January 27, 2015 / 11:15 AM / 5 years ago

Tencent, Alibaba lead China's top brands as tech dominates

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s tech giants Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) beat state firms for the first time to become the country’s most valuable brands in 2015, a report published on Tuesday shows.

Visitors use their smarts phones underneath the logo of Tencent at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing May 6, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

China’s three biggest Internet companies, which also includes Baidu Inc (BIDU.O), all appeared in the country’s top 5 rankings, said advertising company WPP Plc (WPP.L) and its research affiliate Millward Brown.

“For the first time the tech industry surpasses the banking industry in terms of brand value,” said Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ at Millward Brown, citing the rise of Internet finance and the decline of profits at big banks.

The annual rankings, based on analysis of a brand’s revenue and consumer responses to it, only cover the country’s publicly-traded companies.

Top brand Tencent is valued at $66 billion, up 95 percent from last year, according to the report.

The Chinese social media giant’s brand value has surpassed Facebook Inc (FB.O) and it is now the world’s fifth most valuable tech brand, following Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Google Inc (GOOGL.O), International Business Machines Corp (IBM) and Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), according to Wang.

Alibaba, the e-commerce powerhouse that raised $25 billion in the world’s biggest initial public offering last September, has a brand value of nearly $60 billion and ranked No. 2 in China, the report said.

Private enterprise brand value has increased 97 percent since 2013, while government-owned firms have lost 9 percent over the same period, the report said.

China Mobile Ltd (0941.HK) and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd (601398.SS)(1398.HK), both government-backed, topped the ranking last year.

Each saw a decline of about 10 percent in brand value, hit by increased market competition and the government’s anti-corruption drive that targets strategic state firms.

The total value of China’s top 100 brands grew at a record 59 percent from last year, to $464.2 billion, outpacing the 41 percent growth of the world’s top 100 brands, the report said.

“The big question now is what brands must do to be accepted in international markets,” Wang of Millward Brown said.

Although Chinese brands are strengthening their presence overseas, only personal computer and smartphone maker Lenovo Group Ltd (0992.HK) and cell phone maker ZTE Corp (000063.SZ), generated more than half of their revenue outside China.

Reporting By Matthew Miller and Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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