Chinese tech companies sweep into CES show
Visitors try VR tech of Chinese company Huawei Technologies Co Ltd at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. [Photo/Xinhua]
Push indicates strong desire to gain edge at high-end price points
The growing presence of Chinese companies at the Consumer Electronics Show indicates a stronger-than-ever desire to crack the US market, as they work hard to gain an edge in high-end gadgets, analysts said on Monday.
From the first smartphone to be equipped with virtual assist Alexa to a consumer 3D camera that can record 3D voice, Chinese tech heavyweights and startups are turning to one of the world's largest technology expos, which concluded on Sunday, to boost their brand recognition among US consumers.
Over 1,500 Chinese companies attended this year's CES, accounting for more than 41 percent of the over 3,800 exhibitors, according to Luo Linquan, Chinese Consul General to San Francisco. Last year's event attracted more than 1,300 Chinese firms.
"Chinese tech is really coming to the forefront. It's not the old joke of being 'made in China', but really designed now in China and for the world," said James Feldkamp, an independent US industry tech analyst.
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's third biggest smartphone maker, launched the US edition of its premium handset Mate 9 during the annual show. The smartphone, which will come with Amazon Inc's popular voice-activated virtual assistant Alexa, is the Shenzhen-based firm's first flagship model to be sold in the US market.
"After wooing European consumers, Huawei knows it must conquer the US market to reach its goal of becoming the world's biggest smartphone seller," said Jessie Ding, a smartphone analyst at Shanghai-based consultancy Canalys. "Partnering with Amazon, a household name in the US, can help build its brand image," Ding said.
Xiaomi Corp, an arch rival of Huawei, made its debut at the 50-year-old CES. It unveiled a smart TV, which can recommend content to a user based on what he or she has watched in the past.
"As the domestic market reaches a saturation point, Chinese firms are increasingly looking to the US for opportunities. The desire is stronger than ever," said Xiang Ligang, a smartphone expert and CEO of the telecom industry website cctime.com.
Startups also saw CES as a springboard for their business. Sonirock Inc, founded in Shenzhen in early 2016, unveiled Sonicam, a 3D camera that uses 64 microphones to record spatial sound for a virtual reality experience.
"This year (the proportion of Chinese firms among all exhibitors) is 41 percent. Next year it will be 50 percent," said Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman.
Hezi Jiang contributed to the story.