SANYA, Nov. 22 (Xinhua)--Much remains to be done to transform the Made-in-China brand abroad, as manufacturers continue their struggle to climb the global value chain.
For many Chinese businesses, going global is an embryonic idea, focused product sales instead of overall brand cultivation. With most products still aimed at the lower end of the market, Chinese companies are faring poorly in promoting goods overseas that are still widely perceived as substandard, according to a report by the Center for China Globalization (CCG).
"Some manufacturers still rely on exporters to promote their products overseas without any after-sales services such as maintenance; it’s just like selling disposal chopsticks, presenting no long-term value," Tang Xiuguo, president of the Sany Group told the 2nd CCG Outbound Forum this weekend in the tropical coastal city of Sanya.
Chinese manufacturers now have a new mission, according to Cui Mingmo, head of the China Association for International Economic Cooperation: branding Made-in-China.
Neither Rome nor China’s manufacturing powerhouses were built in a day and it will be a slow, gradual process if manufacturers are to build an overall brand, Cui pointed out.
In May, a grand plan named "Made in China 2025" was unveiled with the intent of upgrading the manufacturing sector and making better use of the country’s most competitive manufacturing capacity, such as high-speed rail. Advanced technology and sound support services are a solid platform for international branding, according to Cui, and high-speed railways are an important pioneer in branding Made-in-China.
The CRRC Corporation Limited is the world’s largest supplier of rail transit equipment with the most complete product lines and leading technology.
"Anyone on earth who wants to buy rail transit equipment would be considered unprofessional if he did not come to consult CRRC," said Shen Jiajun, a CRRC economist: "This is the significance of brand."
Shen advised Chinese manufacturers to focus on sharpening their edge in technology and services first instead of investing in ephemeral ideas such as advertising, as quality talks louder than adverts in the manufacturing sector.
The global rise of CRRC is also a result of the merger of previously independent domestic rail transit equipment makers CNR and CSR, with improved competence and more global sway.
Since August, the government has been actively encouraging mergers of listed companies to optimize the industrial structure and raise their market value. Since CSR and CNR integrated and became a global industrial giant, four leading shipping companies are considering a merger and reorganization.
"Improving the quality of products is not enough to impress international customers," said Tang Xiuguo: "You have to offer more than that, including after-sales services, operational and management training and corporate social responsibility projects.
"We believe that quality changes the world and the best branding is your own hard work in developing and manufacturing high quality products and providing customers with all-round, efficient services."