BY SILVI WRITER
China’s video streaming giant iQiyi (爱奇艺), “China’s answer to Netflix”, is the world’s fastest-growing brand of 2019, according to Brand Finance Global 500 2019, a report to include the world’s 500 most valuable brands across all sectors and countries
Brand value of Nasdaq-listed iQiyi, founded in Apr 2010, is “up a whopping 326% year on year, three times the 105% hike by its US counterpart”, according to the report by Brand Finance, a London-based brand valuation consultancy which values the world’s biggest brands.
Amazon has been named the world’s most valuable brand, with its value increasing 25 percent over the last year to $187.9 billion. Apple ranked second with a brand value of $153.6 billion, followed by Google and Microsoft.
Brands from China climb up the ranking as the country’s total brand value in the report breaks US$1 trillion for the first time.
Chinese brands are braced for the trade wars ahead and starting the year confidently, seeing notable rises in brand value across a variety of sectors: tech, banking, insurance, and real estate, said David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance.
“It now rests upon the guardians of these Chinese brands to navigate the choppy waters of US tariffs and negotiate their way through the escalating tensions in the years to come,” Haigh said.
In addition to the world’s fastest-growing brand, iQiyi, Chinese tech brands are especially coming out on top.
At US$50.7 billion, WeChat is a rising star, having lifted its brand value 126 percent over the previous year.
Its influence is reflected in the impressive way in which the brand has successfully created a digital ecosystem for its 1 billion Chinese users who use the platform every day to instant message, read, shop, hire cabs, and more.
“WeChat is the jewel in the crown of Chinese tech giant Tencent, which ranks 21st, holding a brand value of US$49.7 billion,” the report said.
Tech brands are not the only ones driving China’s total brand value up.
China’s most valuable brand, which also features as the world’s 8th, is Beijing-headquartered banking giant ICBC (brand value up nearly 35 percent to US$79.8 billion).
As the world’s largest lender by assets, ICBC has more than tripled its number of overseas outlets to more than 400 in the last ten years.
Breaking into the top 10 this year is China’s second biggest bank by market cap, China Construction Bank (CCB).
With a brand value of US$69.7 billion, up 23 percent since last year, the company’s success can be attributed to its innovative developments in seizing the digital banking revolution.
In a pioneering first for the Chinese banking landscape, CCB also opened the doors to its first self-service bank branch, run by robots using facial recognition, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality.