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These brands are disrupting the status quo by changing consumer expectations. Though they span different industries, they possess a common characteristic; simplicity is at the core of experiences they deliver. They are empowering people, reimagining experience, removing friction and saving time.

1

Taobao.com

6

Internet retail

2

Taobao.com

Rank Change: +6
Score: 843
Industry: Internet retail

Often touted as China’s answer to both eBay and Amazon, Taobao.com is China’s #1 online marketplace, and is also #1 in our China Simplicity Index. Surve respondents praised the brand’s ability to reduce the hassle of online shopping. “You can get everything without leaving home,” explains one respondent. The site also goes above and beyond to simplify the payments and shipping process, with streamlined mobile payment options and same-day shipping.

2

S.F. Express

15

Shipping / Mail

3

S.F. Express

Rank Change: +15
Score: 824
Industry: Shipping / Mail

One of China’s leading couriers, S.F. Express provides both domestic and international express delivery. In a country where couriers are known to be unreliable (think damaged and lost goods), S.F. Express has been able to remain above the fray. Respondents praise its reliability and speed, asserting that S.F. Express is faster and more secure than competitors.

3

Baidu

1

Internet search

4

Baidu

Rank Change: -1
Score: 818
Industry: Internet search

Baidu is a diverse web services company whose search engine boasts more than a billion visits per month. The brand’s ability to cull the vast web into orderly search results is the main attraction, with survey respondents specifically citing its easy-to-browse news items and rich library of videos. Users can get information without going “around the world to learn,” according to one respondent.

4

Tmall.com

1

Internet retail

5

Tmall.com

Rank Change: -1
Score: 818
Industry: Internet retail

As Taobao’s e-commerce counterpart, Tmall.com mirrors its simple user experience. Respondents find the search function to be simple and robust, and the products high quality, making it easy to choose to use the online retailer with little hassle or worry. As European and American brands like Burberry establish their first Chinese e-commerce presence through dedicated Tmall e-stores, the brand is making it easy for consumers to purchase authentic products straight from the source.

5

McDonald’s

1

Restaurants

6

McDonald’s

Rank Change: -1
Score: 810
Industry: Restaurants

Consistency is the key to this fast food giant’s appeal in China. The foolproof East-meets-West menu, stable prices and speedy service also contribute to the brand’s simplicity. McDonald’s—as well as another fast food brand on our list—is also tinkering with mobile payments, hoping to ensnare the ever-increasing number of tech-savvy Chinese smartphone users.

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6

Sogou

6

Internet search

7

Sogou

Rank Change: +6
Score: 802
Industry: Internet search

Sogou is a search engine—which is appropriate because its name means “search dog.” Its clean interface makes it easy to operate on both desktop computers and smartphones. The search engine is a clear but distant second to Baidu, though some marketers find it more convenient to advertise there due to the lower cost.

7

KFC

2

Restaurants

8

KFC

Rank Change: -2
Score: 761
Industry: Restaurants

KFC will experiment with mobile payment methods in China, which has the potential to reinforce the brand’s image as fast and convenient, allowing even more expedited payment. Consumers really responded to the chain’s frequent new product launches and its easy-to-understand advertising.

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8

HaiDiLao Hot Pot

3

Restaurants

9

HaiDiLao Hot Pot

Rank Change: +3
Score: 751
Industry: Restaurants

A hot pot chain in Beijing and Shanghai that is famous throughout China, Haidilao Hot Pot is a restaurant that allows customers to cook their own food tableside with a seemingly endless variety of customization options. Respondents praise the simple, fast and clean food preparation, with one explaining that “the process [is] easier and faster than other similar brands.”

9

QQ

3

Social media

10

QQ

Rank Change: -3
Score: 751
Industry: Social media

This popular and approachable messaging and chat service has more than 829 million users in China. Since its inception in 1999, the service has grown to include video chat, social games, shopping, blogging and music streaming, making it a convenient one-stop shop for connecting with friends. Survey respondents call QQ simple because no matter where, what time, or on what device, “you can sit there with friends from different places.”

