Policies, Practices and Positioning
Edited by Per Olof Berg and Emma Björner
Chapter 8: Strategic communication of megacity brands: challenges and solutions
China's economy has been growing rapidly in recent years, due to favourable economic policies and the inflow of foreign direct investments. This has attracted many people from around the world to do business in China, at the same time as the Chinese culture and heritage have enticed many Westerners to visit the country as a destination. Mega-cities in China such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have thus become important windows through which foreigners are beginning to understand Chinese culture and the country itself. The Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, the Shanghai World Expo in 2010 and the Guangzhou Asian Games in 2010 all provided ideal opportunities for the world to learn more about modern China. These international events have brought in capital, societal improvements and other developments for those three cities. In 2011, the Chinese government also included the promotion of the image of Chinese cities within its 12th Five-Year Plan. As a result, cities in China, especially mega-cities, have become more involved in city promotional activities, as well as carrying out various forms of international branding campaigns. However, while undertaking these international city branding campaigns, mega-cities in China have failed to fully understand the two main essences of brand building: how to build a clear and comprehensive city brand, and the importance of long-term strategic city planning.
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