China’s hi-tech takes center stage
This year Chinese companies were especially prominent at the CES because for the first time they outnumbered US exhibitors, providing another demonstration that Chinese technology is going global, China Daily’s Qidong Zhang and Wang Jun report from Las Ve
The article went on to mention Chinese brands worth watching in 2014, and its first one was Hisense USA.
At the show, the subsidiary of China-based TV manufacturer giant Hisense Group presented a series of new product lines and its new VIDAA series TV, a full-featured Android-powered smart TV with multi-core processing and a beefed-up user interface.
Hisense claims the VIDAA redefines the current smart-TV landscape with a vastly improved user experience that does not yet exist in the product category.
“Hisense has boldly re-invented the concept of Smart TV with the VIDAA series,” said Jonathan Frank, vice-president of marketing for Hisense USA. “Our television is no longer just smart, it’s simply brilliant.”
Available in March 2014, the VIDAA features channel “jumping” across live TV, video on demand, a media center, and applications. With built-in Wi-Fi, a Chrome browser and screen sharing, it also comes with a 30-button remote control with air mouse technology, a pop up virtual keyboard and natural voice control.
With more than 3 million TV and tablets sales in the US, Hisense’s global revenue grew to $14.7 billion in 2013 from $12.8 in the previous year.
To meet the fast growth of US sales, the company said it would build a manufacturing factory here but did not give a date or location.
Lawrence Li, CEO of Hisense USA, said the company is committed to becoming a top brand among American retailers and consumers.
“We have identified huge room to increase revenue in our TV product in the last few years and have developed some significant relationships with a number of TV retailers to help capture more of the US market,” he said.
Calling the US market a “battlefield’’ that the company must win, Li said 2013 was a tough year due to the economic environment, but he added that Hisense has developed strategic plans to grow in today’s market.
“Our long-range strategy provides a framework for building partnerships with retailers and, ultimately, customers,” Li said. “We are not just another Chinese brand. We are shooting for advanced technology and success.”
A wide range of new televisions other than VIDAA was also on display at the show, including the H8 series curved UHD TV and the H6 Smart TV series with the latest Google TV service powered by Android. he videocassette recorder was introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1970. The camcorder appeared in 1981; high definition TV in 1998; the Microsoft Xbox in 2001; 3D HDTV in 2009; tablets and Android devices in 2010; and smart appliances in 2011.
This year, the more than 152,000 people who attended the show from Jan 7 to Jan 10 saw curved TVs (Samsung’s 85-inch TV, Vizio’s 120-inch LCD TV, LG’s 7-inch 4K TV) interactive software with TV (LG’s webOS, Mozilla, and Roku) high-resolution wearable devices (LG’s smart watch, Pebble’s metal or leather bands smart watch) and Google’s attempt to bring the Android system from smartphones to the automobile dashboard.
The show featured products of 15 consumer-technology markets, including audio, automotive electronics, computer hardware and software, digital imaging, electronic gaming, entertainment, Internet-based multimedia systems, video, wireless devices and a conference program with more than 300 sessions.
And for the first time since the show started in 1976, exhibitors from China outnumbered domestic American ones. Of the more than 3,200 exhibitors, 937 were from the Chinese mainland, with another 76 from Taiwan and 55 from Hong Kong. The United States — where consumer electronics is a $203 billion industry — was represented by 937 exhibitors.
In an article published on its online site the day before the show opened, the trade publication Advertising Age said that Chinese brands have prominent spots at the show, and it added:
“One fact speaks volumes about low awareness of Chinese Brands: Only 6 percent of Americans can name one, according to a 2013 Millward Brown study. China’s hottest sectors, tech and consumer electronics might change that in 2014.’’
Frank said that the array of “compelling televisions’’ Hisense debuted at the CES was proof that the company is determined to provide retail partners and customers in North America with the highest level of innovation, performance and choice.
“We’re committed to retaining that winning approach going forward and I’m confident that we’ll achieve our dual goal of establishing a satisfied, loyal customer base and becoming a global brand known for quality, performance and innovation,’’ he said. Ascend Mate 2
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd highlighted its Ascend Mate 2 smartphone, which has been launched in more than 40 countries and will be available in the US market.
In the third quarter of 2013, Huawei was ranked number three by International Data Corporation in the smartphone industry with a global market share of 4.8 percent, following Apple at 13.1 percent and leader Samsung with 31.4 percent.
Colin Giles, executive vice-president of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group, said his company’s goal this year is to deliver 80 million smartphones, an increase of 28 million from last year’s 52 million.
According to Giles, Huawei’s globalbrand awareness increased by 110 percent to the current 52 percent from 25 percent in 2012. In the US, it grew to 22 percent from 9 percent over the past 18 months. And in countries such as Spain, Germany, Italy, UK, France and Japan, Huawei’s brand awareness increased three to four times, he said.
