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Day 6 Edition - IFA International 2017

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Panasonic’s New Global Vision Laurent Abadie, CEO & Chairman of Panasonic Europe talks about “making life better” While Panasonic’s outward image at IFA is that of the Hollywood-tuned OLED TVs and a return to vinyl in audio, the underlying drivers of the Japanese mega-manufacturer go much deeper than that, harking back to the roots of Konosuke Matsushita himself. We asked Laurent Abadie to tell us more. The main driver of the company over the past hundred years has been how we can contribute towards making a better life for people and a better world, and we are carefully watching how society is changing. There are a few drivers, not just in Europe, but they are the same around the world. One is the huge pressure on the environment: reduction of CO 2 emissions, pollution and contribution for keeping global warming under control. It’s about the electrification of society. There are a lot of changes around this – in the mobility sector there is a clear, fast shift from diesel to EV, and the next ten years in the automotive industry will show more changes than in the last hundred years – with EV (Electro Voltaic), autonomous cars, car sharing, and other new concepts. It’s the same in the home environment and energy consumption: producing energy, storing energy and reusing this energy, through utilising the equipment in the home in a different way. It will be more connected, autonomous and interactive in the midterm. We are quite unique as a company in terms of scope of technologies. So electrification of society is a major theme. Another big theme is the aging of society, and how, through technology, we can support aged people to stay longer at home. As people lose their autonomy and their physical strength this is a key issue. These are drivers within the company, knowing that on the top of this, we have a lot of technologies, so we have to cross societal issues with what technology can bring. What is Panasonic developing for the elderly? It’s a combination of developments around robotics – how to support people with robots, and how to offer new services. Imagine your mother is very old, and she cannot go out for shopping, so maybe the fridge can send daily orders to the local grocery store, who then deliver what she needs. There are a lot of issues surrounding healthcare, with sensors checking blood pressure, temperature and so one, and if something is wrong, the system sends a message to a doctor. These are all remote robotics that the company is working on in Japan. At the Panasonic Centre in Tokyo, there is a bedroom Laurent Abadie CEO & Chairman, Panasonic Europe with sensors in the ceiling that can measure blood pressure and so on while a person is sleeping and create an alert if there is a problem. Then there’s a mirror that is also able check vital signs. All these are advanced prototypes that can be introduced soon. Here at IFA, the return and revival of analogue technology is a big theme. Can you tell us more about this? We had decided to stop Technics, and we had regular, regular requests from consumers to bring the brand back. There was even an online petition that gathered together 18,000 signatures. Three years ago, we called back some engineers, who still kept their schedule and know-how. And when we announced the brand was coming back, some people were almost crying, and there was a standing ovation. Today, it’s amazing how many young customers are interested in vinyl - something no-one could expect. And interest in sound quality is back, too WE ARE CAREFULLY WATCHING HOW SOCIETY IS CHANGING. 14

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW TCL SEES AI AS A CRITICAL TREND AND THUS WE FOCUS ON AI + CONTENT STRATEGY IN COMING YEARS Tomson Li Chairman and CEO, TCL Corporation Chinese company TCL Corporation is an international group with more than 50% of its product sales revenue coming from the global market. Tomson Li, TCL’s Chairman and CEO, tells us about the company’s strategy to increase cooperation with a growing number of partners around the world. TCL is dedicated to providing ultimate product and service experiences for our users to enrich their lives by partnering with industry leaders such as Google, Netflix, YouTube, Harman Kardon, Dolby, Roku, Tencent, Baidu, etc. The next phase strategy for TCL is to develop AI + content on TV products. To further develop our smart TV business and, in particular, the delivery of rich content solutions, recently, Falcon Technology Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of TCL Multimedia, together with Tencent Digital (Shenzhen) Company Limited, formed a strategic alliance to provide funding support for the development of the smart TV business. In overseas markets, TCL cooperates with Netflix, Google, YouTube, Roku for the same reason. Also, TCL has partnered with top R&D teams and data providers in China and overseas and also worked with Baidu and Google for content input. Executing our AI strategies ahead of trend ensures our smart product business and technology will keep improving. Are you targeting specific new territories? If so, which are they and how does your business proposition differ from territory to territory? We will continue expanding our international business, hoping to build win-win cooperation with more and more partners. We want to strengthen our business especially in Europe, including Russia and in the Middle East and Africa. Here in Europe, we find consumers are fond of new technologies so it is the perfect place to make our TCL brand express itself. TCL tailors its business model for different markets. For example, in some of the emerging markets as well as in Europe and the US, we set up our own sales organisations, while in Brazil and some other markets, TCL has founded joint ventures with local leading partners. TCL Looks to Grow International Business Further The company is working closely with business partners to expand its global presence EUROPE IS THE PERFECT PLACE TO MAKE OUR TCL BRAND EXPRESS ITSELF Markets fluctuate for different products, globally. Smartphones are consistently on the rise, not so for tablets; the market for high-end TV is growing while the market for standard TV is less strong. How do you respond to such fluctuations across your various products and companies? TCL has a diverse product portfolio ranging from telephone, TV, refrigeration, washing machines, airconditioning, smart health appliances, LCD panels to personal devices such as smartphones and wearables, most of which belong to TCL’s smart home ecosystem. In 2016, TCL ranked global No.3 in TV sales. TCL also ranked in the forefront of the world in mobile terminals, air conditioners, washing machines and LCD panel sales. Competition is strong in the HE/CE industry, and the industry is crowded. What distinguishes TCL from its competitors? Today TCL is one of the top three TV makers in the world and has strongly invested in latest generation panel factories. TCL’s manufacturing expertise, vertically integrated supply chain, and state-ofthe-art CSOT panel factory, allows it to make large size TVs, premium design, and leading edge technology affordable for consumers around the globe. We keep enhancing our R&D capability to maintain product competitiveness. We have 23 R&D centres worldwide, 7,000 R&D talents worldwide and 4 CNAS laboratories. TCL ranks fourth among Chinese companies in terms of the number of PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications. By leveraging our manufacturing expertise and innovative spirit, we are excited to continue to expand and deepen our presence globally. In addition, TCL sees AI as a critical trend and thus we focus on AI + content strategy in coming years IFA International • Wednesday 6 th September 2017 15

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