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Home appliance industry to see rebound

2020-3-12 11:25

Employees work on the washing machine production line of Haier Group in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, on Feb 27. [Photo by Wang Peike/For China Daily]

 

Leading companies accelerating transformation toward automated production in face of fierce market competition

 

China's home appliance industry is likely to see pressure in the short term as the novel coronavirus outbreak will influence the supply of raw materials and the sales of brick-and-mortar stores.

 

But the impact should be temporary and this segment will see a big rebound once the outbreak ends, industry insiders said.

 

A report issued by Beijing-based consultancy All View Cloud said the sector will be affected by the delayed resumption of production and the shortage of raw materials. The whole home appliance industry will face a temporary period of insufficient production capacity in the first half of this year.

 

The online retail channels are expected to contribute more than 70 percent to overall revenues in the first quarter as people tend to stay at home to quarantine themselves. The brick-and-mortar stores have witnessed a sharp decline in the number of customers and sales revenue, along with rising pressure from operation costs, the AVC report said.

 

"The emerging products such as automatic hand-washing machines, sterilizing steam mops and dishwashers have seen a surge in demand. Traditional sterilizing washing machines, disinfection cabinets and air purifiers are also favored by consumers," said Guo Meide, president of AVC.

 

Guo noted the demand for household appliances that need to be installed by workers, such as kitchen ventilators, water heaters and air conditioners declined dramatically, adding the impact of the outbreak on the home appliance industry depends on efforts to control the epidemic.

 

He predicted the consumption of home appliance products will see a "retaliatory" rebound at the end of the second quarter due to the June 18 shopping carnival, which is expected to unleash large-scale purchases.

 

"The epidemic will also speed up the revolution in retail channels," he added, while noting that there will be a new wave which would reshuffle traditional offline channels, as the distinction between online and offline shopping will become increasingly obsolete.

 

Statistics from the China Household Electric Appliances Research Institute showed the revenue of China's home appliance sector reached 803.2 billion yuan ($115.5 billion) last year, a decline of 2.2 percent year-on-year. Sales from online channels reached 310.8 billion yuan, accounting for 38.7 percent of the market share.

 

AVC said the sales of air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines would fall 35.2 percent, 28.3 percent and 25.1 percent respectively on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter.

 

Xu Dong, vice-chairman of China Household Electrical Appliances Association, said the home appliance industry constitutes part of the real economy. It has a strong ability to resist risks, and consumers have a rigid demand for household appliance products.

 

"The intelligent manufacturing in the nation's home appliance industry has made strides in recent years, and the automatic production level of enterprises is relatively high, so the negative impact on production is limited," Xu said.

 

Once normal production has been restored, enterprises have the ability to make up for the limits in the previous production capacity, Xu added. The epidemic will force the leading companies to accelerate their transformation toward industrial automation to better adapt to competition in the future.

 

He underlined that the implementation of prevention and control measures will effectively help put the epidemic under control.

 

"Under the various favorable policies introduced by local governments to support the small and medium-sized enterprises, home appliance makers should seek new business opportunities from the crisis and promote the recovery of the market."

 

Haier Group, China's largest home appliance manufacturer, said its production capability of refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners, water heaters and kitchen appliances had been restored to 70 percent of normal level as of Feb 20.

 

Its export orders reached design capacity on Feb 25, and more than 90 percent of orders from abroad could be guaranteed, Haier said.

 

In terms of its supply chain, about 85 percent of suppliers had resumed production for Haier as of Feb 17. In addition, these suppliers had a certain amount of stock before the Spring Festival holiday (Jan 24-Feb 2), which helped reduce the pressure on the supply of goods.

 

TCL Technology Group Corp said it had restored normal business operations and production on Feb 10. The Shenzhen and Huizhou plants of China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co Ltd or CSOT, a leading TV panel supplier and a subsidiary of TCL, has not been affected directly by the epidemic, the company said.

