Huawei takes top slot in reputation rankings for Chinese firms

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Smartphone maker Huawei took the top slot among domestic brands in China for reputation, according to a new report from an international research company.

According to the report from Racepoint Global, a United States-based marketing company and Reputation Institute, an advisory firm, aside of Huawei the other Chinese firms that enjoyed high ranking in terms of reputation included Haier, SF Express and Gree.

International brands such as Intel and Rolex continued to enhance their reputation in China among the over 280 companies surveyed.

"Intangible assets are becoming more important than 40 years ago. Up to 87 percent of global market value was made up of intangible assets at the end of 2017," said Nicolas Trad, president of Reputation Institute.

"Reputation helps predict a company's financial performance," he added.

Chinese search giant Baidu, which had enjoyed a high reputation earlier, suffered a dip in fortunes and fell out of the top 120 rankings published by Racepoint.

"Baidu received a lot of negative coverage in 2017 due to the advertisement scandal and has been questioned for not disclosing business investment in the past," the report pointed out.

Peter Prodromou, president and CEO of Racepoint, said accessibility does not always reflect people's perspective on the companies.

"Baidu needs to do more research with key stakeholder groups on how to enhance their reputation and how to meet their expectations," Trad said.

He added that reputation stands for the general public's perspective on the company and it does not actually present the truth.

"There is a gap between people's perspective and the truth, and what companies need to do is to close the gap," he said.

The report pointed out that the quality of products and service is not the only factor deciding a company's reputation. There are other factors including work ethics and leadership, he said.

"Reputation is very important to companies as more Chinese companies are expanding overseas," Prodromou said while citing the recent privacy and racial issues faced by some foreign companies.

"Chinese companies are enhancing their sales capabilities, and as they are expanding into the outside world, they need to think what it is that makes them different."

He said Huawei's winning reputation ranking resulted from its excellent global customer service and the perception that customers will be able to access the services everywhere in the world.

"The value of the brand plays a significant role in whether an economy can be involved in the global value chain," Liu Pingjun, president of the Chinese Brand Promotion Association, said during the recent Third Silk Road International Exposition.

"Enhancing brand value is an inevitable process in high-quality economic growth and vital to catering to consumer demand from home and abroad," he said.

He added the country will push higher standards, build a fully functional regulation system, recruit suitable talents and optimize the market competition environment to enhance the value of Chinese brands.

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