“The TopBrand 2023 World’s Top 500 Brand Figures” Released, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Taylor Swift Rank in the Top Three

February 03 16:10 2024

In late January 2024, the 18th Annual Brand Festival of China, hosted by the Topbrand Union and exclusively sponsored by Volvo Cars in the automotive sector, was successfully held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Beijing.


At the scene of the 18th Annual Brand Festival of China’s Brand Figures Summit 2023

The theme of this summit, “2023: Earning Respect for China,” included major segments such as the opening ceremony, main forum, and a ceremony of honors. Over 500 distinguished guests from government, industry, academia, research, and media gathered to discuss the current state and future of Chinese brands, showcasing the charm and strength of the people behind these brands. As the exclusive automotive sponsor of the event, Volvo’s MPV EM90 was showcased on site, capturing the aesthetic taste and business needs of the attendees at first glance, drawing crowds and earning widespread acclaim.


Attendees Test Drive the Volvo MPV EM90, Exclusively Sponsored by the Automotive Industry

Dr. Wang Yong, Chairman of the Topbrand Union and founder and chairman of the China Brand Festival, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony and for the first time released the list of the World’s Top 500 Brand Figures for 2023. In the “TopBrand 2023 World’s Top 500 Brand Figures,” the top seven spots were all occupied by individuals from the United States. Among them, Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla, ranked first, followed by Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, and Taylor Swift, a renowned American singer-songwriter and music producer, in second and third places, respectively. Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos, NBA basketball superstar LeBron James, and Larry Ellison, the business mogul behind Oracle, ranked fourth to seventh. From China, Huawei’s founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei took the eighth spot, while American-Chinese AI pioneer and NVIDIA’s founder and CEO Jensen Huang ranked ninth. Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese football superstar, rounded out the top ten as the “goalkeeper” of the world’s brand figures.


Dr. Wang Yong, Chairman of the Topbrand Union and founder and chairman of the China Brand Festival, announced the “TopBrand 2023 World’s Top 500 Brand Figures” list.

By nationality, the United States has the highest number of individuals in the World’s Top 500 Brand Figures, with 215 individuals making the list, followed by China with 82 individuals. The U.S. and China together lead far ahead of other countries, totaling 297 individuals on the list, accounting for 59.4% of the total. The United Kingdom ranks third, with 21 individuals making the list. Looking at just the top 100, the United States also leads with 47 world brand figures, while China has 15 individuals in the top 100.

In terms of industry distribution, the arts sector has the most individuals on the list, totaling 71, with Taylor Swift, Robert Downey Jr., and Katy Perry leading the industry. The technology sector ranks second with 69 individuals, featuring Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg at the forefront. The sports industry stands out in third place, also with 63 individuals on the list, with Lionel Messi ranking just behind James and Cristiano Ronaldo at 28th overall. The top three popular industries together account for 203 individuals on the list, making up 59.4% of the total.

From the perspective of age among those listed, the youngest is Quan Hongchan, a 17-year-old Olympic diving champion from China; the oldest is Yang Zhenning, a 102-year-old Chinese physicist who has lived in the United States for many years. The average age of all individuals on the list is 64.78 years, with the most common age for brand figures being 62 years old, represented by 17 individuals. In terms of gender composition, there are 450 male brand figures on the list, accounting for 90%, while the remaining 50 are female, making up 10%. The significant gap between the number of men and women listed indicates that there is still a long way to go in achieving gender equality.

The “TopBrand 2023 World’s Top 500 Brand Figures” list was compiled from a sample of over 10,000 individuals with global influence, evaluating them based on important indicators such as industry influence, social impact, sense of social responsibility, public image, and level of public attention, to honor those who have made outstanding contributions worldwide. This represents the latest research findings by the Topbrand Union think tank on global brand figures, offering an objective and research-based assessment without any vested interests.

Furthermore, at this summit, the “TopBrand China’s Top Ten Brand Figures of the Year” was announced for the 18th consecutive year. The awardees include Xiu Yuan, President of Shineway Group; Cai Lei, an ALS fighter, serial entrepreneur, and former Vice President of JD.com; Yao Yang, Dean of the National School of Development at Peking University; Yin Ye, CEO and Vice Chairman of BGI Group; Zhang Qingyang (Crazy Little Yang Brother), Founder and Chairman of Three Squirrels; Ren Zeping, founder of Zeping Macro and economist; Lu Chuan, a renowned director, screenwriter, producer, and the Chief Director of the Hangzhou Asian Games opening ceremony; Yuan Xiaolin, Senior Vice President of Volvo Car Group and President & CEO of Volvo Cars Asia Pacific; Zhou Hongyi, Founder of Qihoo 360; and Chen Xingjia, Founder of the Shenzhen Henghui Public Welfare Foundation, were elected as the “2023 China’s Top Ten Brand Figures of the Year.”

The “China’s Top 500 Brand Figures” list, also a research outcome published by the Topbrand Union think tank for the fifth consecutive year, features five renowned Chinese entrepreneurs in the top five positions for 2023: Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei; Wang Chuanfu, founder of BYD; Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Xiaomi; Li Shufu, founder and chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group; and Cao Dewang, founder and chairman of Fuyao Glass. Two distinguished women, Zhang Guimei, principal of Huaping Women’s High School in Lijiang, and Dong Mingzhu, chairwoman and president of Gree Electric Appliances, also made it into the top ten, ranking sixth and eighth, respectively. Yu Benchang, who gained renewed popularity at the age of 90 for his role in “Fan Hua,” Dong Yuhui, a new model for knowledge broadcasters and a rising senior partner of Dongfang Zhenxuan, and Ouyang Ziyuan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and a geochemist and cosmochemist, were also among the top ten Chinese brand figures of 2023.

The lists released by the Topbrand Union adhere to the principles of “independent perspective, self-contained system, continuous iteration, and striving for recognition,” aiming to provide society with meaningful and valuable brand figure rankings through truthful and pragmatic research, contributing to the development of brand enterprises both in China and internationally.

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