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A New China: Portrayal of Chinese Cities in the International Arena
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business, Marketing. (Stockholm Programme of Place Branding (STOPP))
2013 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper looks at the international media portrayal of two Chinese mega-cities – Beijing and Shenzhen – to better understand the contemporary China brand. During the last two decades, China started to leave its closed-door policies in the international arena, and showed signs to participate in the global economy. Politically and economically, China started to increase the quantity and intensity of its relations with the rest of the world. As mentioned in the country’s official five-year plans, China sees its’ mega-cities as an integral part of its relations with the rest of the world through social, cultural, and economic transaction. It has moreover been claimed that Chinese mega-cities can be regarded as tools in China’s nation branding. This research conceptualizes international print media as a crucial platform to promote city and nation brand images for branding professionals and administrators, as well as a significant information source for target audiences. Subsequently, two research questions are posed to analyze place brand images. Initially, we look at how Chinese cities are portrayed in the international arena by official Chinese resources. Secondly, we look at selected international newspapers for their portrayal. Through an inductive content analysis, we identify images, narratives and characteristics of Chinese mega-cities promoted to international target audiences. We also seek whether there are significant differences between Chinese and international media coverage through a quantitative content analysis. The findings of this research shed light on the components and imagery of the contemporary China brand, elucidate how the branding of Chinese mega-cities relates to the branding of China, and propose a method to measure the effectiveness of Chinese place branding campaigns.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-99320OAI: diva2:686666
City Branding Symposium 2013: Positioning Cities: Innovative and Sustainable Strategies for City Development and Transformation
Available from: 2014-01-13 Created: 2014-01-13 Last updated: 2014-01-13

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