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China 2015: CHINESE DREAM | The role of brands

Soon after ascending to head of the Chinese Communist Party, in 2012, President Xi Jinping articulated a national vision he called the Chinese Dream.

The term Chinese Dream first emerged in academic discussions around 2006. But a Chinese Dream dates back at least 2,000 years to 221 BCE, when King Ying Zheng united the warring states, established the Qin Dynasty and declared himself China’s first emperor.

Unlike earlier dreams, however, today’s Chinese Dream is not exclusively an assertion of government prerogatives. With limitations, the contemporary dream integrates national and personal aspirations.

Aspects of the dream include raising the nation’s material wellbeing and distributing it more equitably; and restoring the legacy of an ancient civilization in ways that add meaning to contemporary life.

Realizing the Chinese Dream primarily is the responsibility of the people of China and their government. Brands can contribute, however. Brands that make the Chinese Dream tangible with quality and healthy products and services will benefit their customers, the society and themselves. 


Chinese see a strong link between Brand China – the overall reputation of Chinese products and services – and the Chinese Dream.

The vast majority of Chinese say that the Chinese Dream is in part about shifting Brand China from a manufacturing Made in China essence to one of added value, Created in China.

Around two-thirds of Chinese believe that building strong brands worldwide is essential for advancing the Chinese Dream, and the Chinese Dream helps Chinese brands succeed abroad.

A majority of Chinese, 55 percent, also believes that both international and Chinese brands can help China achieve the Chinese Dream. They also say that Chinese brands can learn something from international brands about embracing a larger mission than profit alone. 

To the Chinese, no single Chinese brand symbolizes the Chinese Dream. The brands they associate with the Chinese Dream come from a variety of categories and ownership models. All have significantly improved the reality and image of China.

Many of the brands are market driven. Some are State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), banks that funded national economic growth, for example. Traditional Chinese medicines evoke historical heritage. Technology and Internet brands represent innovation. 

To obtain a complimentary copy of the BrandZ report, The Power and Potential of the Chinese Dream, go here