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Appliance Makers Go on Sale for Holiday

China's home electronic appliance makers are cutting prices to promote their products and lure more customers during the National Day holidays.

Co-operating with home appliance producers, retailers such as Gome, Suning and Dazhong will launch promotional activities around the country during the holidays.

Changhong, one of China's largest TV producers, launched a nationwide market promotion called "Red October" on September 21, aiming to win a leading position in sales of domestic TV next month.

It has released three series of products: High-definition TV (HDTV), rear projection TV (RPTV) and liquid crystal display (LCD) TV at low prices.

Its 43-inch digital rear projection TV set is priced at only 5,999 yuan (US$725), 2,000 yuan (US$242) lower than other big brands.

Changhong's move has sparked a price war in the high-end TV market.

Xiamen Overseas Chinese Electronic Co Ltd (Xoceco) cut the prices of 42-inch plasma display panels (PDP) TV sets and a 32-inch LCD TV sets by 2,000 yuan (US$241).

Later, home appliance giant Hisense launched 32 types of flat-panel TV sets at low prices for the domestic market, as well as in European, North American and Middle East markets.

A new PDP TV set has been priced at 25,000 yuan (US$3,019), much lower than similar new products at 32,000 yuan (US$3,865).

With the launch of new products, Hisense plans to sell more than 10,000 sets next month in both domestic and overseas markets.

Another big TV producer, Konka, is planning to use the seven-day holiday to promote its high definition technology, and sell products at preferential prices.

"No TV producers would like to lose this golden opportunity to boost their sales and grab more market share," said Luo Qingqi, an industry expert from Pully Consultants Co Ltd, a consultancy specializing in electronic home appliances.

Luo said September and October are the hot selling season for electronic home appliances, and the long National Day holidays, from October 1 to 7, are the best days.

Customers will benefit from the promotion, with much more choice and lower prices, he said.

Other electronic products such as EVD (Enhanced Versatile Disc) players, washing machines and small electric cookwares will also be the focus of the holiday promotion.

An alliance of EVD player makers has announced it's cutting prices to less than 1,000 yuan (US$120), to win more consumers.

The prices of EVD discs have also been lowered from 28 yuan (US$3.40) each to 8 yuan (97 US cents). High price and limited disc sources were once the major hindrance of EVD development.

(China Daily September 30, 2004)

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