China plans to strengthen national brand development

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BEIJING -- China is attempting to accelerate the development of local brands in the face of fierce competition from multinational imports with the staging of the '96 Advertisement and International Famous Brand Symposium next month. The aim is also to boost co-operation between Chinese and foreign ad industries.

"China cannot find a place in the forest of world economic powers if it does not have a large number of famous brands," says Wang Zhengzai, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Administration for Industry and Commerce and president of the Beijing Advertising Association. The Beijing Advertisement Fair will take place simultaneously with the symposium in the Chinese capital.

As part of the country's move to produce more strong brands, several producers or factories have clubbed together under umbrella names. Sinopec (China Petrochemical Corp), China's largest lubricants producer, for example, is unifying the brand names of its factories under the Torch logo. This decision, in particular, is in response to the flood of imports since the market was opened in 1992 and the number of low quality domestic products. The firm plans to make the Torch name famous worldwide.

Zhengzai notes that ads play an important role in fostering famous brands: the world-famous Coca-Cola Co. each year spends an average $184m on ads and famous Chinese brands such as Jianlibao soft drinks and Chunlan air freshener each year also invest millions of dollars in advertising. But, he says, many Chinese enterprises have still not realized the importance of advertising in building up new famous brands.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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