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Day 1 - IFA International

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spotlight on CHINA

spotlight on CHINA Region Dragon Tales Close-up on top exhibitors from China China is attracting more and more attention as it flexes its industrial muscle in the international arena. IFA is of course an ideal platform to study this evolution. A visit to the home appliance zone allows one to measure the advances being made by Chinese manufacturers in competition with the European majors such as BSH, AEG Electrolux or Miele who continue to be the uncontestable leaders in the field. This being the case, the ambitions of Haier in this sector are by no means ambiguous. In the field of television, TCL and Thomson (also manufactured by TCL) are making a solid push into the European scene and are causing the market to sit up and pay attention. To this end, TCL now benefits from full vertical integration since the opening of its China Star LCD fab (Gen 8.5) near Shenzhen late last year. Also at IFA, the special awards ceremony for Chinese household appliance manufacturers will spotlight key players – and will be fully covered in our Monday edition. PC Manufacturer Lenovo has proven that despite tough economic times, it’s still possible to turn a profit, increasing net income year on year in financial Q1 by 35 percent. Don’t miss our report on their news conference – and latest products – also in our Monday (day 4) edition. In the mobile field, TCL has re-invented the Alcatel One Touch brand and is in the process of creating a new power base in Europe, while for its part, Huawei this year is present at IFA with a vastly expanded range of consumer products. Huawei Powers with New Products at IFA The Chinese ICT giant is no stranger to blazing trails in new territory. If one goes back in time to the beginning of Huawei, its background was actually in localisation. “When people think of China they think of one big country, and that everyone is the same there,” says Lars- Christian Weisswange - Vice President, EU Terminal - Huawei Device Co. “But actually China is more like the European Union than like the US, because you have many dialects and many different cultures HUAWEI MediaPad 10FHD 3D Laptop with screen there. Huawei started their business on the network side by going into China and localising products and services for the regional operators. Because that was so successful, Huawei could go into the metropolitan areas; so once this could be mastered in China, there was no reason it could not be successful in the rest of the world. We are strongly pushing this localisation approach throughout our organisations.” Weisswange has been involved in the mobile industry since 1995, working for a major operator, then O2 (managing t h e i r smartphone portfolio), then working on brand establishment for Samsung and HTC (where he was strongly involved in building up the HTC brand in Europe), completely from scratch. He then moved to Huawei in 2011, and is tasked with taking the brand to the top three within a few years. This “very” European professional is one of a number that are creating a new kind of synergy with Chinese “mother companies”, ensuring an intelligent flow of information back to R&D in order that products match with consumer demand. Huawei is set to take advantage of a new operator scenario in Europe that will favour increased handset value. “Even in a strongly subsidised market like the UK, Germany, and to some extent France, the behaviour of the operators is changing,” says Weisswange. “We now have, in France, for example, the 19,99 euro contract from Free, which has upset the market considerably. German operators have picked up on the same price mark as well now, and that obviously leads to questions as to if and how they continue their subsidy for devices. If the subsidy for devices is reduced, then obviously for us it is easier to explain our value proposition.” For Huawei, IFA is a key moment of the year. They have announced 6 major new products this year – four new Ascend series smartphones, crossing all manner of uses, and two new tablets – the MediaPad 7 Lite (a new entry level model) and the MediaPad 10 FHD (Full HD). Hall 9 Stand 314 Lars-Christian Weisswange Vice President, EU Terminal - Huawei Device Co. “…actually China is more like the European Union than like the US, because you have many dialects and many different cultures there.” www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Friday 31 st August 2012 33

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