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Midea Targets Largest Home Appliance Maker

Midea Holding Co Ltd, based in South China's Guangdong Province, has set its goals to become China's largest home appliance manufacturer by 2006, sources with the company said.

The total sales volume is expected to reach 50 billion yuan (US$6 billion) as sales increased by 40 percent over the next three years.

The company, already well- known for its home appliances like air conditioners, is planning to move into other industries, such as automobile manufacturing, electric power and other infrastructure sectors.

The sales volume for these new sectors is projected at 13 billion yuan (US$1.6 billion ) by 2006.

The company is also planning to develop into a well-integrated international corporation, which will include four to five industrial groups and five to six listed companies.

Export volumes by the target date are expected to reach US$1.5 billion, 40 percent of which will be Midea brand products.

Further cooperation with international giants not only in the home appliance sector but in its new sectors is also a part of the strategy.

But the company will still focus on the manufacturing sector, which has helped the company become a leader in the home appliance sector since its establishment in 1968, a Midea senior executive said.

The company says it plans to restructure its manufacturing strategy to focus more on products that perform well and weed out the others. To realize these expansion goals, the company will likely buy or merge other companies.

Midea plans to invest about 2.2 billion yuan (US$26.6 million) this year, of which 1 billion yuan (US$12.1 million) will be put into the proposed new sectors.

Last year, the company signed an agreement with the local government of Kunming, capital of Southwest China's Yunnan Province, to invest 2 billion yuan (US$241 million) in an automobile project.

(China Daily March 17, 2004)

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