Since 1999, the year China’s “Going Out” strategy was first announced, China has dreamed of creating global brands. China’s leaders have chanted the message; companies have toed the line; trade channels were opened; billions in investment have flowed; and slowly, one-by-one, Chinese companies established an expanded footprint abroad and expanded.
However, despite these great accomplishments, has China created a global brand? Indeed, the global presence of Chinese companies has exploded. ICBC, which topped Forbes Top 250 list this year as the world’s largest company, has a presence in six continents, but does this make it a global company? Or is it still a Chinese bank with offices overseas?