Chinese brands continue to gain market share overseas

May 24, 2021
Industry News
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Although impacted by the pandemic, Chinese brands continued their brand-building investment to grow their business overseas, according to the Top 50 BrandZ™ Chinese Global Brand Builders 2021 report launched by Google and Kantar in Shenzhen, China. Top Chinese brands experienced a continued rise in brand awareness in developed markets included in the study.

The Top 50 Chinese Global Brand Builders report reached its fifth anniversary this year since Google and Kantar began to analyse Chinese global brands in 2017. The 2021 ranking has expanded to include four emerging markets – India, Indonesia, Mexico and Brazil – where consumer interest in Chinese brands is rapidly growing, and more Chinese brands start to find opportunities there.

Last year was certainly the most challenging for Chinese brands going overseas. In the face of global disruption, the Top 50 Chinese brands stayed aligned to their core values and actively pivoted to new approaches. By moving quickly on the right strategic insights, Chinese brands have found ways to not merely survive, but grow quickly during disruptive times.

For the first four years of the ranking, one of the main tasks Chinese companies were urged to undertake was to build strong, resilient, and truly global brands. Could they take their unmatched logistics and innovation capabilities and use them to create a brand positioning that made them Meaningful, Different, and Salient? This past year has served as a test of that advice, and it’s a test that many Chinese brands passed with flying colours.

In spite of disruptive times and the addition of emerging markets to the formula used to derive the ranking, the distribution of Brand Power, which measures the ability of a brand to grow current market share, has remained relatively stable across categories, with consumer electronics (33%) and mobile gaming (15%) still making up the lion’s share.

And while Chinese brands are generally stronger in developed markets, some categories are doing particularly well in emerging markets including transportation apps, cars, and ecommerce.

2021 Top 10 Kantar BrandZ Chinese Global Brand Builders

Ranking in 2021



Brand Power in 2021







Content Apps




Consumer Electronics




Consumer Electronics




Consumer Electronics




Consumer Electronics




Home Appliances




Home Appliances




Consumer Electronics




Consumer Electronics


* The Brand Power evaluation of Haier is based on the data of Haier’s single brand Haier Smart Home Co., Ltd, and does not include the data of other sub brands of Haier Group.

“Over the years, we have seen that Chinese companies who have invested in building their brands, are able to achieve sustainable, quality growth and find resilience during financially stressed times,” said Annabel Lin, Managing Director of Greater China Solution Specialists and APAC International Growth, Google. “During this challenging year, those brands have managed to stay the course, and increased their trust and relevance with consumers around the globe.”

To measure consumer perception of Chinese brands outside of China, Google and Kantar created a four-step methodology that leverages BrandZTM analytics with Google’s online reach and data gathering capabilities. In 2021, the ranking has added data from four emerging markets into the calculation, on top of seven developed markets covered in previous years (Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States).

This year’s research surveyed more than 860,000 consumers in 11 markets. We compared 1,662 candidate brands across 15 categories with brands in local markets to select the final Top 50 brands. But since the previous years’ ranking are based on the developed markets only, this year’s ranking is not comparable year-on-year.

Top five insights from this year’s ranking report

  • Strong brands survive and thrive
  • Stay-at-home brands rise
  • 32 brands remain in the 50 ranking since 2018Direct to consumer is a direct road to success
  • Be meaningful and different to increase perceived value
About Kantar

Kantar is the world’s leading data, insights and consulting company. We understand more about how people think, feel, shop, share, vote and view than anyone else. Combining our expertise in human understanding with advanced technologies, Kantar’s 30,000 people help the world’s leading organisations succeed and grow.