Tencent, Alibaba overtake long-time leader China Mobile to claim top two spots
WPP and Millward Brown today announced the fifth annual BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands, with internet service company Tencent becoming the most valuable Chinese brand for the first time, and newly-listed online retailer Alibaba entering the ranking at No.2. Both brands leapfrogged long-time leader China Mobile, which had held the top spot since the ranking launched in 2011.
The 2015 ranking, carried out by marketing and brand consultancy Millward Brown in conjunction with WPP, clearly shows a rapid rise in the brand value of technology and tech-related retail brands. Technology companies have become brand powerhouses, and as a result the technology category has now surpassed financial institutions as the highest value category ($106.9 billion), contributing 23% of the Top 100’s total value.
Brands from private enterprises (also known as ‘market-driven’ brands) dominate in terms of value growth, rising 97% since 2013, while SOEs (state owned enterprises) declined 9%. Whereas five years ago the Top 5 brands were all SOEs, three of this year’s Top 5 – Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu – are market-driven. Together the three represent around half (48%) of the value of the Top 10, led by Tencent which nearly doubled in value in the past year alone.
The total brand value of the Top 100 Chinese Brands is $464.2 billion, a rise of 59% since the ranking launched in 2011. This growth has outpaced that of the BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands (+41%), and has also surpassed the most valuable brands in Brazil (which fell 40% in value from 2011-2014) and Latin America (which have grown only 3% since the Latam ranking launched in 2012).
Analysis of the brands in the Top 100 as a stock portfolio proves that investment in brand-building delivers strong shareholder return. Between July 2010 and October 2014 the brands in the Chinese MSCI stock index increased 4% while those in the Top 100 appreciated 32%. Read the rest of this entry »
Brand value growth of non-SOEs (state-owned enterprises) is three times greater than SOEs
The 2014 WPP BrandZTM Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands study, commissioned by WPP and undertaken by Millward Brown, has been unveiled today. The ranking shows that China is increasingly a consumer-driven market amid the government’s increased emphasis on rebalancing the domestic economy.
Market-driven brands (private companies without government backing) in the Top 50 of the ranking enjoyed value growth of 27 percent – three times that of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) at 9 percent.
This is the first year the study has been expanded from 50 to 100 brands. A year-on-year comparison of the Top 50 shows an increase in total value of 13 percent in 2014 compared to last year, when it dropped 1.6 percent. China Mobile continues to be the nation’s most valuable brand, retaining the No.1 spot for the fourth year running with a value of US$61.4 billion, up 21 percent on 2013.
Technology, last year’s highest growing category, continues to rise in brand value – this year technology brands increased their value 28 percent overall. Tencent (US$33.9 billion) rose two positions to No.3 after growing its value 68 percent, and is the leading market-driven brand. Read the rest of this entry »
Leading Brands Outperform MSCI China Index
– Brands are becoming more important to Chinese consumers and businesses
– Technology brands see biggest rise
– Chinese brands strengthen overseas presence
BEIJING, CHINA — The third annual BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable Chinese Brands study, commissioned by WPP and undertaken by Millward Brown, is released today. This year’s ranking shows that brands are becoming more important to the Chinese consumer. Despite a challenging economic environment, strong brands outperformed their competitors and the broader stock market.
China is not immune to the global economic environment, and this year the total value of the BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Chinese Brands fell to US$320,224 million, down 1.6 percent on 2012. Despite this, brands continued to grow in importance. The BrandZ Top 50 Brands Portfolio outperformed the MSCI China Index, by 11.4 percent as of September 2012.
This year, China Mobile retains the number one spot in the rankings with a brand value of US$50,589 million. Leading financial institutions also continue to head up the rankings – with ICBC and China Construction Bank in positions two and three respectively.
China’s technology brands have seen tremendous growth, as Chinese consumers spend even more time – and money – on Internet and mobile platforms. Baidu has moved up two positions to number four and Tencent has moved from position 10 to number five.
China’s private sector and entrepreneurs are seeing growing success in building Chinese brands, with the share of non-State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) in the Top 50 rising to 27 percent from 22 percent in 2011.
