The Re­ju­ve­na­tion of

China's Foreign Trade (English) - - Industrial Watch - By Liu Xin­wei

China has been at­tach­ing great im­por­tance to the build­ing of self- owned brands. In June 2016, the State Coun­cil is­sued an an­nounce­ment to pro­mote renowned self-owned brands and tell the sto­ries be­hind these brands. In April 2017, the State Coun­cil ap­proved the adop­tion of May 10 as Chi­nese Brand Day.

This year has wit­nessed the se­cond Chi­nese Brand Day. At the first Expo on China Indige­nous Brands and the In­ter­na­tional Fo­rum for China Brand De­vel­op­ment held on May 10, Wang Dong, Coun­sel to the In­dus­try Co­or­di­na­tion De­part­ment of Na­tional Re­form and De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion, said that it is im­por­tant to demon­strate the power of Chi­nese indige­nous brands via the expo and fo­rum, so as to im­prove the aware­ness of brand de­vel­op­ment and in­crease con­fi­dence in de­vel­op­ing self-owned brands.

Chi­nese brands demon­strate con­fi­dence and power

As the con­cept of crafts­man­ship be­comes widely ac­cepted and China’s man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try is un­der­go­ing rapid up­grad­ing, the fo­cus of Chi­nese pro­duc­tion is tran­si­tion­ing to­wards Chi­nese brands. The three-day brand expo at­tracted the par­tic­i­pa­tion of a num­ber of fa­mous Chi­nese brands. In the ex­hi­bi­tion area for state-owned cor­po­ra­tions, the au­di­ence was able to see dis­plays by the China Rail­way, the China State Ship­build­ing Cor­po­ra­tion, the Com­mer­cial Air­craft Cor­po­ra­tion of China and the China Aero­space Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Cor­po­ra­tion.

The ex­hi­bi­tion area for Shang­hai cov­ered five themes, in­clud­ing Shang­hai ser­vice, Shang­hai man­u­fac­tur­ing, Shang­hai shop­ping, Shang­hai cul­ture and Shang­hai in­no­va­tion, to de­scribe the jour­ney that Shang­hai brands have un­der­gone.

The largest ex­hi­bi­tion area be­longed to Guang­dong Prov­ince, and was split into two parts rep­re­sent­ing Guang­dong and Shen­zhen specif­i­cally. The Guang­dong ex­hi­bi­tion area fea­tured 35 com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing Guangzhou Mo­tor, Chang­long and Yi­hang, cov­er­ing many high-tech sec­tors such as e-com­merce, dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tion and high- end equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing. The ex­hi­bi­tion demon­strated the key tech­nolo­gies and prod­ucts of Guang­dong’s brand com­pa­nies and in­no­va­tive SMES, pro­moted the brand im­age and cre­ated a good at­mos­phere for high-qual­ity growth.

A large num­ber of Chi­nese self­owned brands at­tended the three-day event, ex­hibit­ing the his­tor­i­cal jour­ney that Chi­nese lo­cal brands have un­der­gone. These brands rep­re­sent sta­teof-the- art tech­nolo­gies and dis­tinct lo­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics. For ex­am­ple, the Chi­nese high-speed rail­way is go­ing over­seas and ex­per­i­ments re­gard­ing a trans- con­ti­nen­tal high­way are un­der­way. The 4,500 me­ter manned sub­mersible Deep Sea War­rior and the model of the un­manned ter­mi­nal of Yang­shan Deep-wa­ter port were also on dis­play, and at­tracted the at­ten­tion of the au­di­ence.

China Rail­way Group Chair­man Li Changjin said that in­no­va­tion is the pre­con­di­tion for build­ing a brand. It is im­por­tant to ex­plore the in­ter­na­tional

mar­ket armed with in­no­va­tion and qual­ity.

Wang Tongsan, Direc­tor of the China Brand Strate­gic Plan­ning In­sti­tute and aca­demic mem­ber of the China Academy of So­cial Sci­ence, said that, in or­der to pro­mote the de­vel­op­ment of Chi­nese brands, it is im­por­tant to fo­cus on in­no­va­tion and ex­plore a brand de­vel­op­ment method with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics.

“The de­vel­op­ment of Chi­nese self-owned brands shall make the most of the op­por­tu­nity of open­ing-up to pro­mote more qual­ity brand prod­ucts and ser­vices over­seas,” ex­plained Zhang Xiaoguang, Gen­eral Man­ager of the Brand Man­age­ment Cen­ter of TCL group.

The re­lease of the China Brand Day logo by seven govern­ment de­part­ments

The con­cept of brand de­vel­op­ment has been widely ac­cepted by so­ci­ety. In re­cent years, there has been an in­creas­ing num­ber of rec­om­men­da­tions by the NPC and pro­pos­als by CP­PCC re­gard­ing brand de­vel­op­ment. The rel­e­vant de­part­ments have is­sued var­i­ous mea­sures to sup­port brand de­vel­op­ment, and some lo­cal gov­ern­ments have set up spe­cial co­or­di­na­tion in­sti­tutes to pro­mote brand de­vel­op­ment. Mean­while, com­pa­nies’ brand aware­ness has been in­creas­ing, and many have in­cor­po­rated brand up­grad­ing into their cor­po­rate strat­egy.

