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22 Conference & Event

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made in CHINA Regional Spotlight Chinese TV Firm Targets Europe Chinese manufacturer emerges with more branded products and stronger OEM support “The slimmer, lighter TV is also cheaper and greener to ship.” TongFang Global, the global arm of THTF (Tsinghua TongFang), has used IFA to launch its television business in Europe. The company, which already exports more than four million TVs annually to the US — making it the fifth-largest player in that market — is now hoping to replicate this success in what Gary Pinson, its Vice- President and European General Manager, describes as “a tough, aggressive market and economy”. He should know: Pinson is a 16-year retail veteran with UK electronics giant Dixons, and while he admits that breaking in to large retailers’ existing supply arrangements will be tough, he is optimistic about the firm’s prospects. “We’re here at IFA because there is nowhere else to do this. If you want to be in Europe, and talk to the big retailers and the big customers, show your product and have some impact, you have to be here.” In the US, THTF’s TVs are sold under the Element and Westinghouse brands. In China it is Seiki, but it is Element that will be coming to Europe. The company also produces a significant number of TVs in ODM arrangements with major global players, Pinson says. This is not likely to change and ODM is another offering to retailers at IFA. He said the company’s strengths lie in the quality of its products. Its technological expertise is born in research labs at the prestigious Tsinghua University, and it manufactures most of its own components. This control over the supply chain keeps standards high. It also allows THTF to keep consumer prices down, and offer competitive 24-month warranties. In a range of TVs from small, entry-level LCDs to full-HD, 3D LEDs, the standout products are the slim bezel LEDs, which feature a patent-pending construction where the back cabinet affixes directly to the front panel. It requires only 15 screws, offers easy access to the main circuit board and cuts out injection moulding around the module. The slimmer, lighter TV is also cheaper and greener to ship. Hall 26 Stand 705 Gary Pinson Vice-President and European General Manager, TongFang Global Awards celebrate China’s move from maker to creator Peter Wu Deputy Director of Industrial Economics and Technical Economics Research Institute (ETI), CHEARI Haier and Hisense put in a strong showing at the China Household Innovation Awards, taking prizes in four categories at the awards ceremony on Friday at IFA. In all, 45 products made by, among others, Haier, Midea and Hisense were recognised in the four award categories. New this year was the Enterprise Standard Innovation Award, reflecting the Chinese industry’s growing focus on crossmanufacturer standards. This joined the established categories of Product Innovation, Industrial Design Innovation and Technology Innovation. The range of products in contention has also been expanded to include small appliances alongside the traditionally eligible large appliances. Notable smallappliance innovations include the first consumer soya-milk maker, induction cookers, foot baths and massage devices. Haier also took the honours for Most Influential Chinese Household Appliance Brand. The Most Influential Small Household Appliance Brand was given to Joyoung Company, while the Most Promising Household Appliance Brand went to Hangzhou Aupu Bathroom & Kitchen Technology Company and the Ningbo Jide Electrical Appliances Company. This year’s China Household Innovation Awards mark a shift in thinking, according to the event’s organisers, the Chinese Household Electric Appliance Research Institute (CHEARI). “We want to encourage a change from ‘Made In China’ to ‘Created In China’”, said CHEARI’s Peter Wu, Deputy Director of Industrial Economics and Technical Economics Research Institute (ETI). Propelling the Chinese industry forward, he noted, was the global recession, which has caused domestic demand to grow by 30% year on year since 2009. Industry turnover in 2010 was 1,000 billion RMB. In such a large and increasingly sophisticated marketplace, it is necessary for manufacturers to innovate in the fields of design and technology, Wu said, saying that his job at IFA was to communicate the ‘Created in China’ message to the rest of the world. Gong Bin, Vice-President of CHEARI, said: “In the household-appliance industry, innovation in product technology and industrial design is the key factor in deciding the competitiveness of an enterprise — even the survival of an enterprise. As a professional institute engaging in research and engineering testing and standardisation, CHEARI has consistently upheld the philosophy of prudence, science, professionalism and integrity.” CHEARI has singled out smart technology, design and green issues as dominant trends among the entries. This is the third time that China Household Innovation Awards, now in their seventh year, have been held at IFA. CHEARI’s Peter Wu: “from ‘Made In China’ to ‘Created In China’” IFA International • Saturday 3 rd & Sunday 4 th September 2011 23

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