As appliances grow smarter, they catch on
HEFEI — Quality and customized smart appliances are catching on among urban households in China, as cities embrace the emerging trend of having a so-called “intelligent home”.
“Robot vacuum cleaners, smart dishwashers and TVs have been included on our shopping list,” said Liu Jie, who is busy decorating his new apartment in East China’s Anhui province.
“There is a range of available choices on the market. These smart things help me save time while delivering a more modern lifestyle,” Liu said.
Electronic appliances are becoming smarter and more common place in Chinese household, such as robot vacuum cleaners, which became one of the most popular appliances in China last year, according to research released by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.
“People’s favorite appliance picks have changed over time,” said Liu Mingbin, father of Liu Jie. “The most-bought pieces for newlyweds in the 1970s were TV sets, washing machines and refrigerators.”
The booming smart appliance industry mirrors the consumption upgrade taking place across China and, as more gadgets are invented, there is huge consumption potential for years to come.
During this year’s online shopping bonanza on Nov 11, Suning, another e-commerce giant, saw its biggest sales growth of intelligent locks and smart speakers.
Suning’s sales of robot vacuum cleaners, electric toothbrushes and dishwashers have also surged, up 132 percent, 122 percent and 121 percent, respectively, so far this year.
China’s smart appliance market is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 45.3 percent between 2017 and 2022, and is likely to be worth 162.7 billion yuan ($23.6 billion) by 2022, according to internet statistics company Statista.
Smaller and smarter appliances are becoming the new trend. They
are created to meet the needs of the younger generation, major contributors to a strong consumer market, an industry insider said.
“These appliances can be really smart and really cheap,” said Zhang Ning in Hefei, capital city of Anhui province. “My 89-yuan smart speaker helps me voice control the airconditioner, television and lamps. It also recognizes my voice and helps me play songs, reports the weather and sets my wake-up call.”