10

 

Alipay

 

Internet retail

11

Alipay

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 742
Industry: Internet retail

Launched by online retailer Alibaba Group, Alipay is a payment platform that commands the largest market share in China. Respondents praise its ease, speed and convenience, with one respondent calling it an “indispensible tool” for online shopping. And given China’s weak consumer protection laws, Alipay’s escrow feature—which allows buyers to withhold payment until receiving a satisfactory product—empowers consumers shopping online.

11

WeChat

10

Social media

12

WeChat

Rank Change: -10
Score: 740
Industry: Social media

12

Huawei

42

Electronics

13

Huawei

Rank Change: +42
Score: 737
Industry: Electronics

13

OPPO

8

Electronics

14

OPPO

Rank Change: +8
Score: 733
Industry: Electronics

14

Xiaomi

14

Electronics

15

Xiaomi

Rank Change: +14
Score: 730
Industry: Electronics

15

Pizza Hut

4

Restaurants

16

Pizza Hut

Rank Change: +4
Score: 728
Industry: Restaurants

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16

7-Days Inn

36

Travel / Hotels

17

7-Days Inn

Rank Change: +36
Score: 722
Industry: Travel / Hotels

17

Sina

29

Media

18

Sina

Rank Change: +29
Score: 720
Industry: Media

18

Suning

40

Retail / General

19

Suning

Rank Change: +40
Score: 715
Industry: Retail / General

19

Shentong Express

5

Shipping / Mail

20

Shentong Express

Rank Change: -5
Score: 714
Industry: Shipping / Mail

20

Midea

9

Appliances

21

Midea

Rank Change: +9
Score: 712
Industry: Appliances

21

 

Youku

 

Social media

22

Youku

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 711
Industry: Social media

22

Home Inns

2

Travel / Hotels

23

Home Inns

Rank Change: -2
Score: 710
Industry: Travel / Hotels

23

 

Jinjiang Inns

 

Travel / Hotels

24

Jinjiang Inns

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 709
Industry: Travel / Hotels

24

 

RT-Mart

 

Retail / General

25

RT-Mart

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 709
Industry: Retail / General

25

YTO Express

18

Shipping / Mail

26

YTO Express

Rank Change: +18
Score: 709
Industry: Shipping / Mail

26

JD.com

1

Internet retail

27

JD.com

Rank Change: -1
Score: 707
Industry: Internet retail

27

Samsung

41

Electronics

28

Samsung

Rank Change: +41
Score: 704
Industry: Electronics

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28

Weibo

4

Social media

29

Weibo

Rank Change: +4
Score: 701
Industry: Social media

29

IKEA

21

Retail / General

30

IKEA

Rank Change: -21
Score: 697
Industry: Retail / General

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30

ZARA

29

Retail / Fashion

31

ZARA

Rank Change: +29
Score: 697
Industry: Retail / Fashion

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31

Walmart

32

32

Walmart

Rank Change: +32
Score: 690
Industry:

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32

Yunda Express

17

Shipping / Mail

33

Yunda Express

Rank Change: -17
Score: 690
Industry: Shipping / Mail

33

 

Tudou

 

Social media

34

Tudou

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 688
Industry: Social media

34

Yihaodian.com

12

Retail / Grocery

35

Yihaodian.com

Rank Change: -12
Score: 675
Industry: Retail / Grocery

35

Google

30

Internet search

36

Google

Rank Change: +30
Score: 675
Industry: Internet search

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36

Immomo

19

Social media

37

Immomo

Rank Change: +19
Score: 673
Industry: Social media

37

TCL

7

Electronics

38

TCL

Rank Change: +7
Score: 670
Industry: Electronics

38

Quanjude

20

Restaurants

39

Quanjude

Rank Change: -20
Score: 668
Industry: Restaurants

39

Sohu

37

Media

40

Sohu

Rank Change: +37
Score: 667
Industry: Media

40

GREE

5

Appliances

41

GREE

Rank Change: -5
Score: 666
Industry: Appliances

41

Ctrip

3

Travel / Booking

42

Ctrip

Rank Change: -3
Score: 664
Industry: Travel / Booking

42

Carrefour

18

Retail / Grocery

43

Carrefour

Rank Change: -18
Score: 661
Industry: Retail / Grocery

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43

Philips

31

Electronics

44

Philips

Rank Change: +31
Score: 660
Industry: Electronics

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44

ANTA

14

Fitness

45

ANTA

Rank Change: -14
Score: 659
Industry: Fitness

45

LY.com

19

Travel / Booking

46

LY.com

Rank Change: -19
Score: 658
Industry: Travel / Booking

46

 