Saying that “innovation is always a key for Huawei,” Giles noted that the company invests 10 percent of its expense in R&D each year. On the other hand, “we’re a consumer focused company,” he said, “always talking to consumers and striving for “better visual, more powerful processors, easier applications such as navigation, better battery performance and premium quality at the right price.”
for smartphone producers,” said Richard Yu, CEO of the consumer business group. He said he can use his Ascend Mate 2 to help charge other people’s phone when needed. Yu said the Huawei phone is powered by “the world’s largest 4,050mAh Li-Polymer battery.” Heavy users and business users can have two-day uninterrupted performance. No other brand has achieved more than oneday uninterrupted performance for business users, Yu said.
The Ascend Mate 2 also has the “best-inclass screen to body ratio” — 79 percent, according to Yu. The ratios of iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are 62 percent, 74 percent and 76 percent respectively, he said.
Lenovo, the world’s No 1 PC maker, was also at the show.
Gerry Smith, senior vice-president of Lenovo Group and president of the Americas region, said Brazil and Latin America were the No 1 markets for his team to tackle.
But he added that he is working on the “right product portfolio and right carriers” while waiting for the “right timing” to dive into the US mobile market. Smith did not reveal any specific numbers or target date.
“We’ll definitely enter into the US market at the right timing, with the right products and the right partners,” he said.
Smith said Lenovo will aim for the premium and mainstream market in the US, not the low-end: “We’ll have a balanced full portfolio of premium, middle and value products.” At the same time, he acknowledged that the US is a tough market.
Even though it would be a “lengthy process”, Smith said he believes Lenovo could beat Samsung and become the No 1 smartphone maker in the US with “the right strategy, right products and right carriers.”
“Three to five years ago, Lenovo was not a recognized brand in the US,” he said. But through its “Do Campaign” and almost-twoyears marketing campaign with the National Football League, Smith said Lenovo’s brand consideration and brand awareness has
smartphones are expected to delivered by Huawei Technologies worldwide this year, up
from 52 million in 2013.
in revenue was recorded by Hisense globally last year, $1.9 billion higher than the previous
year. improved by a large scale.
In terms of sales, Lenovo’s Yoga tablet, which was unveiled at last year’s CES, is selling well at Best Buy, Smith said, and “we’re happy about that.”
When it comes to smartphones, the US is a carrier-oriented market, he said, adding that Lenovo is investing heavily in carrier relationships.
Smith said he, Yang Yuanqing, president and CEO of Lenovo Group, and Liu Jun, senior vice-president of Lenovo Group and president of Lenovo Business Group, have met with carriers. The carriers are “extremely impressed by our LTE products, not only technology but also the breadth of our product line of 60 to 70 smart phone products,” Smith said.
“We’re not only a PC company, but a PCplus company,” he said, noting that Lenovo develops products for specific markets.
Smith, who joined Lenovo in 2006, described himself as a “passionate, competitive” operational expert. “We achieved continuous growth in the past seven seasons that I’ve been in my current position. I expect my team to be perfect,” he said, to achieve more success.
CES this year also featured “the fastest video chip in the world,” claimed by Ambarella Inc, a Santa Clara, California-based company that makes high-end products in wearable sports, high definition security IP cameras, sports cameras, automotive camera recorders and video surveillance.
Fermi Wang, CEO of Ambarella, introduced the MotorVu 360 automotive surround view and recording reference design. It features four full HD camera modules that can be embedded at the front, rear and side mirrors of a vehicle, providing 360-degree surround view for driving or parking assistance as well as simultaneous four-channel “black box” recording of road incidents.
“Twenty million cars with video recording will be implemented into market in the next two to three years,’’ Wang said.
“The security surveillance and automobile video surveillance markets are huge in China. Our product will be a value-added service with video camera recording to every customer. And the camera is only $100 to $150. ‘No worries’
“With that installed onto your car, there will be no worries whether you get into an accident, or chased by someone when driving, or being hit while parked when you are not present. All is captured on the surveillance camera, which supports live video streaming to smartphones.”
Ambarella won the GSA (Global Semiconductor Alliance) award of 2013, one of the highest in the semiconductor industry, and also was honored by GSA in 2010, 2011 and 2012 for being the “Most Respected Private Company.’’
The company is the sole supplier to GoPro, known for its high-end cameras and wearable sports goods, and is targeting the Chinese market with its brand name and cutting-edge technology. Ambarella’s recent partnership with Google on untethered livevideo training and coaching also showed its advanced technology.
Having distributors in Shanghai and Shenzhen to provide OEM customer service and support to local customers, Wang said Ambrella’s technology make the company a competitor with the China-based security giant Hai Shi, a subsidiary of Huawei.
“In today’s security market, since video transmission has to go through the Internet to transmit to the server, your compression technology is crucial to assure video quality and performance,” Wang said. “And the market today is ready for high resolution; therefore, how we provide high end product line to facilities our products in China is crucial.” Contact the writers at kellyzhang@chinadailyusa and firstname.lastname@example.org
Chinese electronics company Hisense is one of the most active players from China to show its global ambition at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and occupied the booth which belonged to Microsoft after the software giant withdrew from the fair two years ago.