’s brands are taking a more active role on the world’s stage. They are increasingly shaping the conversation at a category level, as well as helping to support economic growth in developing markets in many ways, not least by investing in infrastructure. China’s brands are not only changing the way that people around the world think about brands, they are also changing the way those people think about Brand China,” said David Roth, chairman of BAV Group and chief executive officer of EMEA and Asia at The Store WPP.

Brands that post the highest levels of growth are those that are displaying the most innovation. According to the report, digital media and in-store displays were the largest contributing factors to instigate Chinese brand awareness among international consumers.

But this growth doesn’t come without its challenges. “While negative perceptions of some Chinese brands may persist among older generations of consumers, there is a shift in attitude among younger generations,” Wang said. “Younger consumers are turning to brands such as Lenovo, Alibaba and because they are united by their love of cool, affordable products and services, regardless of their country of origin.”

BrandZ Top 10 Chinese Global Brand Builders 2018

  1. Lenovo: Consumer electronics
  2. Huawei: Consumer electronics
  3. Alibaba: E-commerce
  4. Xiaomi: Consumer electronics
  5. Air China: Airlines
  6. Elex: Mobile gaming
  7. Anker: Consumer electronics
  8. Haier: Home appliances
  9. Hisense: Home appliances
  10. Cheetah Mobile: Mobile gaming/internet services

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