Didi Kuaidi

 

Travel / Car rental

47

Didi Kuaidi

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 657
Industry: Travel / Car rental

47

Phoenix Television (PHTV)

30

Media

48

Phoenix Television (PHTV)

Rank Change: +30
Score: 649
Industry: Media

48

Decathlon

17

Retail / General

49

Decathlon

Rank Change: -17
Score: 648
Industry: Retail / General

49

Marriott

36

Travel / Hotels

50

Marriott

Rank Change: +36
Score: 648
Industry: Travel / Hotels

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50

iQIYI.com

37

Social media

51

iQIYI.com

Rank Change: -37
Score: 646
Industry: Social media

51

ASUS

31

Electronics

52

ASUS

Rank Change: +31
Score: 645
Industry: Electronics

52

GOME

14

Retail / General

53

GOME

Rank Change: +14
Score: 642
Industry: Retail / General

53

Hisense

4

Appliances

54

Hisense

Rank Change: -4
Score: 641
Industry: Appliances

54

 

dianping.com

 

Social media

55

dianping.com

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 640
Industry: Social media

55

Netease

12

Media

56

Netease

Rank Change: +12
Score: 637
Industry: Media

56

Watsons

25

Retail / Health and beauty

57

Watsons

Rank Change: +25
Score: 635
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

57

 

Lifeweek

 

Media

58

Lifeweek

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 635
Industry: Media

58

 

Letv

 

Media

59

Letv

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 632
Industry: Media

59

Qunar

43

Travel / Booking

60

Qunar

Rank Change: -43
Score: 632
Industry: Travel / Booking

60

Amazon

27

Internet retail

61

Amazon

Rank Change: +27
Score: 631
Industry: Internet retail

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61

Adidas

1

Fitness

62

Adidas

Rank Change: -1
Score: 630
Industry: Fitness

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62

HunanTV

9

Media

63

HunanTV

Rank Change: -9
Score: 626
Industry: Media

63

RenRen

22

Social media

64

RenRen

Rank Change: -22
Score: 626
Industry: Social media

64

Li-Ning

7

Fitness

65

Li-Ning

Rank Change: -7
Score: 623
Industry: Fitness

65

Nike

17

Fitness

66

Nike

Rank Change: -17
Score: 617
Industry: Fitness

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66

Lenovo

43

Electronics

67

Lenovo

Rank Change: -43
Score: 615
Industry: Electronics

Also view in:

67

UNIQLO

28

Retail / Fashion

68

UNIQLO

Rank Change: -28
Score: 610
Industry: Retail / Fashion

68

Haier

34

Appliances

69

Haier

Rank Change: -34
Score: 607
Industry: Appliances

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69

361 Degrees

42

Fitness

70

361 Degrees

Rank Change: -42
Score: 607
Industry: Fitness

70

HP

13

Electronics

71

HP

Rank Change: +13
Score: 603
Industry: Electronics

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71

H&M

35

Retail / Fashion

72

H&M

Rank Change: -35
Score: 602
Industry: Retail / Fashion

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72

BYD

31

Automotive

73

BYD

Rank Change: +31
Score: 602
Industry: Automotive

73

ZTE

28

Electronics

74

ZTE

Rank Change: -28
Score: 598
Industry: Electronics

74

Douban

18

Social media

75

Douban

Rank Change: -18
Score: 590
Industry: Social media

75

Sony

4

Electronics

76

Sony

Rank Change: -4
Score: 590
Industry: Electronics

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76

Apple

34

Electronics

77

Apple

Rank Change: -34
Score: 585
Industry: Electronics

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77

China Merchants Bank

17

Banks / Retail

78

China Merchants Bank

Rank Change: +17
Score: 581
Industry: Banks / Retail

78

Gap

17

Retail / Fashion

79

Gap

Rank Change: -17
Score: 580
Industry: Retail / Fashion

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79

Hilton

29

Travel / Hotels

80

Hilton

Rank Change: +29
Score: 579
Industry: Travel / Hotels

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80

China Unicom

19

Telecom / Cell phone

81

China Unicom

Rank Change: +19
Score: 571
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

81

 

