B to B Will Lead the Way for Chinese Global Brands

January 29, 2012

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The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating interview with the Dean of the China Europe International Business School, John A. Quelch.  Dean Quelch talks about his plans for expansion and is clearly bullish on the growth of Chinese brands.  But he predicts that the business to business sector will lead the way.  His key quote:

WSJ: When will we see the emergence of global Chinese brands?

Mr. Quelch: I think that Chinese companies will add value initially in the B-to-B (business-to-business) sector, not the B-to-C (business-to-consumer) sector. Many people in China are eagerly awaiting the day when the first truly global Chinese brand enters the top-10 ranking of the world’s most valuable brands. I think that’s probably at least a decade away.

But Chinese companies like Huawei, ZTE–these companies have extremely good technology and know how to invest in technology acquisitions and, increasingly, they are acquiring or hiring non-Chinese to help them become global players. Those are the companies that are likely to be at the forefront of Chinese value-added overseas. Yes, there will be a Lenovo, there’ll be a Haier, there’ll be a Geely–we’ll all, as consumers, be interested in following the fortunes of these B-to-C companies, but I think the B-to-B space is where Chinese companies are really going to excel.

The Dean offers advice to Chinese companies “going out” and it suggests that communications is a key to success.  His advice focuses on how Chinese companies should present themselves in foreign markets, which can only be accomplished by strategic public relations.
Here’s the Dean:

WSJ: What advice would you give to Chinese companies headed overseas?

Mr. Quelch: Chinese companies should not go abroad as Chinese companies. They should go abroad as companies with an important differentiated value offering that consumers will be happy to pay for–and the country of origin is irrelevant.