On March 21, the press con­fer­ence for the re­lease of the China Brand Day logo was held by the fol­low­ing 7 govern­ment de­part­ments: the Na­tional Re­form and De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion, the Pro­pa­ganda De­part­ment of the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of CPC, the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, the Min­istry of Com­merce, the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Mar­ket Reg­u­la­tion and Gen­eral Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Qual­ity Su­per­vi­sion, and In­spec­tion and Quar­an­tine.

At the press con­fer­ence, the Na­tional Re­form and De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion an­nounced that an im­age of a Chi­nese seal fea­tur­ing the Chi­nese char­ac­ter of pin will be the logo of China Brand Day. The logo com­bines the typ­i­cally Chi­nese el­e­ments of Chi­nese char­ac­ters, a sac­ri­fi­cial tri­pod and a seal.

The Chi­nese char­ac­ter pin sym­bol­izes the high growth of the Chi­nese econ­omy led by Chi­nese brands. The ding (sac­ri­fi­cial tri­pod) is a tes­ti­mony to Chi­nese civ­i­liza­tion, and the seal rep­re­sents the tra­di­tional im­age of Chi­nese cul­ture and sym­bol­izes the na­tional goal of brand de­vel­op­ment.

Since 2017, the Na­tional Re­form and De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion has been work­ing with the rel­e­vant de­part­ments to col­lect logo de­sign so­lu­tions from so­ci­ety. Ap­prox­i­mately 500 de­sign cre­ations were col­lected. Af­ter ex­pert eval­u­a­tion and so­lu­tion op­ti­miza­tion, the fi­nal de­sign work was reg­is­tered as the logo for China Brand Day.

Li Pu­min, sec­re­tary- gen­eral of the Na­tional Re­form and De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion, said that the re­lease of the China Brand Day logo is a big event in Chi­nese brand his­tory, and is highly sig­nif­i­cant in pro­mot­ing brand de­vel­op­ment. The China Brand Day logo will be­come a new hall­mark for Chi­nese brand de­vel­op­ment in the new era and will fur­ther pro­mote the qual­ity growth of the Chi­nese econ­omy.

Zhou Guo­hong, the per­son in charge of the Na­tional Brand Pro­gram Of­fice of Xin­hua News Agency, said that each com­pany ex­pects to have its own golden brand, but it is never easy to achieve that. It is im­per­a­tive for the com­pany to ac­cu­mu­late com­pet­i­tive­ness in the fields of prod­ucts, ser­vices and key tech­nolo­gies, and pro­fes­sional ser­vice in­sti­tu­tions also need to pro­vide brand con­struc­tion so­lu­tions to help com­pa­nies in­te­grate com­plex brand com­mu­ni­ca­tion means.

China’s man­u­fac­tur­ing is grow­ing in terms of both qual­ity and brand, es­pe­cially due to the fact that the mar­ket share of Chi­nese lo­cal brands has been pick­ing up in the daily chem­i­cal and house­hold elec­tric ap­pli­ance in­dus­tries.

Fill­ing in the gap and strength­en­ing Chi­nese brands

“To­day the de­vel­op­ment of Chi­nese self- owned brands has be­come a na­tional strat­egy. Build­ing Chi­nese brands and de­vel­op­ing the brand econ­omy have be­come an im­por­tant mea­sure to up­lift­ing China’s eco­nomic sta­tus in the world,” said Jiang Ming, Chair­man of the China Gen­eral Cham­ber of Com­merce.

“How­ever, we have to be clear in our minds that, com­pared with de­vel­oped coun­tries, China still has some gaps in brand de­vel­op­ment, in­clud­ing hav­ing few in­ter­na­tion­ally-renowned brands, small brand in­flu­ence, weak dis­course power, low brand value and poor brand per­for­mance.” Ac­cord­ing to Jiang Ming, there have been larger and larger de­mands for branded prod­ucts, es­pe­cially since the rise of the Chi­nese mid­dle class has led to a more ur­gent need for qual­ity prod­ucts and ser­vices and the up­grad­ing of the brand econ­omy.

“Long-term ac­cu­mu­la­tion and gen­er­a­tions of ef­fort are re­quired to im­prove brand in­flu­ence and in­crease brand value.” Jiang Ming ex­plained that brand build­ing is a sys­temic project that re­quires joint ef­forts by the mar­ket, com­pa­nies, the govern­ment and so­ci­ety. It is im­per­a­tive to fill in the gaps in brand de­vel­op­ment.

Zhou Guo­hong said that there is still a large gap be­tween the cur­rent con­di­tion of Chi­nese brand de­vel­op­ment and the size of the Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try and its fu­ture dream, es­pe­cially in this new era when China’s com­pre­hen­sive na­tional strength is grow­ing.

Zhou added that a batch of pre­mium brands are needed to en­rich, ex­plain and en­hance the new na­tional im­age of China.

There have been larger and larger de­mands for branded prod­ucts, es­pe­cially since the rise of the Chi­nese mid­dle class has led to a more ur­gent need for qual­ity prod­ucts and ser­vices and the up­grad­ing of the brand econ­omy.

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