Vivo

 

Electronics

82

Vivo

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 567
Industry: Electronics

82

Tongrentang

24

Retail / Health and beauty

83

Tongrentang

Rank Change: +24
Score: 566
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

83

Sasa

13

Retail / Health and beauty

84

Sasa

Rank Change: +13
Score: 564
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

84

eLong

74

Travel / Booking

85

eLong

Rank Change: -74
Score: 559
Industry: Travel / Booking

85

 

Zuche.com

 

Travel / Car rental

86

Zuche.com

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 558
Industry: Travel / Car rental

86

 

Bosideng

 

Retail / Fashion

87

Bosideng

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 550
Industry: Retail / Fashion

87

China Mobile

36

Telecom / Cell phone

88

China Mobile

Rank Change: -36
Score: 542
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

88

Tuniu

16

Travel / Booking

89

Tuniu

Rank Change: -16
Score: 541
Industry: Travel / Booking

89

 

LinkedIn

 

Social media

90

LinkedIn

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 539
Industry: Social media

Also view in:

90

Changan

1

Automotive

91

Changan

Rank Change: -1
Score: 537
Industry: Automotive

91

Spring Airlines

1

Travel / Air

92

Spring Airlines

Rank Change: -1
Score: 532
Industry: Travel / Air

92

Sephora

42

Retail / Health and beauty

93

Sephora

Rank Change: -42
Score: 532
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

Also view in:

93

 

Lvmama

 

Travel / Booking

94

Lvmama

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 529
Industry: Travel / Booking

94

Mannings

14

Retail / Health and beauty

95

Mannings

Rank Change: -14
Score: 524
Industry: Retail / Health and beauty

95

Hyundai

5

Automotive

96

Hyundai

Rank Change: +5
Score: 523
Industry: Automotive

96

 

Audi

 

Automotive

97

Audi

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 518
Industry: Automotive

Also view in:

97

Volkswagen

4

Automotive

98

Volkswagen

Rank Change: -4
Score: 518
Industry: Automotive

Also view in:

98

EMS

13

Shipping / Mail

99

EMS

Rank Change: +13
Score: 509
Industry: Shipping / Mail

99

Southern Weekend

30

Media

100

Southern Weekend

Rank Change: -30
Score: 508
Industry: Media

100

Toyota

1

Automotive

101

Toyota

Rank Change: +1
Score: 506
Industry: Automotive

Also view in:

101

HTC

61

Electronics

102

HTC

Rank Change: -61
Score: 505
Industry: Electronics

Also view in:

102

China Eastern Airlines

18

Travel / Air

103

China Eastern Airlines

Rank Change: -18
Score: 505
Industry: Travel / Air

103

Chery QQ

39

Automotive

104

Chery QQ

Rank Change: -39
Score: 503
Industry: Automotive

104

AIA

10

General insurance

105

AIA

Rank Change: +10
Score: 499
Industry: General insurance

105

 

China Construction Bank

 

Banks / Retail

106

China Construction Bank

Rank Change: N/C
Score: 498
Industry: Banks / Retail

106

Hainan Airlines

27

Travel / Air

107

Hainan Airlines

Rank Change: -27
Score: 497
Industry: Travel / Air

107

Bank of China

5

Banks / Retail

108

Bank of China

Rank Change: +5
Score: 486
Industry: Banks / Retail

108

China Telecom

2

Telecom / Cell phone

109

China Telecom

Rank Change: +2
Score: 477
Industry: Telecom / Cell phone

109

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)

4

Banks / Retail

110

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)

Rank Change: +4
Score: 475
Industry: Banks / Retail

110

State Grid

8

Utilities

111

State Grid

Rank Change: +8
Score: 474
Industry: Utilities

111

 

Bank of Communications

 

Banks / Retail

112

Bank of Communications

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 464
Industry: Banks / Retail

112

Agricultural Bank of China

3

Banks / Retail

113

Agricultural Bank of China

Rank Change: -3
Score: 461
Industry: Banks / Retail

113

China Southern Airlines

35

Travel / Air

114

China Southern Airlines

Rank Change: -35
Score: 459
Industry: Travel / Air

114

 

China Gas

 

Utilities

115

China Gas

Rank Change: N/A
Score: 457
Industry: Utilities

115

 

China National Petroleum Corp

 

Utilities

116

China National Petroleum Corp

Rank Change: N/C
Score: 456
Industry: Utilities

With several respondents calling it a “monopoly,” what incentive does China’s largest integrated energy company have to simplify if there’s no competition? Like energy companies we’ve identified as complex in other regions, Chinese respondents bemoan the lack of transparent billing and high, unexplained prices.

