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Print Edition> Business
UPDATED: May 27, 2011 NO. 22 JUNE 2, 2011
Creative Cooperation
Collaboration between advertising agencies on the Chinese mainland and Taiwan has helped each other's respective industries flourish

FROM ACROSS THE STRAITS: Customers enjoy dinner at a Yon Ho (Yonghe in pinyin) restaurant in Wuhan, Hubei Province. As a popular eatery from Taiwan, Yon Ho now has nearly 500 outlets on the mainland (SUN XINMING)

According to FAA figures, in Fujian Province alone, sales revenue of the advertising industry totaled 10 billion yuan ($1.54 billion) in 2010.

Huang said the mainland stresses the need to nurture advertising talents. Though late to enter the advertising arena, with the first advertising department established in 1983 at Xiamen University, advertising education on the mainland has developed rapidly. According to Huang, there are 300 universities on the mainland that have advertising majors, and more than 1,000 ad majors graduate from universities in Fujian Province every year.

Chen Ching Ho, Dean of the College of Journalism and Communications of Shih Hsin University in Taiwan, said cross-Straits advertising industries should openly exchange ideas and connect each other's education platforms to nurture more talents for the industry.

Brand excellence

People on the mainland may be familiar with many famous brands from Taiwan, such as Yon Ho—a popular catering brand with nearly 500 restaurants. Instant noodles from Uni-President and Master Kong feed millions of people on the mainland every day.

However, cross-Straits exchanges and cooperation in brand construction used to be impossible. "Taiwanese were not interested in products made on the mainland because of their poor brand image and product quality," Hsieh Chang Chun, Chairman of the Association of Chinese E-Commerce Industry from Taiwan, told Beijing Review.

But things have changed. With economic and industrial development on the mainland, many famous brands have been nurtured, such as Lenovo and Haier. Development of the advertising industry also helps to establish famous brands. In Fujian alone, there have been many famous brands, especially in the textile industry, such as Septwolves, Anta, K-Boxing, Peak and Joeone.

"To nurture good brands, we must have good companies first," said Jiang Zhenghua, Honorary Chairman of the All China Private Enterprises Federation. "There are some good companies on both sides of the Straits, and we will both benefit from the cooperation in brand construction."

Mao Yushi, a famous economist, said compared with companies on the mainland, Taiwanese companies have better technologies and management and marketing skills, and their experience can inspire those on the mainland in brand construction.

Yang Jianhua, Secretary-General of the Brand Culture Development Research Association of Fujian, cited the example of the 85℃Café from Taiwan. Opened in July 2004, the café is built on the idea of providing the best quality products that are usually found in five-star hotels and offering them at low prices for the average consumer. Within a year and a half, the café opened 137 shops throughout Taiwan, and soon established hundreds of more in the United States, Australia and on the Chinese mainland.

"The success of 85℃Café tells us that to establish a good brand, a company may not necessarily target the high-end market but can tap the potential of middle- and low-end markets," Yang told Beijing Review. "Taiwanese brands stress product quality to establish a reputation, which should also be embraced by companies on the mainland."

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