Ben Cavender

Gaining soft power is not an exclusive issue for China’s government. Jacky Chan and Wanda might be equally important for how the world sees China, says branding expert Ben Cavender to the South China Morning Post.

The South China Morning Post:

… it’s clear China is trying to exert a lot more intangible soft power force on the world,” said Ben Cavender of China Market Research Group. “With (President Donald) Trump coming into power, it’s created a massive opportunity for China to sort of rebrand itself.”

Building up China’s entertainment industry can also support other sectors, from retail to advertising, which is a crucial move as the government works to maneuver an economic growth transition away from manufacturing and exports.

“It used to be very difficult for China’s movie industry to go abroad,” Chan said. “Now, China has the capital and the ability to start purchasing foreign companies … this kind of cooperation will lead us to learn more, and allow us to spread Chinese culture overseas to help more people understand China.”

Chan says he’s happy to use his influence to introduce China to the world, and that falls in line with next steps for his new animation. There are plans to roll out internationally, and eventually make a feature film over the next few years.

But he has become so ubiquitous — showing up on commercials for everything from shampoo to energy drinks — that consumers sometimes feel “he’s in it for a paycheck because [it seems] he doesn’t care about the product,” Cavender said.

More in the South China Morning Post.

Ben Cavender 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.

Are you looking for more political experts at the China Speakers Bureau? Do check out this list.


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