116

Air China

18

Travel / Air

117

Air China

Rank Change: -18
Score: 444
Industry: Travel / Air

Air China seems to have a lot going for it; it was the first airline in China to offer wi-fi, it has a fleet renewal program in the works, and there is only one fatal accident on record in its 27-year history. But none of these things seem to matter to respondents, who cite the airline’s cumbersome procedures and numerous delays as reasons for complexity.

117

Geely

42

Automotive

118

Geely

Rank Change: -42
Score: 417
Industry: Automotive

Geely, an automotive manufacturer that owns both Volvo and the London Taxi Company, seems to be a victim of the paradox of choice: survey respondents report confusion from the number of car models it offers and difficulty differentiating between them. China is currently experiencing a downturn in its automotive industry, so if Geely—whose cars are often pricy— wants to attract the dwindling number of consumers, perhaps it should clarify its value proposition.

118

South Beauty

26

Restaurants

119

South Beauty

Rank Change: -26
Score: 379
Industry: Restaurants

This high-end Sichuanese restaurant chain has run into some trouble this year. The self-proclaimed “Louis Vuitton” of restaurant groups had its assets frozen in response to an anti-corruption crackdown, the exact details of which are still under wraps. Consumers have taken note, explaining that all the negative news coverage, gossip surrounding its executives and public feuding with other prominent Chinese figures contributes to the brand’s complexity.

119

New China Life

3

General insurance

120

New China Life

Rank Change: +3
Score: 374
Industry: General insurance

You might notice a theme among the final five brands in the China Simplicity Index: They’re all insurance companies. Survey respondents dock points from New China Life specifically for making it difficult to file claims, with one respondent complaining that the company fails to tell customers important information until they have an urgent need for the insurance.

120

Taikang Life

1

General insurance

121

Taikang Life

Rank Change: +1
Score: 361
Industry: General insurance

Impenetrable contracts are at the root of the complexity of Taikang Life, a life and health insurance company based in Beijing. This year, Taikang has reportedly been preparing for an initial public offering in the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges, so perhaps public accountability will increase the company’s transparency and simplicity.

121

Ping An Insurance

4

General insurance

122

Ping An Insurance

Rank Change: -4
Score: 342
Industry: General insurance

Several respondents used the word “dizzy” when referring to experiences with this insurance company. The brand also breeds suspicion, with survey respondents calling the company deceptive and overly interested in “self-protection” rather than customer service. And what customer service is in place, respondents call excessive and harassing.

122

China Life Insurance

2

General insurance

123

China Life Insurance

Rank Change: -2
Score: 317
Industry: General insurance

Distrust colored many of the survey responses regarding the China Life Insurance complex. While some do acknowledge that insurance is an inherently complicated industry, the feeling about China Life is that they are using the complexity to hide underhanded operations.

123

China Pacific Insurance

4

General insurance

124

China Pacific Insurance

Rank Change: -4
Score: 293
Industry: General insurance

Terms, conditions, rules and regulations—it’s the technicalities that make China Pacific Insurance complex, according to our respondents. “Regulations are many and complicated,” reads one typical answer. To distinguish itself from the pack at the bottom of the list, China Pacific should attempt to demystify its legalese.

124

People’s Insurance Company of China

1

General insurance

125

People’s Insurance Company of China

Rank Change: -1
Score: 280
Industry: General insurance

At the very bottom of the list this year is the People’s Insurance Company of China, the only state-owned insurance company on the list. Respondents report getting lost in its heavy use of jargon and its mire of procedures and processes. Unique among the insurance companies on our list, respondents complained about issues after receiving policy payouts. “A lot of trouble when you receive insurance money,” says one survey respondent.

INDUSTRY RANKINGS

MONEY TO BE MADE

All brands can benefit from simplifying, but not all may benefit equally. To understand which brands in China can reap the greatest financial reward, and what they need to do to command more for their services, download the full report.