China's global firms face 'trust gap'

Updated: 2013-09-12 01:35

By Zheng Yangpeng in Dalian, Liaoning (China Daily)

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Survey finds that respondents see nation's goods as poor in quality in comparison

China's multinational corporations face a wide gap between how they are trusted at home and abroad, according to an international survey released on Wednesday.

While enjoying an 83 percent trust rate in the domestic market, these companies won only a 50 percent trust rate among respondents in other emerging markets — and the figure was just 24 percent for developed markets, a survey by global public relations firm Edelman found.

China's global firms face 'trust gap'

A customer tries a Lenovo computer at the Milan Design Week in Italy. A few Chinese corporations stand out in winning higher levels of trust in developed markets, with Lenovo Group Ltd earning a 72 percent consumer awareness rating in the United States. [WANG QINGQIN / XINHUA]

The level of trust in Chinese corporations in developed markets is even lower than for companies based in South Africa and India: 31 percent of the respondents in developed markets trust corporations based in South Africa and 28 percent trust companies from India.

China-based companies rate particularly low in Germany (19 percent), France (22 percent) and the United States (26 percent), the survey found.

Edelman interviewed 5,400 "informed online respondents" in nine developed and emerging countries.

The report attributed the trust deficiency mainly to low brand familiarity and sensitivities about State involvement. Respondents in developed markets believe that companies from the emerging markets have close ties with their national governments.

While respondents in developed markets have a 50 percent trust rating in listed companies, only 37 percent trust State-owned companies.

Richard Edelman, president and chief executive officer of Edelman, noted that people in developed markets are increasingly nervous about Chinese companies entering their markets.

He noted that only one-third of the respondents in developed markets are willing to see a Chinese company buy a company in their markets, and only 38 percent want a Chinese company to get access to their markets.

"This is a big problem. ‘B