The branding of Chinese mega-cities

Illustrations from Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shanghai and Shenzhen

Emma Björner, PhD Candidate, Stockholm Business School, Stockholm University

Chinese cities are increasingly branded, in China and the world. Chinese cities are also developed as international and global, which is regarded important in furthering China’s international status and influence. The branding of places, such as cities, is about how places are communicated and made attractive towards various target groups, for example investors, tourists and residents. In this presentation Emma Björner will give a brief introduction to the field of place branding, and present illustrative examples from her PhD research project about the branding of five Chinese mega-cities, namely Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. She will focus especially on the use of pictorial language in city branding in China, as well as the processes behind it.


Emma Björner. Photo: private
Emma Björner. Photo by: Eva Dalin

Emma Björner is a PhD Candidate at Stockholm Business School (SBS), Stockholm University. Emma has studied and worked in China, UK, USA and Malawi. Her academic background is in marketing and management, media and communication, and Mandarin Chinese. Emma has published in the fields of place branding, event management, online branding and marketing. She is a member of the research programs Stockholm Program of Place Branding (STOPP) at SBS, and Managing Big Cities at Gothenburg Research Institute, Gothenburg University. Emma has worked with project management, communications, public relations, market analysis, education, and research.

More information:

Short text about “Imagineering Chinese mega-cities”:

Blog post in Swedish about the branding of Chinese mega-cities: