There are 1,128 time-honored brands in China with an average history of around 140 years, according to statistics issued by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).
The brands, such as the Beijing-based pharmaceutical company Tongrentang, Chinese medicine maker Yunnan Baiyao, roast duck restaurant chain Quanjude and alcohol retailer Moutai Liquor, imply both Chinese traditional business culture and national history.
Criteria for evaluation of the brands are strict. A company must have been created before 1956, inheriting unique products, techniques or services, and be widely recognized by society.
The brands are distributed in 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China, with most in coastal and inland developed areas. For instance, Shanghai has 180 time-honored brands, topping all areas across China, followed by Beijing with 117.
Some brands have been weeded out for reasons such as market competition, a backward marketing approach and lack of innovation, while others are actively adapting to cater for today’s market and consumers.
For example, many time-honored brands have already established their own websites or joined e-commerce platforms to promote and sell their products, which in turn help them attract lots of consumers, said brand expert Yin Jie.
In addition, the Chinese government released supporting policies to advance brand development.
A MOFCOM report indicated that China’s time-honored brands achieved a sales revenue of about 9.03 trillion yuan ($1.41 trillion) in 2016, a year-on-year growth of 6 percent, with a profit of 765.8 billion yuan.