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Day 4 - IFA International

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Exclusive Interview LI

Exclusive Interview LI DONG SHENG CHAIRMAN AND CEO, TCL CORPORATION In 2003, Mr. Li was appointed chairman of the board and CEO of TCL Corporation. Over the past ten years, Chairman Li has earned countless corporate leadership awards. Among others, he has been named “Most Influential Business Leader” in China - Entrepreneur magazine in 2006 and 2005, “CCTV Man of the Year in the Chinese Economy” in 2004, “Asia Businessman of the Year” by Fortune magazine in 2004, and one of the “Top 25 Global Business Leaders” by Time magazine and CNN in 2004. Mr. Li received a French Legion of Honour medal in 2004. Mr. Li was elected as a delegate to China’s 16th National Congress of the CPC, and is a deputy to the 10th and 11th National People’s Congress. Mr. Li holds a number of prestigious positions: chairman of the China Electronic Imaging Industry Association, vicechairman of the China Chamber of International Commerce, and chairman of the Guangdong Home Appliances Chamber of Commerce. MAJOR STRIDES Under the leadership of Chairman Li, TCL accomplished two landmark acquisitions: Thomson’s television business and Alcatel’s mobile phone business, both in 2004. With years of development in global integration, TCL’s LCD television and mobile phone sales leaped to 7th place globally by the third quarter of 2011. In 2012, TCL Multimedia has shipped over 10 million LCD TVs as of September. TCL Corporation is the top TV brand in China and ranks sixth among the top 100 Chinese brands. It has 29.81 billion yuan (.77 billion) in operating revenues and 480 million yuan (.81 million) in net profit. Stretching Out Face-to-face with TCL’s Chairman – TCL’s globalisation has been going on for more than a decade, especially in 2004 when we acquired Thomson and Alcatel. After that the globalisation process has been speeding up. Even here at IFA, our booth has evolved from that of a tier-two manufacturer to a global tier-one manufacturer. This follows the general trends in the consumer electronics industry. As one of the most renowned and respected business leaders from China, what are your thoughts on the way Chinese manufacturers are perceived today (after a long and rocky road to this point), and what will In the past few years, the reaching out of Chinese manufacturers into the global market has become more and more obvious as competition heats up on the domestic front. The presence of TCL’s Chairman and CEO, Li Dong Sheng at IFA this year, and the expansion of TCL’s stand at the show, underlines the determination of this and other Chinese players to reach out to the world. Following is our exclusive face-toface interview with this Chinese business figure, cited (among other accolades) as one of the 25 most influential business figures in the world, and also recently as “Asian businessman of the year”. You have been quoted on the need for Chinese manufacturers to "stretch out to the world." And you've said, "Even if we don't do it today, we will have to do it tomorrow." What factors now make the timing right for your visit? And, why did you choose IFA? this perception be like in five to ten years' time? In the next five to ten years, Chinese manufacturers will play a more important role in the global market. In the TV market recently we improved our market share by taking up the space lost by Japanese manufacturers. In the mobile phone market, Chinese manufacturers took market share from vendors such as Motorola and Nokia. Other Chinese manufacturers are also tough competitors. What is TCL doing today to stand out from the crowd? The Chinese manufacturers will grow bigger and stronger, and we have to 22

Exclusive Interview to The World the charismatic Li Dong Sheng Chairman Li Dong Sheng tours his company booth themed on "Color Your World" work as a group to grow in the global market. We will all grow together in the future. Nonetheless, right now, there are too many Chinese brands in the fields of consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile phones. In the next five to ten years, the market will undergo a consolidation process. This means dozens of Chinese brands will shrink to several brands in the next five to ten years. TCL has a very aggressive R&D program for digital home technologies. Which research areas do you think will have the most impact on your product development in the next few years? For TCL we have different sectors, including consumer electronics, home appliances and mobile phones. Compared to the TV and mobile phone sectors, our home appliance manufacturing output is much smaller. So while sales in TVs and mobile phones are growing, to improve our sales in home appliances in future, we will be developing the intelligence of these devices. Right now we have smart TV, smartphones… everything is connected to the Internet. And in the future, home appliances will be smart – using cloud-based services. In the home appliance sector, the potential in this respect is unlimited. If you capture the right requirements of the market, you can develop new kinds devices. It’s also possible to develop new features for existing devices such as refrigerators and air conditioners. This is our target and the trend of our R&D efforts. We are also constructing a new manufacturing base in central China. The emphasis of this plant will be on development of smart home appliances. As a top global consumer electronics company, do your challenges in Europe differ strategically from your industry challenges in China or USA? If so, in what way? Most of the challenges are the same, but in Europe, it’s a highly diversified continent with dozens of countries with different requirements, which makes it different in that respect from the American or Chinese markets. To acquire a bigger market share, due to this diversity, we have to invest more in R&D. What is your overall vision for the future of TCL that you would like us to share with the readers of IFA international, the official show daily? We want to be a strong player in the global electronics industry, to be top players in major sectors. In terms of volume, our TV business is ranked number three worldwide right now. But I would hope that not only the volume, but also in terms of profitability and efficiency, we can become a top player. Our mobile phone business is ranked number seven right now, and in the future we hope that our competence in the mobile phone industry will be improved. We need to put many more efforts into the home appliance sector. As vice-Chairman of the China Chamber of “The Chinese manufacturers will grow bigger and stronger, and we have to work as a group to grow in the global market.” International Commerce, what is your overall vision for Chinese technology industries on the global scene? We are much like the early stages of the Japanese and Korean manufacturers, providing high quality goods at a low cost. In the future, we want the consumers to consider us not just as providing low cost products but also ones with great design and other values. It is the destiny of Chinese companies to become more global. The key will be in refining our capabilities and our core competencies to better position our companies on the global market. There are three core competencies. The first factor has to do with the products, the second is the manufacturing, and the third is the brand and channels. For most Chinese companies, their capability in manufacturing is strong. But brand and marketing capabilities need to be improved. Hall 21 Stand 104 www.ifa-international.org IFA International • Monday 9 th September 2013 23

IFA International