A new ranking of the world's 100 most valuable brands for the first time includes two Chinese companies in the top 10: Tencent, which was in the top 10 last year, and now Alibaba.
They are ranked in the "Brandz Top 100" for 2018, which was released on Monday and is produced annually by the advertising and public relations company WPP and its market research unit, Kantar Millward Brown.
Alibaba is China's answer to the U.S.-based Amazon, offering services ranging from e-commerce to cloud computing. Chinese internet giant Tencent is a major player in apps, messaging and online gaming. Both are big in payment services.
Eight of the top 10 brands this year are technology or tech-related. The top 10 in order of ranking are: Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Tencent, Facebook, Visa, McDonald's, Alibaba and AT&T. Google has been at the top of the ranking for eight of the past 12 years. Its brand is valued at $302 billion, up 23 percent from last year.
In 2006, the full list of 100 companies only included one Chinese company—China Mobile — it now has 14. The top 10 of those companies grew in value by 47 percent over the last year, a rate that's more than double of that enjoyed by the big U.S. brands.
The brands with the most dramatic year-on-year increase in value are again led by a Chinese company: the e-commerce JD, which is also getting into financial services, and which comes in at number 59 after a 94 percent value jump.
"Brands that are winning in the intelligence-led marketing era include businesses such as Amazon and Tencent who put the consumer at the heart of everything they do," said Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ at Kantar Millward Brown. "These brands use technology to understand the needs of their consumers and apply these learnings to create an ecosystem of services that fulfill multiple needs, enabling a seamless consumer experience between platforms."