Business / Economy

'Made in China' gains acceptance

By Ariel Tung in New York (China Daily) Updated: 2012-06-16 10:05

Shaynah Kowitz, 28, said her assessment of a product was based on its quality, not where it was made.

"One Chinese brand may be of good quality, another Chinese brand may not be," she told China Daily. "I don't judge a brand by its country. I think Chinese brands will, over time, gain recognition in the US. Most products we have are made in China anyway."

Dana Sease, 25, said she visited China with her family about two years ago, and they were happy with the Chinese products they bought there.

"I think Chinese products will gain more recognition over time. The Chinese economy is doing very well," she said.

Ann Lee, a China expert based in New York, said she wasn't surprised by the results of the Li-Ning study.

"The perception that products made by Chinese companies are of poor quality is not just limited to Americans - Europeans think that way, too. They worry about counterfeit products," said Lee, who is a senior fellow at Demos, a left-leaning think tank, as well as an instructor at New York University and author of the recent book What the US Can Learn From China.

"The older generation has that notion, and it's harder to change their mind. Younger people who don't have that mindset are more receptive toward Chinese products," she said.

"Over time, Americans should be more open as Chinese products continue to improve."

Still, China lacks a "Top 100" global brand, said Crocker Coulson, president of CCG Investor Relations, which advises many Chinese companies.

"China remains a 'hidden dragon' in that respect," he said. "Brands can only be earned over time. You've got to build relationships with the media, financial markets and government. All these have to be synchronized in delivering the message."

Chinese companies are trying to learn from Western giants such as Procter & Gamble Co about brand-building, according to Eric Schmidt, founder and president of China Entrepreneurs, a Beijing consulting firm.

"People think of China as a manufacturing base. They don't understand the quality of Chinese products and brands. Over the next 10 years, things will change because Chinese companies learn so fast. They will be able to absorb those marketing skills," said Schmidt.

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