Haier's innovative home appliances getting smarter

By Yuan Shenggao| (China Daily)| Updated : 2018-05-14

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Refrigerators that can teach you to cook, air conditioners that can monitor air quality and washing machines that can automatically select the correct washing cycle for different items of clothing - China's top home appliances manufacturer Haier Group has released a series of intelligent products capable of providing tailored services for its many customers.

Using technology as a driving force for its growth, Qingdao-based Haier has turned to the internet to transform once traditional industries.

The company's latest efforts and developments were showcased at the recently held 123rd China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, in Guangzhou, capital city of South China's Guangdong province, attracting the attention of domestic and overseas buyers.

Traditionally, home appliance products used in the living room, kitchen, bedroom and bathroom have not been connected, but Haier's latest range of products can be managed together by using shared intelligent technology. Indoor real-time conditions can be recorded and analyzed automatically to adjust its services according to the customers' needs.

Haier has cooperated with many companies in various industries to make its products and systems more intelligent.

As a result of cooperation with some 400 companies in fields such as information technology, e-commerce and entertainment, its refrigerators can show more than 1 million cooking recipes and millions of videos for entertainment.

Through collaboration with several leading clothing manufacturers, Haier's washing machines can recognize QR codes for 13 different apparel brands. Customers need only scan the codes for the machine to choose the most suitable washing cycle.

Haier has sold more than 3 million units of intelligent home appliances and has 60 million active online users to date, according to the company.

The application of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and fifth-generation telecommunications technology is expected to bring about significant changes in the home appliances industry in terms of operation, competition and profitability.

As a result of its success in staying ahead of its competitors, Haier has acquired a number of overseas companies in the industry, including New Zealand's appliance maker Fisher & Paykel, GE Appliances in the United States and Italian maker Casarte.

The acquisitions have helped Haier to go global by utilizing the market resources of its overseas acquisitions.

Air conditioners produced by GE Appliances boast the leading market share in North America.

Products from Fisher & Paykel and Haier occupied 42 percent of the market share in New Zealand, recent data from the company showed.

Although the unit price of Casarte is almost three times higher than similar products, the brand's global revenue surpassed 10 billion yuan ($1.58 billion) in 2017, after sales grew by 41 percent year-on-year.

According to the company, sales of Haier's refrigerators in Europe grew 50 percent year-on-year in 2017 and its household washing machines maintained the top market share in Japan. Haier also sold the largest number of water heaters among Chinese companies in the Russian market.

Founded in Qingdao, Shandong province, in 1984, Haier has come to be known as a home appliance giant that leads the development of the industry.

The company invented the first fluoride-free energy-conserving refrigerator and self-cleaning air conditioner. Its patented technologies have been granted to many other companies worldwide.

Haier has been ranked the world's No 1 household appliances brand for nine consecutive years in terms of sales, according to the company.


A foreign buyer examines an air conditioner produced by Haier during a trade show. [Photo provided to China Daily]

(China Daily 04/27/2018 page12)