China's electric home appliance giant, Midea, says it is optimistic about the refrigerator industry in spite of the increase in competition, but denies rumors that they plan to acquire other manufacturers for expansion.
A public relations department spokeswoman told China Daily on Wednesday that, while Midea thought the refrigerator potential in China looked good, " We have not decided to enlarge the business by acquisition, we may do it by ourselves or by co-operation." She added that all possibilities were being explored.
The Shenzhen Business Daily reported on Wednesday that Midea would spend 200 billion yuan (US$24.2 million) to acquire a domestic refrigerator maker.
"All business pursues the biggest interest and we will certainly try to make our refrigerator sector larger since we have done very well in spite of the fierce market competition," the spokeswoman said.
Midea formally began refrigerator production last August and put its first batch of products on the market earlier this year. And it quickly rose in sales.
China now has an annual refrigerator production capacity of 25 million units. Sales last year were 8 million.
Experts say that refrigerators are doing better than other appliances like color TVs and air-conditioners since the sector has not been subjected to price wars.
Analysts also predict that annual refrigerator demand will reach at least 4 million units in the next three years because of improvements in living quality.
(China Daily August 1, 2002)