CHINA Market & Trade Profile -

CHINA Market & Trade Profile -

6) Britain’s Brand Image in China

The bigger picture – Britain as a “nation brand”

The UK is further down the ranking scale as a country that is

competently, honestly and fairly governed (13th), and in comparison to

the majority of the other countries on the NBI Index, the UK is not

perceived to be a country that behaves responsibly in the areas of

international peace and security (21st).


The Chinese perceive the US, Germany, Russia and the UK to make a

major contribution to innovations in science and technology. The

Chinese view products that are made in the US, Germany, France and

the UK positively.

The Anholt-GMI Nation Brands Index (Wave 3 2005) is an online panel

survey of 1000 Chinese. Overall, the Chinese rate the UK well on all

aspects of the Brand Hexagon with the exception of GOVERNANCE,

which is ranked in 13th position, compared to the other countries


The 6 points of the hexagon are made up of several different questions,

which compare 24 countries as Nation Brands.

The Chinese rank the INVESTMENT dimension the highest (2nd place

behind the US), followed by EXPORTS in 3rd place. This indicates that

despite their relatively low opinion of the UK government the Chinese

would still be happy to live and work in the UK. They also appreciate

products produced in the UK.

The Chinese also have an appreciation of British CULTURE (ranked in

4th position behind US, France and Russia). TOURISM is also ranked in

4th position (behind Egypt, France and Italy). The Chinese rank the

British PEOPLE in 5th place.


Chinese respondents perceive the UK to offer a balanced mix of both

rich cultural heritage (4th place) and interesting and exciting

contemporary culture such as music, films, art and literature (3rd place).

The US and Russia are countries that the Chinese consider to excel in

sport and the UK is ranked in 6th place.

The bigger picture – Britain as a “nation brand”


The UK is not perceived to be a welcoming destination for the Chinese,

who do not feel they would be made to feel welcome by the British

people, ranking the UK in 16th position compared to the other countries

in the survey. Interestingly, the French are perceived to offer the biggest

welcome to the Chinese, followed by the Australians and Canadians.

The Chinese would most like to have a person from France, Germany or

Canada as a close friend, with the British in 6th position.

In the world of employment, British people do best through Chinese

eyes, coming in 3rd place behind the US and Germany as the preferred

nationality to fill an important position in their company.


If money were no object, France, USA, Germany and the UK would be

the top destinations to visit for the Chinese. The Chinese perceive the

UK to be more a country rich in built heritage/historical heritage (6th),

than rich in natural scenic beauty (11th), compared to the other

countries surveyed.


On aspects of governance, the Chinese perceive the UK to be a country

that behaves responsibly towards international concerns over the

environment and world poverty (7th), and a country that respects the

human rights of its citizens and treats them with fairness (8th).


The UK is ranked as 8th most popular country to live and work in for a

substantial period of time - interestingly France is the most popular.

The US and the UK are considered good places to study for educational


Britain as a Destination Brand –


According to research conducted (pre-ADS) for the development of the

Britain Brand (Project Lion 2002) in China, perceptions of Britain were

fairly limited with key points of interest being its inherent ‘otherness’, its

unique cultural history and its current global standing.

Britain’s (at the time of research) lack of “Approved Destination Status”,

as well visa restrictions that some respondents had experienced,

contributed to a sense of its being a very rigid, serious country, with a

fairly dour population. Some Chinese spoke of its continued influence

throughout the world, and expressed a desire to find out more about its


“ Getting a tourist visa for Britain is very difficult. It depends on the

money you have in the bank, if the hotel has confirmed, etc.”

“England is the origin of the changes that happen in the world, the

source of development.”

At the time of research (pre-ADS), there was little notion of Chinese

people wanting to visit Britain purely for leisure. They spoke of having

an extended stay there, during which they would look to cross off the

key monuments in London, and, in some instances, attempt to gain

some insight or learning that they might take back with them to China.

In addition, there was also some interest in Britain, and London in

particular, in terms of its multi-cultured status. Several people saw this as

providing a sense of security during their trip, as well as a way into the

foreign environment.

Wave 3 2005 of the Anholt-GMI Nation Brands Index, included

questions to measure perceptions of Britain as a holiday destination on

attributes related to Britain’s brand values, DEPTH, HEART & VITALITY.

In the NBI, 1000 Chinese participants rated Britain on a scale of 1-7,

where 1 was “poor” and 7 was “excellent” and overall, they gave a range

of mean scores from 4.83 – 5.35 across the 16 attributes.

DEPTH is the strongest brand value for China overall - a combination of

tradition, cultural events & attractions and stories around the sights in

particular. However, Britain is almost equally likely to be seen as modern

as it is traditional, and our natural scenic beauty is a twin USP to the

heritage & culture dimension.

Being beautiful and relaxing are stronger HEART dimensions for Britain

than the explicitly human ones of friendly, welcoming and sense of


Weaker areas overall are perceptions of Britain having vibrant and

exciting cities and of there being always something new to discover in

Britain. Britain is also relatively weaker perceptually on the VITALITY

elements of energy and sociability.

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