Weekly Roundup: Student Debate is Good, Domestic Brands Fear the Inevitable, and Breaking Down Energy Laws

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 0:12
Posted in category Invest in China

With so much going on in China, and only a limited amount of bandwidth, I have created this weekly post to highlight articles that I feel are (1) important, (2) relevant, and (3) interesting.

This week there are 3 articles that I have chosen to highlight as each are quite interesting, they are all relevant, and there are issues within each that I think you the reader should be aware of.

If you have an article that you feel needs to be mentioned, please do so in the comments section. We all have different areas of interest and bandwidth, so I hope you will take some time and post those articles!

Students host public talks on China, U.S.
While right now is a sensitive time for China in the world, and with only 4 months left before the Games kick off, it is easy to get trapped in a bit of short term myopic thinking. However, with global economics and politics being a long term game of chess, I am always interested in seeing what is going on at the high school/ college level to see what programs and discussions are in place. Having recently seen a number of articles showing that Americans are increasingly becoming weary of China, I think that the discussions that are being held at Stanford are becoming more and more important.

China Tries to Solve Its Brand X Blues
I recently covered brands, and the fact that certain industries in China are interested in developing global brands, but this article has a very different spin to it from the typical outbound China good article. It looks at how firms like Nike, GM, and others who have strong international brands are providing Chinese firms with a dose of reality and forcing them to look at their “brand” campaigns. I particularly like the portion of the article that speaks to the fact that Li Ning did not have the confidence to compete with Nike head-to-head, so the dropped their prices. Which, in the consumer mind, simply reinforced the fact that their product was not as good as Nike’s.

China’s Renewable Energy Law (Policies & Plans)

Charlie writes up an excellent post on the new energy law which I am pretty sure anyone will be interested in.. as long as they are manufacturing or investing in China… especially those cleantech VC folks who I keep hearing about.

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5 Responses to “Weekly Roundup: Student Debate is Good, Domestic Brands Fear the Inevitable, and Breaking Down Energy Laws”

  1. John Guise says:

    April 15th, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Hi Rich

    Thanks for posting that branding piece from the NYT. It really drives home the need for China to establish strong brands. It is a large component of the government’s attempt to move up the value chain probably just as — if not more — important than the attempt to shift companies to providing value-added manufacturing.


  2. Michael Netzley says:

    April 15th, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    Thanks for sharing. The NYT article is especially interesting as an example of Robert Cialdini’s principles of persuasion. If anyone has not read Cialdini’s books, they are a must. In the first book titled “Influence” Cialdini shares the story of a jewelery store that mistakenly raised prices instead of cutting…and sales increased. You have given us another great example of how psychology is so important in marketing and communication, and emerging brands need to understand consumer psychology as they try to grow and compete. Thank you for pointing this one out. I will most certainly share this with my students.

  3. Energy Enhancing Research says:

    April 16th, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Thank you for posting this enhanced energy breakdown. I appreciate the amount of research put into this.

  4. Jalal Bourgana says:

    April 16th, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Hi Rich,

    Thank you for posting the NYT article, as much as I agree with the article’s premise, I find it quite incomplete in the case of Li Ning. I have purchased a pair for myself few months ago, and although the shoe was well designed, the quality of the materials as well as the assembly were weak, it does not matter how much marketing they throw at the brand, it’s just a cheaper alternative, unless quality improves…


  5. Rich says:

    April 17th, 2008 at 12:34 am


    Fair enough!

    From a branding perspective, I would say that Li Ning is probably as well known as Nike, so their general position is good, and they recognized that consumers like yourself would not pay Nike prices for their shoes.. yet.

    Anyone know how many Olympics athletes from China are wearing Li Ning? That could tell a lot.. Of course, I remember when tennis players would use one raquet , but paint it as another.. so perhaps we would need to make sure the shoes are actually Li Ning products 🙂