China Brand Day: Cutting-edge products highlight nation's growing innovation power
The Exposition on China Brand 2023, part of China Brand Day events,  kicks off in Shanghai, China, May 10, 2023. /CMG
The Exposition on China Brand 2023, part of China Brand Day events, kicks off in Shanghai, China, May 10, 2023. /CMG

The Exposition on China Brand 2023, part of China Brand Day events, kicks off in Shanghai, China, May 10, 2023. /CMG

The Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center will be abuzz with activity from Wednesday through to Sunday as over 1,000 companies from across China showcase their latest products and innovations.

The exhibition is part of the offline segment of China Brand Day events this year. Since its inception in 2017, China Brand Day has been marked on May 10 every year, with the aim to raise awareness of brand development and increase the presence and influence of Chinese brands in the global market.

Several cutting-edge products on display at the exhibition have already gained fame among audiences thanks to their appearance in the Chinese sci-fi blockbuster "The Wandering Earth II." These include wearable exoskeleton suits developed by ULS Robotics and multi-terrain intelligent emergency rescue platforms developed by Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group (XCMG).


In addition to these products, the exhibition also features models of China's space station and the HYSY 981, the country's first deep-water semi-submersible drilling rig. These exhibits hold significant importance in the country's manned space program and the manufacturing of deep-water extra-large marine engineering equipment.

Besides the exposition on China's brand development, the events also include an international forum, which consists of one major forum and 12 parallel sessions focusing on areas such as agriculture, manufacturing and services, and topics including consumption expansion, regional development, rural vitalization and social responsibility.

Moving from 'Made in China' to 'Developed in China'

Chinese tech companies have been making remarkable progress in various sectors, such as high-end manufacturing and new energy vehicles, in recent years.

For instance, XCMG introduced a homegrown automatic transmission to the global market last year, which had previously relied on imports due to technical difficulties, long R&D periods and costly investment.

To overcome these challenges, XCMG researchers identified key technical obstacles and broke them down into smaller problems, which they solved with relentless efforts, according to Yang Guoxiu, director of the transmission laboratory at XCMG.

Besides automatic transmissions, XCMG's products include trackers and cranes. The company can now manufacture 91 percent of all components in its products, up from 62 percent previously, according to chief engineer Shan Zenghai.

XCMG's success story is not unique. Chinese manufacturing brands have gained more recognition in the global market, with the new energy vehicle (NEV) industry flourishing. The average export price of automobiles increased from $12,900 in 2018 to $16,400 in 2022, and brands started playing an important role in enhancing the added value of manufacturing export products.

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"Brand building can stimulate the innovation and creativity of enterprises, improve product quality, improve the quality and efficiency of the supply system, optimize the supply structure, and promote high-quality development," said Tan Yongsheng, deputy director of the Institute of Industrial Economics and Technical Economics at the China Academy of Macroeconomic Research.

"Brand building is also conducive to enhancing the status and competitiveness of China's industrial chain, supply chain and value chain in the world," he added.

Parallel to brand development, China has strengthened regulations against illegal practices to better protect intellectual property rights owners, ranking 11th in the latest Global Innovation Index issued by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

XCMG has increased global reach, with its products being sold in over 190 countries and regions around the world. According to Vice President Liu Jiansen, the company generated over 10.6 billion yuan (about $1.53 billion) in revenue from abroad in the first quarter of 2023 alone, setting a new record for a single quarter. This revenue accounted for 45 percent of the company's total operating revenue.

Chinese companies have moved from "Made in China" to "Developed in China," with brands gaining recognition globally. Fortune magazine's 2022 list of the world's top 500 companies includes 145 Chinese companies, the highest number for any one country. 

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