Paul French

Chairman Zong Qinghou is not only the richest man in China, according to the latest Forbes China rich list, but has been a successful leader to his Wahaha, China beverage giant. Forbes asks retail analyst Paul French why.


Q.  What are some of the challenges that Wahaha faces in the next three years, and how is Chairman Zong addressing them?  What are Wahaha’s prospects compared to Tingyi, Coke and Want Want?
A. Competition, competition, competition. Five years ago Wahaha was clearly the leader of the pack but it has to be said that other local beverage companies like Want Want. Coke and Pepsi have the obvious advantages of extremely strong brands and iconic products.  Wahaha, nor any local or regional players, have not managed to build such strong brands. This is the challenge for the future – creating long lasting high value brands, like Coke or Pepsi.

More in Forbes.

Paul French is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

The China Weekly Hangout offers each Thursday a debate on China’s current affairs. Today the focus will be on innovation in China. October 18 we will discuss the question what China’s telecom giant Huawei could have done in defending itself against the attacks by US Congress. For upcoming debate, sign up at our China Weekly Hangout page.

Wahaha is one of very few larger private companies, together with Huawei. Learn from our latest China Weekly Hangout our panel of Greg Anderson and Janet Carmosky explain state-owned industries stifle innovation, and leave little room for private companies in China.


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