Brands seek recognition at home, abroad
The home appliance industry experienced pressure from a variety of factors, including slower economic growth, the end of government subsidies, and the rapid rise of e-commerce.
E-commerce price transparency pressured brands to differentiate with technological excellence and innovation. E-commerce also opened space for challenger brands. Leading home appliance makers sought to innovate with more energy efficient and “smart” products, such as air conditioners that can be operated remotely over the Internet.
Gree, Haier, Hisense and Midea, among the most globally recognized Chinese brands, continued to invest overseas. Hisense, a leader the flatscreen TVs, gained almost one-third of its revenue from international sales. Overseas consumer acceptance of Chinese-made home appliances is high compared with other product categories, according to the 2013 Millward Brown Going Global Study. The brand value of the home appliance category increased 36 percent.