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Haier Marches on in Int'l Market
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Haier Group, one of China's leading home appliance makers, will continue to implement its "global strategy" to capture a bigger share in the overseas home appliance market.


"Since the initiation of the strategy last year, we have developed a sound overseas production and sales network. But there is still a long way to go for us to reap a lion's share of the global market," said Haier President Yang Mianmian.


So far, Haier has built 13 production bases, eight design centers, 22 trade companies and more than 45,800 sales centers in Southeast Asia, South Asia, North America and Europe, since the establishment of its first joint venture in the Indonesian capital Jakarta in early 1996.


The Haier Refrigerator Manufacturing Center, set up in the United States in early 1999, is Haier's largest production base in the overseas market and the largest Chinese-invested company in the US.


Yang revealed that the company expects to have 20 production bases in other countries and regions by 2010.


She added that Haier has realized an annual growth rate of more than 40 percent in the global market since 2000.


In 2005 alone, the company's sales revenue hit about US$12.8 billion, of which the overseas market contributed about US$2.9 billion.


Haier is expected to realize sales revenue worth US$13.9 billion in the global market (including China) in 2006, company sources said.


In the US market, Haier products have entered the country's top 10 home appliance sales centers.


Strategic partnerships


In Europe, Haier has also established strategic partnerships with 12 chainstore groups, helping boost China's top home appliance brand in the region.


Meanwhile, Haier has carved out a 30 percent share in Pakistan's home appliance market since its entry four years ago. It has also set up an industrial base in the South Asian country.


After robust performance in the global market in recent years, Haier has established a series of partnerships with overseas counterparts.


So far, the company has worked with more than 200 overseas producers in the home appliance design sector.


Haier has also set up sales networks in 20 African countries and regions.


The company's joint ventures in Nigeria, set up in early 2001, now produce 300,000 sets of home appliance products annually, including refrigerators and TV sets.


Another joint venture in Tunisia produces 200,000 sets of home appliance products per year.


Haier currently holds the largest share of the African home appliance market.


"We will take three steps in our global strategy. First, we should set up a large overseas production and sales network. Second, all Haier's products that meet the local market demand should move into the major sales channels. And last, the company should produce mainstream products in local markets," said Yang.


Technological Innovation


Yang said that technological innovation is the core element for the company to realize the global strategy.


"Advanced technology plays a key role for us to enter into the global market. So we have kept investing large sums of money out of sales revenues in technological innovation," the Haier president said.


According to Yang, Haier has earmarked more than 10 billion yuan between 2001 and 2005 for scientific and technological research.


The company has undertaken six national "863 technology projects", five "national torch technology projects" and 47 national key projects for research and development of new projects.


Last April, Haier developed the nation's first dryer-tumble washer, attracting large volumes of orders from overseas sales agents in Germany, Spain, France and Russia.


"We have developed a series of high-end home appliance products following large investments into technological innovation. Now we will attach more importance to the establishment of sales networks that meet high-end overseas market demands," Yang explained.


As a result, Haier is seeking more partnerships with leading international sales agents in order to build a more professional and effective global sales network, according to Yang.


Haier also signed a sponsorship project with the United States' National Basketball Association (NBA) last April, becoming the sole TV sponsor for the world's leading basketball competition.


Meanwhile, the company also launched a sponsorship project with a basketball team in Saudi Arabia and set up the Haier Rocket Basketball Team in April last year.


"Such cooperative projects with the world's leading sports entities will help boost Haier's development in the global market," Yang said.


(China Daily March 13, 2007)


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