Brands of Nation-making in China: A Visual History of the Use of Western and Domestic Brands in Asserting Chinese Nationalism
journal contributionposted on 01.10.2009, 00:00 by Lily Dong, Kelly Tian
International business press reporting on China’s economic development often sensationalize the transformation of China’s citizenry from comrades to consumers of Western brands. In 2003 the Communist Party’s Third Plenum placed the expansion of domestic consumer demand at the head of China’s political agenda to shift from investment-led to consumption-led economic growth (Croll 2006). While national news emphasized the need for job creation, international news dramatized the announcement as an exciting development for brand producers of developed Western nations, who had long been interested in the promise of the Chinese consumer market (Croll 2006). The announcement awakened an old dream that China’s market will make fortunes for Western brand producers- a dream easily incited with the mesmerizing potential of 1.3 billion customers that constitute the “magic market,” the “mother of all new markets” or the “biggest market for everything” (Croll 2006, xi).