More Southeast Asians trust Chinese firms

2024-03-28 11:00:22China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Chinese enterprises have been gaining more trust from people in Southeast Asian countries over the past decade thanks to the popularity of many high-quality Chinese products in the region, such as smartphones and new energy vehicles, according to an international survey and industry observers.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents from Southeast Asian countries said they trust companies headquartered in China, an increase of 14 percentage points compared to 2014, according to the 2024 Edelman Trust Barometer, the annual trust and credibility survey, which was released on Wednesday.

More than 32,000 respondents from 28 countries around the world participated in the survey in November, the report said.

Warren Fernandez, Edelman's Asia-Pacific CEO, said the rise in trust in Chinese firms was "very striking", and was based on the high-quality products and services rolled out by Chinese companies and brands in Southeast Asia.

In Indonesia, the China-built high-speed railway between Jakarta and Bandung is now running, he said, adding that Chinese companies are also launching electric vehicles in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

"These are a demonstration of the brands at work and I think that builds trust in Chinese companies' reputation," Fernandez said. "The more you do it, the more you establish that trust, the more the brands will push."

Ren Zhong, CEO of Edelman China, said Chinese enterprises are trusted more in Southeast Asia primarily due to the large number of high-quality Chinese products — such as smartphones and new energy vehicles — and companies that can assist local firms.

The innovation brought by Chinese companies has been deeply integrated into Southeast Asian markets, bringing more profits to local businesses, Ren said.

The survey found that 53 percent of respondents in Southeast Asia trusted companies from the United States, down 19 percentage points in a decade.

It also identified a trend over the past decade of declining trust in companies from China, the US and Germany in East Asia, Europe and the Americas.

Ren said that was because the world appeared to be entering an era of exclusivism.

"More and more people seem to find it increasingly difficult to trust overseas brands, or companies with different values or forms," Ren said.

The survey also released a comprehensive trust index of respondents from the 28 countries toward their own nations.

In the four categories covered — government, business, nongovernmental organizations and media — the overall trust index of Chinese respondents decreased from 83 to 79, but still ranked first among the 28 countries, followed by India.

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