Zhuhai-based Gree Electric Appliances set up a wholly owned subsidiary in Xiangzhou District on Aug 14 to provide chip design for the major home appliance maker's key products such as air conditioners.
With registered capital of 1 billion yuan ($146 million), Zhuhai Zero-Boundary Integrated Circuit Ltd is tasked with designing, developing, and marketing semiconductors, integrated circuits, computing chips, and other electronic components.
Dong Mingzhu, president of Gree and one of the most powerful business gurus in China, serves as the subsidiary's chairwoman and legal representative.
According to a source with local industrial and commercial authority, the company will also develop and sell communication and internet of things technology, embedded software, and software for computers and mobile devices. In addition, it will provide technical service and consultations and deal with product wholesaling and export.
Gree industrial robots
Gree, the world's largest air conditioner supplier, is based in Qianshan of Xiangzhou.
The manufacturing giant ranked at the top in China for sales of household air conditioners for a 23rd consecutive year in 2017, and reports that commercial air conditioner sales were the highest for the sixth year running. Business revenue last year increased 36.92 percent year-on-year to 148 billion yuan ($23 billion).
In an earlier interview with China Daily, Dong said Gree's future development relies heavily on core technology R&D, the source of the company's expansion into smart equipment, smart home appliance, and new-energy businesses.
Dong has said that to enter the chip field, Gree is willing to invest up to 50 billion yuan ($7.8 billion).
Gree Chairwoman Dong Mingzhu [Photos courtesy WeChat account: GREE-1991]
According to Wang Jingdong, vice-president of Gree, the new subsidiary will outsource manufacturing to concentrate on design.
Industry insiders revealed that Chinese air conditioner manufactures usually import high-end chips from the United States, Europe, Japan, and Taiwan.