Philips Light­ing ramps up China R&D spend­ing

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By ZHONG­NAN

Philips Light­ing Hold­ing BV, a Royal Philips com­pany, will fur­ther ac­cel­er­ate its re­search and de­vel­op­ment pace in China to com­pete with other es­tab­lished ri­vals over the next five years, a top ex­ec­u­tive said.

As­both­do­mes­ti­can­d­global man­u­fac­tur­ers in­clud­ingNVC Light­ing, Op­ple Light­ing Co Ltd and GE’s light-bulb divi­sion push their lat­estLEDand smart light­ing prod­ucts into the world’s largest light­ing mar­ket by rev­enue, the Dutch com­pany is de­ploy­ing more than 30 per­cent of its re­search and de­vel­op­ment force in China to im­prove in­no­va­tion.

Olivi­aQiu, chief in­no­va­tion of­fi­cer of Philips Light­ing, said fast in­no­va­tion is the key to com­pete with oth­ers as the Chi­nese mar­ket is ex­tremely sen­si­tive to new prod­ucts, es­pe­cially those with more func­tions.

Ea­ger to bol­ster its mar­ket share, Philips Light­ing has set a goal of re­leas­ing more than 1,000 light­ing prod­ucts in China each year, a cer­tain por­tion of them specif­i­cally de­signed for the lo­cal mar­ket. It has also speeded up its re­search and de­vel­op­ment on af­ford­able LED prod­ucts for homes.

Even though China is a big mar­ket for Philips Light­ing, Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers ac­counted for 20 per­cent of global LED pro­duc­tion. Chi­nese firms pro­duced 177.45 bil­lion LED lamps in the first half of 2015, up 37.33 per­cent year-on-year, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of In­dus­try and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy.

China’s fast-grow­ing4Gnet­work would help build a solid ap­pli­ca­tion foun­da­tion for both­con­sum­er­sand­man­u­fac­tur­ers. It will also help re­duce the re­search and de­vel­op­ment pe­riod for new­prod­ucts.

“We will col­lab­o­rate with more lo­cal com­pa­nies across in­dus­tries such as Xiaomi Corp and Alibaba Group Hold­ing Ltd to cre­ate prod­ucts with more tech­ni­cal func­tions and cross-in­dus­try el­e­ments to fur­ther di­ver­sify our mar­ket pres­ence in China,” saidQiu.

Philips Light­ing will in­tro­duce more ad­vanced prod­ucts, in­clud­ing con­nected light­ing sys­tems and smart light­ing prod­ucts as well as large-scale light­ing equip­ment for the sport, hos­pi­tal­ity and in­dus­trial sec­tors.

The com­pany part­nered with Xiaomi, a ma­jor smart­phone maker in China, to launch a con­nected desk lamp three months ago. The lamp is able to au­to­mat­i­cally ad­just the light, en­sur­ing users get the right light for the task at hand.

Qiu said Chi­nese com­pa­nies are no longer as­sem­bly shops for their for­eign coun­ter­parts since they are now ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing most of the com­po­nents on their own and re­lated re­search and de­vel­op­ment have reached a high level too.

As China is Philips Light­ing’s se­cond-largest over­seas mar­ket af­ter the United States, it has more than 1,000 re­searchers in China as well as 13 plants and six re­search and de­vel­op­ment cen­ters.

Sun Fuquan, a re­searcher at the Chi­nese Academy of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy for De­vel­op­ment in Bei­jing, said China is al­ready the global leader in ap­ply­ing clean-en­ergy and en­ergy-ef­fi­cient prod­ucts as well as mak­ing bigticket in­vest­ments in this sec­tor.

“LED and smart light­ing, elec­tric ve­hi­cles, wind power and so­lar en­ergy, which use less power but also il­lu­mi­nate China’s green de­vel­op­ment, will be­come a key dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing fac­tor in de­ter­min­ing a coun­try’s com­pet­i­tive­ness,” said Sun.

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