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Branding Chongqing: Understanding Chinese Place Branding From A Government Perspective

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posted on 14.07.2020, 09:39 by Bowen ZhangBowen Zhang
Due to the complexity and multidisciplinary nature of place branding, there is no universal explanation or theory that is commonly accepted despite decades of commitment and research. This research aims to explain how place branding is conceptualised in China. The similarities and differences of Chinese place branding in comparison to western concepts of place branding are presented through a review of both western and Chinese literature. However, a theoretical foundation remains elusive, as all existent literature directly applies either marketing theory or branding theory to local contexts, or only focus es on practice perspectives, such as the influence of mega events. This research attempts to close this research gap and provide a path to a better understanding of place branding. Taking a case study approach, the paper examines a vast body of discussion a rising from in depth interviews with branding authorities and government officials in the case study city of Chongqing. The analysis shows that place branding in China is influenced, and largely controlled by the government. Cases of place branding in the three major aspects of tourism, commerce and resident identity, are described, and the role of government in place branding is revealed. Rationales for government engagement in place branding and the general branding processes are investigated in detail, which constitute s the major practical contribution of this study. Discussion of the agents of Chinese place branding, place branding as a government tool and the trend towards policization contribute to the theoretical expansion of place branding beyond a neoliberalism perspective.



Mihalis Kavaratzis

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School of Business

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University of Leicester

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