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In difficult times, quality and personality hold the aces
By Nie Peng (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2008-10-29 17:06

As the world financial crisis leads to weakening demand in other economies, competition in the Chinese market will become more intense. The personality and quality of a company and its products, which contribute to corporate and product reputation, are likely to have a greater say in customer choice.

In difficult times, quality and personality hold the aces

Executives of some multinationals in China are saying they are yet to be hit by the crisis and are even gaining in niche markets.

"China will continue to be a strategic market for many multinational corporations (MNCs) because of its booming economy, albeit with a bit slower growth,"said Shaoming Zou, a professor of marketing at University of Missouri-Columbia's business school.

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When demand for MNCs' products is declining in other economies, they will focus more on the Chinese market for their business, leading to more intense competition, said Zou, also an external professor with the prestigious Peking University.

"Product brand equity is the ultimate determinant of MNCs' long-term performance. However, MNCs cannot build brand equity unless they also back up their brands with high product quality and positive corporate reputation."

He also warned the crisis could reduce global demand for Chinese exports and indirectly affect China's economy in coming years.

A representative of a multinational geotechnical contractor in Beijing, who asked not to be named, said on Tuesday his company's business contracts mainly came from those who "know us or have found us through our website or our parent company because our company has an international status in this field."

The company is headquartered in Paris and has won 14 prizes in ground technologies.

He said his company's business has not been affected much by the crisis though there was weakening demand in Moscow and the Middle East.

However, he believed the crisis would not be good news for the construction industry because it would have an impact on investors' long-term plans and bank credit.


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