89 Social Insights on China’s Top 98 Global Brands: Part 1

Last August some of China’s top companies met in a little known corner of the world, Changsha. This city of 7 million, known for it’s beloved TV shows, rowdy nightlife and spiciness is the capital of a province 10 times it’s size, Hunan. It’s also where the Quickeast team calls home. This summit included ‘China’s Top 100 International’ brands, as measured by total international revenue.

Screenshot of event host’s official WeChat account, ‘China500q’

We took a deep dive into the international digital presence of each of these 100 brands by researching their presence on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, and overall website performance including SEO. Then we condensed our findings into 89 insights, here’s what we found:

(1) In 2015 the total international revenue of the group was ¥24.9 trillion RMB $3.73 trillion USD.

(2) According to the UN, thats a bit more than the entire 2015 GDP of the Cayman Islands.

Cayman Islands national flag

(3) We only actually researched 98 brands because 2 recently M&A’ed, both were transport companies: CSR and China Shipping Group.

‍A CSR train in Buenos Aires

(4) Of the remaining 98 companies we looked at, they represented 20 different industries.

(5) And of that group, the most common industries were Metallurgy and Construction each consisting of 18 brands.

(6) Meanwhile the there was only 1 Logistics company, COSCO (the company that acquired China Shipping Group).

English Language Website Performance

(7) Only 7 of these companies did not have an English language website.

(8) For the remaining cohort of 91 brands we put every “About us” and “Home” page through an app that scores English language proficiency.

Hemingway grades copy according to the education level a person needs to understand the given piece of text. So, “15th Grade Level” means a person needs to have graduated from college in order to understand the content and according to Hemingway “a high grade level often means it is confusing and tedious for any reader.”

On average the cohort scored 19 (Poor) on the readability index.

(9) Only 4 brands achieved a Grade 10 or lower score,

(10) meanwhile 23 brands, that’s 1 out of ever 4, achieved the poorest possible score.

(11) 22 brands scored 15 or lower, “Okay” on the Hemingway scale, meaning the copy on their “About us” and “Home” pages are mostly free of Chinglish but still lack crisp, clear copy.

Here’s how the entire cohort of brands performed:

The data corroborates what we observed as we clicked through each of these websites, it was difficult to understand the brand’s story and value proposition.

Stay tuned for Part 2 and 3 of this series where we finish deconstructing these English language websites and share how these brands look on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Linkedin.

Written by Vincent Pueraro, Co-Founder and CEOO at Quickeast. You can reach him on WeChat at vinnyp1 or vincent@quickeast.com. Research contributions by Craig Johnson.

Quickeast is a social media management platform that empowers organizations to reach Chinese consumers through digital media.

Originally published at blog.quickeast.com.

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