Apple, Nike falling out of favour in China

New data shows that Apple, Nike and other major western brands are losing ground in China.

Figures from consulting firm Prophet, in a new report, show a seismic shift in consumer preferences for local brands. Of the top 50 relevant brands in China, only 20 slots are now taken by foreign firms – as opposed to 32 in a similar survey report two years ago.

Top of the list was local e-commerce payment platform Alipay.

Prophet senior partner Benoit Garbe said: “It seems the mystique of the foreign brand is fading in China’s major cities. Consumers are getting more sophisticated. We are seeing local brands – the good ones – popping up as more relevant.”

Major drops in the list included Nike (falling to position 44); BMW (46); and Estee Lauder (22). Last year’s fourth placeholder Ikea did not appear in the top 30 preferred brands.

A similar study saw Apple smartphones for the first time dropping in popularity to second place after local brand Huawei. The finding follows news reports earlier this year that Apple’s iPhone X model was being avoided in favour of Chinese phones such as Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo.

Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Catherine Lim said Chinese brands have been better at leveraging social media to reach out to shoppers in China. “There’s a stronger buzz.”

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