Hisense looks to increase overseas TV revenues

Updated: 2013-03-12 09:03

By Wei Tian and Xie Chuanjiao (China Daily)

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Hisense looks to increase overseas TV revenues

A Hisense Transparent 3D TV at the 2013 International CES, a consumer electronics trade show, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. [Photo/China Daily]

Hisense Co Ltd, China's largest TV maker by market share, is looking to increase its overseas revenues over the next three years, to account for 50 percent of total TV sales from the current 30 percent, with an emphasis on the United States.

Zhou Houjian, its chairman, and a deputy of the 12th National People's Congress, said its TV sales revenue in the US is expected to grow from less than $600 million in 2012 to $700 million this year.

To better target the US market, the Qingdao-headquartered company plans to increase production at its joint venture in Mexico, which currently has an annual production capacity of between 300,000 and 500,000 TV sets.

"If we can establish ourselves in both the Chinese and US markets, we can then establish ourselves in other markets around the world," Zhou said, adding that its US products will focus on providing a top quality product at a reasonable price.

"The US market is the most open in the world, and consumers demand products with the highest price-performance ratio."

Hisense reported total sales revenue of 81 billion yuan ($13 billion) in 2012, a year-on-year growth of 13.2 percent. Net profit was 5.2 billion yuan, a 21.8 increase on the previous year.

According to data from China Market Monitor, which specializes in China's home appliance market, Hisense currently has a 16.35 percent share of China's LCD TV market, and has been the top seller for nine consecutive years.

Zhou said he was confident of holding onto that title for a 10th year, but that Hisense's current global rank of fifth or sixth, in terms of overall TV sales, does not match its domestic status.

"Our share of the overseas market is still relatively low in terms of total revenue, and there is much room for improvement," Zhou said.

In 2012, Hisense's global revenues increased 20 percent year-on-year, with the US, Europe and Australia contributing most of that growth.

Over the past decade, its overseas sales revenue has grown 23-fold, and it now ranks, for instance, top in South Africa, and in the top five in Australia.

As well as the US, Zhou said Europe and Africa are hugely important markets for the company's global expansion.

Hisense entered the African market 20 years ago, and although demand is still not large, "that's certainly no reason for us to provide low-quality products in that market", he added.

He said Chinese brands have to be competitively priced to succeed in overseas markets, but their ability to compete should certainly not be based on price alone.

"For Chinese brands which have lower recognition overseas, such as Lenovo, it is not sensible for their products to be priced cheaper overseas than in their domestic market."

Therefore, he said, Chinese companies must focus on establishing brand image overseas right from the start, with a concentration not only on products and services, but on understanding local customers.

Contact the writer at weitian@chinadaily.com.cn and xiechuanjiao@chinadaily.com.cn