Manufacturing News

Appliance makers forecast double-digit export growth

China's major home appliance manufacturers are expected to post double-digit growth in export volumes this year, driven by high-end smart products, company executives said.

Zhang Qingfu, vice-president with the international unit at Haier Group, China's biggest household appliance supplier, said that export volumes would rise nearly 10 percent year-on-year in 2016.

"Foreign consumers favor high-end products with smart functions, which will enable Haier's export volumes to buck the trend amid sluggish global demand," Zhang said.

Likewise, the value of Hefei Meiling Group's exports is expected to rise 20 percent in 2016 over the previous year, according to its marketing director Wang Xiaoyang.

Chen Zhian, vice-general manager at the international sales unit at Gree Electric Appliances Inc of Zhuhai, said the number of buyers visiting the company's exhibition at the fall session of the Canton Fair increased about 10 percent compared with last year.

Data appear to support the ambitious expectations of the manufacturers.

According to research institute Markets and Markets, the size of the smart home market worldwide will exceed $122 billion by 2022, and the average growth rate is seen at 14 percent from 2016 to 2022.

Chinese home appliance companies are betting big on smart products and solutions to win foreign consumers.

Haier said it has exported smart air conditioners to 24 countries, including Italy, France, Pakistan and India, and plans to sell intelligent home appliance sets to European countries from early 2017.

Smart products boosted Haier's exports, which grew 10 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2016, said Zhang.

Gree's exports, according to Chen, increased at least 15 percent year-on-year in the first nine months in 2016.

"Clients in Norway prefer smart air conditioners," said Preben Falkum, a representative of Norwegian trade company JAZ AS.

"I choose Gree's products because they are of best quality at a good price," added Falkum, who is a frequent visitor to the Canton Fair.

In addition to designing smart devices, Gree has also invented a smartphone application to control household appliances like air conditioners and air purifiers.

Most of the smart devices available in the market, however, are not compatible with other brands, which is seen as having a negative influence on the sales of these products.

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