David Roth, CEO The Store, WPP said: “As the growth rate of the Chinese economy slows, brands become a more important discriminator of consumer choice. As this study shows, strong brands help Chinese companies grow faster. This is set to accelerate as the Chinese economy rebalances. This, combined with the requirement for more Chinese companies to be successful overseas, will drive the necessity for creating strong Chinese brands as a critical factor for success.”
Adrian Gonzalez, Head of Greater China, Millward Brown said: “Building strong brands domestically is a vital template for the increasing number of Chinese brand owners exploring international markets. This year’s BrandZ Top 50 gives an insight into how an expanding group of privately-owned Chinese brands are growing value by meaningfully differentiating their brands.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by: SZU in: University
Race in university admissions will once again take center stage in the United States’ highest court Wednesday, when it starts hearing a case by a white student denied a spot at the main campus of the University of Texas.
The U.S. Supreme Court returns to the issue of affirmative action in higher education for the first time since its 2003 decision endorsing the use of race as a factor in admissions. This time around, a more conservative court is being asked to outlaw the use of Texas’ affirmative action plan and possibly to jettison the earlier ruling entirely.
The justices will be looking at the University of Texas program that is used to help fill the last quarter or so of its incoming freshman classes. Race is one of many factors considered by admissions officers. The rest of the roughly 7,100 freshman spots automatically go to Texans who graduated in the top 8 percent of their high school classes.
The challenge to the University of Texas program comes from Abigail Fisher, who filed a lawsuit with another woman when they were denied admission there in 2008. They contended the university’s race-conscious policy violated their civil and constitutional rights. By then, the two had enrolled elsewhere.
The other woman has since dropped out of the case and the state has said that Fisher is a senior at Louisiana State University whose impending graduation should bring an end to the lawsuit.
The simplest explanation for why affirmative action is back on the court’s calendar so soon after its 2003 decision in Grutter v. Bollinger is that the author of that opinion, Sandra Day O’Connor, has retired. Her successor, Justice Samuel Alito, has been highly skeptical of any use of racial preference.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, a dissenter in the 2003 decision, probably holds the deciding vote, and he, too, has never voted in favor of racial preference.
As a result, said Supreme Court lawyer Thomas Goldstein, “No matter what the court does, it is quite likely that the UT program is going to be in big trouble.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by: SZU in: Technology
A hunt for galaxies that brought the toddler universe out of its dark ages has bagged what may be the most distant specimen yet discovered, a galaxy seen as it was more than 13 billion years ago when it was just 200 million years old.
The galaxy, which was found using data from the Hubble and Spitzer Space Telescopes, is seen when the universe was only 500 million years old.
A munchkin by today’s standards, the galaxy’s mass was 200 million times the mass of the sun, compared with 700 billion solar masses for the Milky Way or 10 billion solar masses for the Milky Way’s smaller companion, the Large Magellanic Cloud.
But the newly discovered galaxy’s age – and the preponderance of hot, massive stars it hosted – place it among a category of objects that researchers say helped convert a fog of neutral hydrogen gas permeating the ancient universe into the transparent cosmos we see today.
The process, known as re-ionization, is thought to have started around 400 million years after the Big Bang, a sudden release of an enormous amount of energy that cosmologists have tagged as the birth of the universe.
Over the next 600 million years, stars and galaxies formed and the universe continued to expand. Radiation from the first generations of stars – and particularly from emissions stemming from the actions of super-massive black holes at the hearts of the rising number of growing galaxies – ionized the intergalactic hydrogen, in effect lifting the fog.
Relics of this period, 13-billion-year-old stars, populate the halo of the Milky Way, notes Wei Zheng, an astronomer at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the lead author of a formal report of the discovery, which is being published in Thursday’s issue of the journal Nature. Read the rest of this entry »
HKUST – A dynamic, international research university, in relentless pursuit of excellence, leading the advance of science and technology, and educating the new generation of front-runners for Asia and the world.
Since its official opening in October 1991, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has established itself as an intellectual powerhouse, energizing the community’s transformation into a knowledge-based society, and securing a place on the academic world map in record-breaking time.
