According to the official news release of the International Olympic Committee, the Coca-Cola Company and China Mengniu Dairy Company Ltd have signed the first ever Joint TOP Partnership Agreement. The global market development plan of IOC is based on specific product categories and the basic principles of exclusion in the field.
This makes the dairy company the first Chinese consumer product company to join the ranks of TOP partners. According to Thomas Bach, president of IOC, “Having our longest-standing partner, Coca-Cola, an iconic American brand, together with a young Chinese company, Mengniu, joining hands under the roof of our Worldwide TOP Programme is a great example of the unifying power of the Olympic spirit. This partnership will give another dimension to the promotion of the Olympic values around the world.”
This will remind people of Yili’s previous accusation against Mengniu, claiming that despite Mengniu’s failure in the open bidding of the Beijing Winter Olympics, it managed to get into the category of beverage through the capital assistance of Coca-Cola.
As we all know, Mengniu is a dairy company with only a small portion of its business concerning beverages. Therefore Yili believes that it is ridiculous and misleading for Mengniu to announce to the world that they are “beverage” partners of the Olympic games.
Yili used strong words in its accusation. “On June 23, the Day of International Olympics, Mengniu and IOC will put on the most awful scene in all the history of the Olympic games in Lausanne, Switzerland.”
According to Yili, Mengniu’s alliance with a foreign company is a huge disgrace for the nation. “If such behavior succeeds, it causes huge unfairness and damage towards the companies that actually support our country’s Olympics undertakings wholeheartedly.”
As for online feedback, some say this is a big move towards globalization for Mengniu. “With the ongoing trade war, paying bills for an American enterprise is utterly inappropriate.” In the meantime, some viewers remain neutral, “it is purely business rivalry. Don’t try to advocate patriotism here. Consumers will just choose the best product.”
Featured photo credit to Olympic