As ap­pli­ances grow smarter, they catch on

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

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