May 10 marked China Brand Day and the start of a big event running through the 12th. This is the fifth year of the event, which promotes Chinese brands to both domestic and foreign consumers. To find out what's happening this year, and how both the number and reputation of Chinese brands are rising, CGTN anchor Wang Guan spoke with experts on China's economy and industries.
Hong Hao, chief strategist at the Bank of Communications International, pointed out that the growth of China's brands is part of the process of the country upgrading its manufacturing industry. He said in the past most of China's manufactured goods were at the bottom end of the value chain, and even exporting at a large quantity didn't make much profit.
"Now the Chinese industry has matured to a certain stage that it's necessary, and also the condition has arrived for an industry upgrade," said Hong. He also cited examples of successful industrial upgrades of carmakers such as Geely and consumer goods such as Lining.
Victor Yang Xueliang, Geely's senior vice president and spokesperson, said China has witnessed rapid growth in the car industry in terms of sales volume, as well as improvement of the innovation capability and overall quality of the entire value chain.
"I think Chinese car brands are not recognized only as a low-cost option for consumers in China and other parts of the world," said Yang. "They are recognized as both with all the technology, with really good quality standards… but also with very appealing retail pricing."
Andy Mok, senior research fellow at the Center for China and Globalization, agreed that Chinese brand value has improved remarkably, and its growth is in parallel with China's overall economic growth.
Mok says that many Chinese companies have made significant progress in building effective brands around the world, but there's still room for improvement, especially in the areas of marketing and customer relationships.
"China has come a long way in terms of building dependable products at a decent price, and I think that's world-recognized," said Mok. "But the piece that's missing and I think is being filled in is the marketing - creating the branding, the advertising, including the distribution as well."
Mok added that to create a great brand, the company has to create an emotional connection with the customer. "This is one of the areas that require cultural insight, require investment of course, and most of all, require executive action, meaning the commitment of senior leadership of companies looking to become truly global brands."
This year's China Brand Day focuses on "Dual Circulation and New Consumption." Hong said the "Dual Circulation" economic model is a long-term strategy to grow Chinese industries sustainably.
He said that because of the pandemic, the U.S. demand for Chinese products is still high, but going forward, the demand will decrease gradually as the Biden administration spends more domestically and invests in infrastructure and "Made in America" facilities. At the same time, the Chinese domestic market has matured and generates a huge demand at home.
"Ever since the trade spat in early 2018, there's a growing recognition that China needs to be more self-reliant," Hong said.
Dialogue is a prime time daily English talk show on CGTN. The 30-minute talk show covers a wide range of domestic and international topics, providing a balanced and critical perspective on current affairs and analysis within the framework of cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary comparisons.
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