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China's Top Brands    [Date Added : 12/20/2012 ]
The demand for innovation in China is beginning to take its toll on some Chinese brands, although it is boosting a handful of others. The annual study of top Chinese brands analyzes financial information of listed companies' brands and pairs it with data from a survey of 35,000 consumers.

According to research from Millward Brown and media company WPP on the top-50 most valuable Chinese brands, social media site Renren Inc.'s value fell 77% this year to US $246 million, dropping it to last on the list from 35th a year earlier. Other major brand value declines include sports apparel maker Li Ning Co. (down 69%, ranked 47th), retailer Gome Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd., (down 60%, ranked 42nd), and Chinese travel booking company Ctrip.com, (down 39%, ranked 43rd).

The top-15 Chinese brands are (in billions of US dollars):

1. China Mobile (50.6)
2. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (40.4)
3. China Construction Bank (24.0)
4. Baidu (22.7)
5. Tencent (20.2)
6. Agricultural Bank of China (17.3)
7. China Life (14.4)
8. Bank of China (13.6)
9. Moutai (13.0)
10. Sinopec (12.5)
11. PetroChina (12.0)
12. Ping An (10.6)
13. China Telecom (8.6)
14. China Merchants Bank (6.8)
15. Bank of Communications (5.0)

Although some companies have faced added pressure in their sectors - the electronics and sports apparel markets have both slumped in China - a key reason behind the declines of these companies is a perception that they lack innovation, said Doreen Wang, head of client solutions at Millward Brown in Beijing, noting that in China consumer perception of progress is critical.

Even the top-ranking brand this year, telecom giant China Mobile, has seen its value drop 6% to roughly $50.6 billion - a decline that Ms. Wang attributes to perceptions of a failure to innovate. Years ago, consumers chose their mobile providers by the speed and service of telecommunications companies, but most have done little to create new ways to attract people and differentiate themselves, Ms. Wang said.

The value of China's Internet technology brands has fallen on average 35% since last year's study.

However, a positive perception of innovation has paved the way for the rise of other Chinese brands, such as Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd, which developed the popular mobile messaging service WeChat and signed an agreement with Walt Disney Co. earlier this year to develop animation content on Tencent's platforms. Tencent's brand value has climbed 60% to $20.2 billion and has climbed to No. 5 on the rankings, up from No. 10 a year earlier.

Internet giant Baidu Inc. jumped 40% to $22 billion, ranking it No.4 in this year's survey. This year, the company has launched its own mobile Internet browser, rolled out a smartphone-operating system and boosted cloud-computing services.
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