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A third of Americans would shun a Chinese brand

By Zheng Yangpeng  (China Daily)

10:05, May 11, 2013

The first Lenovo computer store opened in Croatia on Feb 3, 2012. An expert said that many Chinese companies are too focused on establishing their brands at home, and have not dedicated enough resources to promoting them in overseas markets. Provided to China Daily

A third of Americans would not buy a brand if they knew it to be Chinese-owned, according to a latest survey from HD Trade Services Inc, a US marketing and brand development company.

The survey asked 1,500 Americans, "would you buy a product if you knew the brand was owned by a Chinese company?" — 68 percent said they would, but 32 percent said they would not.

By contrast, 81 percent of respondents said they would buy a product if they knew it was Japanese-owned.

"We believe this stigma toward Chinese brands is based predominantly on the perception that Chinese products are of lesser quality, and a general disapproval of Chinese policy," said Daniel Sperling-Horowitz, president and co-founder of HD Trade Services.

An earlier survey by the company showed that 94 percent of Americans could not name a single Chinese brand.

Among those who could name at least one, Lenovo was mostly mentioned (2.53 percent), followed by Baidu (1.2 percent) and Huawei (1.07 percent). Only 59 percent of respondents were unable to name a Japanese brand.

"This contrasted with the fact that China is the world's second-largest economy and nearly half of all durable consumer goods purchased in the United States are made in China," said Sperling-Horowitz.

Leo Liu, HD Trade's director of China operations, said the results illustrated just how important it is for Chinese brands to work on raising their international profile.

He cited Haier, now one of the world's largest appliance makers, as an example of a huge Chinese company, but which was thought by many American respondents to be a German-owned brand.

Liu said German products are generally synonymous with superior engineering and quality in US.

"Haier does nothing to deceive its consumers — it has simply positioned itself as a multinational brand," added Liu.

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