Alliance to boost brands in international markets

Updated: 2011-11-02 07:56

By Zhang Zhao (China Daily)

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Dozens of leading private domestic companies have formed a business alliance to help promote top Chinese brands on the global market.

Founded in June, the alliance has set the ambitious target of assisting 100 Chinese companies to join the ranks of the Fortune 500.

The organization was started by 11 influential entrepreneurs including Feng Jun, president of electronics company Aigo Digital Technology, Dong Mingzhu, president of Zhuhai Gree Electric Appliances, and Zhu Xinli, chairman of Beijing Huiyuan Food and Beverage Co.

The alliance expects to have 500 members in a year, all privately owned Chinese companies that are leaders in a business sector.

Alliance to boost brands in international markets

It will look for global partners and investment destinations around the world with "business incubators" supported by overseas governments through free space for R&D, sales centers and facilities shared with local partners.

The group will also cooperate with international law firms and ask local governments to provide assistance with legal advice, consulting services, public relations and intellectual property protection.

Part of the effort includes encouraging and assisting member companies to register trademarks and apply for patents overseas.

"It's like the Olympic Games," explained Xue Li, an alliance executive. "Leading private Chinese companies are the competitors.

"Before, foreign companies chose us as partners, but now we choose them. We can decide who we are going to cooperate with and where the 'games' take place," she said.

The alliance is also registering an International Best Brand (IBB) mark in potential overseas markets. Only 50 member companies can use the mark along with their own trademarks.

"It's something like the Olympic Partner logo placed beside the trademark," said Xue. "Only products with top quality and brand value can use the mark."

The list of IBB companies will be reshuffled every year according to a strict evaluation system made by representatives of members, founders of the alliance and industry experts, she added.

Both developed countries and emerging markets are attractive to the alliance, according to Xue's colleague Yang Bo.

The first overseas incubator will be in Europe. Members of the alliance will vote from a list of four candidate countries - the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands.

The government of southern Belgium's Walloon Region said it welcomes top Chinese brands in the European market and promised subsidies of up to 70 percent for R&D expenses.

A delegation of member companies will visit the UK, Singapore and Kazakhstan next year. By meeting with government officials and visiting first-class companies overseas, they expect to improve their understanding of other markets and cultures.

English training is also offered to member entrepreneurs, as learning the language is "a key step toward the world", said alliance founders. They have organized a number of discussion groups to practice English along with sharing information and views.

Several internationally renowned business leaders are serving as consultants to the alliance, including Nobuyuki Idei, former CEO of Sony, Christophe Weber, chief representative of the World Economic Forum in China, and Amir Gal-Or, managing partner of Infinity Group.

China Daily

(China Daily 11/02/2011 page17)