Su Shounan , the man who orchestrated the rise of Shanghai Three Gun Group as China's top underwear manufacturer, has an ambition. Not content with making Three Gun the most popular label at home, he now wants to turn it into a global name. If he succeeds, he deserves a mention in the Guinness Book of Records for breaking the monopoly of Western brand names in his industry. Mr Su has a daunting task. The failure of Chinese enterprises to develop globally recognised brands is not peculiar to China. Tiger economies such as Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore - where small Chinese family businesses are a common but dominant feature - have not fared better. The territory is often touted as Asia's fashion leader, but there is hardly a home-grown label which can claim a place alongside Armani, Versace, Chanel, Kenzo or Christian Dior. Taiwan is better known for exporting industrial goods. Yet only one big name - Acer Computer - comes readily to mind as a global brand. Singapore has tended to rely more on multinational companies than small Chinese businesses to modernise its economy, so the dearth of homegrown brands is hardly surprising. South Korea, the fourth tiger economy, is probably the only one to have a few internationally recognised names such as Samsung, Daewoo and Sangyong. If Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore - which all have at least a 30-year head start over China in economic modernisation - do not find it easy to develop international brands, what about the mainland, which until recently was embracing an economic system better at creating industrial dinosaurs than corporate winners? The legacy of a centrally planned economy still lingers. Decades of protectionism means many Chinese state enterprises continue to produce goods more fit for warehouses than customers. Given the inferior quality of their products, is it any wonder foreign brands produced by Sino-foreign joint ventures are beginning to dominate in some industries? Three Gun is fortunate to have a forward-looking chief executive in Mr Su, who recognises the underlying cause of the threat from foreign labels and is rising to the challenge. Managers at many Chinese enterprises do not; just look at the growing calls to protect Chinese industry. Chinese enterprises suffer from fundamental problems discouraging creation of big labels: they are small and fragmented, face provincial protectionism and ignore marketing and packaging. Without economies of scale, how can they dream of dominating the market? Without marketing and advertising, how can they convince consumers of their quality and uniqueness? There is only one viable option. Chinese enterprises determined to be key players at home and abroad will have to operate like genuine modern companies elsewhere. Mr Su seems to understands this. Do managers at other Chinese enterprises?