Ping An Insurance (Group) climbed into the top 10 most admired companies for the first time in a global ranking as public perception about its business improved. Apple fell off its perch while Nike and Netflix slipped out of the top pile.
China’s biggest insurer rose seven rungs to eighth on the FutureBrand Index, an annual ranking of the world’s 100 most valuable companies based on perception strength rather than financial prowess. Liquor distiller Kweichow Moutai, the only other Chinese brand in the top 10, slipped two notches to take the seventh spot.
“We have seen a particular boost for Chinese financial companies,” said Jon Tipple, global chief strategy officer at FutureBrand. “This fits into the broader global trend of a greater focus and need to trust financial institutions following the upheaval of the pandemic.”
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The FutureBrand index, into its seventh year, draws on research with a global sample of over 3,000 professionals. It reorders the ranking of Top 100 companies tracked by accounting firm PwC, using data collected during pandemic lockdowns that revealed the seismic shifts in the way companies work and how their clients perceive them.
Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML Holding rose seven spots to take the crown, dislodging Apple from the summit. The iPhone maker is the only company to retain its spot among the five most-admired firms from last year.
Prosus NV, the largest consumer internet company in Europe and one of the world’s largest technology investors with a substantial stake in Tencent Holdings, was ranked third, ahead of US-based healthcare company Danaher Corp and NextEra Energy.
China Mobile, the world’s largest wireless network operator by subscribers, jumped 27 rungs to 45th spot. The nation’s biggest lenders Agricultural Bank of China, China Merchants Bank and China Construction Bank, meanwhile, all landed close to the top half of the global rankings, at 51st, 52nd and 54th, respectively.
Alibaba Group Holding, the owner of this newspaper, jumped 12 spots to 57th place. WeChat operator and online gaming giant Tencent fell eight spots to 65th, having tumbled 21 levels in last year’s perception ranking.
Among the notable dropouts from last year’s top 10 included Nike and Netflix as they were displaced by traditionally behind-the-scenes business to business companies.
“Like all brands across the FutureBrand index, it is those companies which are prioritising innovation to consistently impact individual well-being and drive change for good at scale who will thrive in the future,” Tipple said.
This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2021 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.
Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.