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Chinese home appliance makers expand overseas presence amid fierce domestic competition

BusinessChinese home appliance makers expand overseas presence amid fierce domestic competition

Chinese home appliance makers are ramping up efforts to expand their presence in overseas markets, invest in localized research and development, and release high-end products in the face of increased competition from domestic rivals. This move is expected to not only spread China’s advanced manufacturing, research and development, and management capabilities abroad but also create job opportunities for locals, boost brand awareness, and enhance the competitiveness of Chinese enterprises globally.

TCL Technology Group Corp, a Chinese consumer electronics company, is accelerating its steps to strengthen its global operational capabilities and expand its overseas footprint in the semiconductor display and photovoltaic industries. The company has expanded its factories making televisions, modules, and photovoltaic cells in several countries, and established ventures with local partners in Brazil to jointly build production centers, supply chains, and an R&D system. TCL has set up numerous R&D centers and manufacturing centers worldwide and operates in over 160 countries and regions, with international business becoming its biggest growth engine. The company’s founder and chairman, Li Dongsheng, believes that China’s manufacturing sector should transition from exporting products to exporting industrial capacity given current global economic patterns to drive exports of domestic components, materials, and equipment.

Hisense Group, a home appliance maker based in Qingdao, Shandong province, is accelerating its overseas expansion in high-end laser TVs and ultra-light-emitting diode TVs. Its laser TVs have been sold in many countries and regions, including the United States, Australia, Germany, France, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa. The company aims to boost its brand awareness via sponsorship of major sporting events and has been a sponsor of several world-class sporting events, including the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Hisense ranked second in global television shipments in 2022, according to market research company Omdia.

Midea Group, a Chinese home appliance giant, is seeking opportunities to localize manufacturing in the Middle East to offer faster delivery for local consumers. The company has set up an overseas office in Dubai and built a refrigerator, washing machine, and water heater factory in Egypt that serves Middle Eastern and African markets. Midea will continue to offer low-carbon, energy-saving, and intelligent building technologies for the Middle Eastern market, speed up localization efforts, and employ more local people in sales, technology services, finance, and operations.

In summary, Chinese home appliance manufacturers are expanding their global footprint to tap into new profit growth and long-term development opportunities, given that the domestic home appliance market is almost saturated. These companies are increasingly building up their own brands to bolster their competitiveness on the global stage, and this trend is expected to continue.

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