An innovator in research and teaching, HKUST is the only science and technology research university in Hong Kong, and the only one to offer an all-PHD faculty. Its groundbreaking work in science, engineering, business, humanities and social science is successfully pushing back the boundaries of the information age. Such advances are assisted by the University’s top-class facilities.
Locally, the University is active in society through science camps, online courses for secondary school students, and lifelong learning programs; just some of the activities that bring HKUST and the community together. Nationally, alliances with Mainland universities and collaborative work with municipal governments are setting the pace for future cooperative efforts.
Globally, connections with leading institutions are actively pursued through academic partnerships with the world’s top universities, and memberships in such organizations as the Association of East Asian Research Universities and Association of Pacific Rim Universities.
HKUST brings forward the vision of the future. On its award-winning Clear Water Bay campus, the life to come is being shaped today. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by: SZU in: News
A new report from the state health department shows wide disparities among people with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota, with more new cases in 2011 among communities of color, gay and bisexual men and people in their 20s than other groups.
Overall, the number of new HIV cases reported in Minnesota last year fell slightly from the year before, with 292 new cases reported in 2011, or 12 percent less than the 331 cases reported in 2010. There are 7,136 people living with HIV in the state.
Poverty and social factors play a big role in the transmission of HIV, said Peter Carr, STD and AIDS director for the Minnesota Department of Health.
“Access to care, access to prevention services, things that get in the way of people being able to make healthy choices,” Carr said. “There is some really strong and new evidence that suggests that those factors like where you live are as important as anything in determining your health status.”
Where a person lives also factors into the spread of HIV, he said. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by: SZU in: EDU
Huntsville may be ahead of the curve when it comes to science education, but plenty of work remains to ensure that the education system adequately fills an increasingly technology-based workforce.
That was the gist of a congressional hearing held Monday morning at Bob Jones High School to discuss the future of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the Rocket City and beyond.
The hearing was hosted by U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, who chairs the subcommittee on Research and Science Education for the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
Brooks was joined by Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Chicago, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee. Lipinski told those present that fewer than 40 percent of college students who start out in a STEM-related field follow through and get a degree in that field.
That leads to a shortage of qualified employees to fill positions in science and technology fields, which are experiencing an increasing demand for workers, Lipinski said.
“We need to do a better job at training our students,” Lipinski said.
For ideas on how that should be done, the congressmen turned to a panel of local education and industry leaders, who testified about the status of STEM education in Huntsville. Panelists spoke repeatedly of improved communication and collaboration between education and industry.
Andrew Partynski, chief technology officer for SAIC, told the congressmen that there is a lack of communication about what type of students the industry is seeking.
“We still have a lot to do with the universities to communicate the kind of needs we have,” Partynski said.
Dr. Neil Lamb, director of educational outreach for HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, agreed. Lamb said the industry needs students whose book-based learning is supplemented by hands-on experience. Read the rest of this entry »
Facebook Inc is taking the next step on its IPO journey and has summoned research analysts from Wall Street banks to its Menlo Park headquarters early next week for a pre-roadshow briefing to discuss the finer points of its business and books.
The world’s largest social network, which is racing toward what would be Silicon Valley’s largest ever initial public offering, will not disclose new information during the meeting with analysts.
Instead, it will outline its strategy and answer questions on how to analyze its operations and help analysts build models on its financials, two sources told Reuters on condition of anonymity because the meeting is not public.
Called a “due diligence meeting”, such pre-roadshow pow-wows are standard fare for future debutantes.
It is not clear how many analysts have been invited. One source said analysts from five to 10 of the largest banks underwriting Facebook’s IPO will likely attend the meeting.
A second source said analysts from most banks helping underwrite the offering have been invited to the meeting, scheduled for Monday. Both sources would not elaborate because of the conditions of the presentation. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted by: SZU in: University
Researchers from the University of East Anglia have been flying into storms across the UK to help predict weather more accurately.
In a specially-adapted passenger jet, the group has measured the properties of high winds and rain which have hit the country in recent weeks.
The project aims to improve forecasting techniques.
The condensation and evaporation of water in storms is thought to influence how the weather develops and moves.
The research is led by the Natural Environment Research Council’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS).
Along with 16 aircrew, the scientists change flight direction as the storm builds. Read the rest of this entry »