• Transform magazine
  • July 15, 2024


Shenzhen tops Chinese city branding survey


Shenzhen has scored the highest level of brand recognition in a new survey on developing Chinese cities.

Oval Branding’s first Chinese City Branding Report surveyed 30 senior UK business leaders from a variety of sectors about their awareness of eight of the newer cities in China.

With a focus of foreign business and investment into a few well-known cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, the brand awareness of other Chinese regions is often low. The results show a significant disparity between the new cities, with Shenzhen scoring 93% brand recognition and Wuxi reaching just 50%.

Oval found that the most significant factors that influence investment decisions were the cost of doing business and the buying power of potential customers. These were both rated highest at 69%.

Of the survey respondents, 75% had visited China at least once and 43% had visited more than 10 times.

The full list of results is:

Shenzhen 93% 

Chengdu 77%

Hangzhou 73%

Xiamen 70%

Nanjing 63%

Xi’an 63%

Dongguan 53%

Wuxi 50%

China’s national brand value is on the rise, ranking second globally in 2019 with a brand value of $20 trillion behind America’s national brand at $27.8 trillion, according to brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance.

Oval Branding CEO Kaitlin Zhang said: “The profile of China as a destination for international investment and collaboration has increased substantially over the past few years. UK businesses are increasingly aware of its huge market. But that investment is not distributed evenly and there is a high level of competition between different Chinese cities and regions. The efforts they make in the early 2020s to establish their own international reputation and credentials are likely to pay dividends for years to come.”