Global home appliance suppliers eye Chinese market in post-pandemic period
Published: Mar 24, 2021 11:47 PM
Photo: Yang Hui/GT

Visitors explore the Appliance & Electronics World Expo (AWE) 2021 in Shanghai on March 23, 2021. Photo: Yang Hui/GT

Global suppliers of home appliances are rushing to the Chinese market as the pandemic made consumers more aware of their health and wellbeing. This has fueled expectations of growth in the home appliance sector.

Nearly 1,000 domestic and overseas exhibitors joined the Appliance & Electronics World Expo (AWE) 2021, China's top home appliances exhibition event that takes place in East China's Shanghai from Tuesday to Thursday.

Participants are eager to show the progress of the businesses thanks to digital and smart technologies that meet the growing demand of Chinese consumers to improve their lives during post-pandemic period.

The exhibition includes smart appliances, consumer electronics and smart technologies, and beauty and personal care products showcasing cutting-edging tech as 5G, AI, IoT, big data and cloud computing.

According to a report about the Chinese home appliance market released by the CCID Consulting, a research institute under China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, even though the overall sales of home appliances in China saw a 6.5 percent decrease due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sales of high-end and smart home appliances witnessed a sharp increase.

For example, the sales of TV sets with retail prices higher than 10,000 yuan ($1,533) increased more than 70 percent year-over-year in 2020 while the sales of refrigerators over 20,000 yuan increased 132 percent.

In addition, some home appliances including dishwashers, air fryers and handheld vacuum cleaners also saw sales increase, according to the report.

The Global Times also learned that Chinese consumers are looking to increase their living standard during the period after the pandemic thanks to national support policies and a strong economy.

The home appliances market in China is rapidly going digital after the pandemic, Ji Ping, manager of public affairs from the German company Vorwerk, told the Global Times on Wednesday. Ji said that the company has prepared for this trend in advance and will work on product quality as well as software development and after-sales services.

Ji said the company is considering establishing its research and development center in China, noting that all the smart technologies are applied to meet Chinese consumers' growing demands to improve quality of life, like making housework more efficient. 

In 2020, people spent most of the time at home due to the COVID-19 epidemic and started to research on how to cook delicious recipes, a salesperson surnamed Yang from Swiss small household appliances Solis told the Global Times on Wednesday. Yang said the company started to sell semi-automatic coffee machines in August 2020 as they found Chinese people are seeking higher quality products.

The epidemic has made people more aware of the importance of being healthy. Several air conditioner manufacturers, including Panasonic and Haier, have stressed that their products can disinfect air. Along with AI and smart technologies, Haier introduced voice control technology to their air conditioners to make modern life easier. 

Along with companies from abroad, many domestic firms are also taking part in the rush to get a share of the market.

"Our company has been working on developing new products, such as wireless window cleaning robots, to attract more consumers," Zhang, a marketing staff from Beijing-based HUTT, told the Global Times on Wednesday. Zhang said the company owns five patents for invention.
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