 

Its factory in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, which produces small and medium-sized display panels for smartphones, maintained normal operations during the Spring Festival holiday.

 

"The production process of semiconductor display devices is special, and the production line needs to run continuously throughout the year," it noted.

 

CSOT has taken a string of measures to guarantee the effectiveness of front-line staff in Wuhan. Apart from giving overtime pay or paid leave, it also provided allowances and subsidies.

 

"We have given top priority to the health and safety of our staff since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus," said Li Dongsheng, TCL founder and chairman.

 

The company said its current raw material inventory can meet its production needs, but the supply of some materials may be delayed for a short period of time due to the delayed resumption of work by suppliers and logistics blockages.

 

It has actively coordinated with logistics channels and negotiated with strategic suppliers to ensure the supply of materials. It also will adjust its production and operation strategies given market fluctuations and in accordance with developments during the epidemic.

 

TCL Industrial Holdings has overseas plants in Mexico, Brazil, Vietnam, Poland and India. Their total annual production capacity reached around 15 million units.

 

It is noteworthy that the internet television industry will see robust growth as radio and television companies have strengthened cooperation with local educational authorities and online education companies to offer students livestreaming courses following the postponement of school semesters.

 

The National Radio and Television Administration has issued guidelines for audiovisual platforms to provide students with online learning resources during the epidemic. This has boosted the sales of large-sized screens.

 

Beijing Gehua CATV Network has cooperated with the Beijing Municipal Education Commission to roll out high-quality teaching resources and courses.

 

AVC said sales of 65-inch and above TVs grew rapidly during the Lunar New Year holiday, with the online retail channel contributing a 20.8 percent share, 7 percentage points higher than the same period of last year.

 

Li Xin, deputy general manager of AVC unit Beijing All View Technology, said people tend to stay at home as a way to curb the spread of the epidemic, and their willingness to switch on TV sets is on the rise.

 

"The demand for online educational services is also seeing explosive growth. Many parents choose large-sized TVs as a tool for children who study at home instead of smartphones and computers that are more harmful to the eyes," Li said, underlining the big screen has been the family's entertainment center.

 

Li is bullish on the prospects of the internet TV sector, estimating the revenue from internet TV hardware sales and value-added services such as advertisements, gaming, education and e-commerce will surpass 20 billion yuan in 2020.

 

In February, TV manufacturers unveiled a string of smart TV products that offer interactive scenarios and connect with various smart home devices.

 

The social TVs developed by Hisense Group provide users with interactive experiences, including games, six-party video chat, cinema sharing, 3D karaoke, AI-powered visual recognition and fitness, and multi-screen communication.

 

Skyworth Group launched an upgraded version of Q80 TV that is empowered by an AIoT ecosystem named Swaiot on Feb 18.

 

It enables users to view, control and manage all their smart home devices from their TVs. Customers can also experience some social interaction functions such as taking photos, making video calls and doing physical exercises through the TV.

 

Students can study online free of charge as its internet TV brand Coocaa provides various learning sources in cooperation with educational institutions such as NetEase Cloud Class and TAL Education Group, Skyworth said.

 

2月27日,在中国东部山东省青岛市,海尔集团的员工在洗衣机生产线上工作。[中国日报记者王佩克摄]


面对激烈的市场竞争,龙头企业加速向自动化生产转型


由于新型冠状病毒的爆发将影响原材料的供应和实体店的销售,中国家电行业在短期内可能会面临压力。


但业内人士表示,影响应该是暂时的,一旦疫情结束,这部分市场将出现大幅反弹。


北京咨询公司All View Cloud发布的一份报告称,该行业将受到推迟恢复生产和原材料短缺的影响。今年上半年,整个家电行业将面临产能暂时不足的局面。


在线零售渠道预计将贡献超过70%的总营收在第一季度,因为人们往往呆在家里隔离自己。AVC的报告称,实体店的顾客数量和销售收入大幅下降,运营成本的压力也在加大。


新兴产品如自动洗手机、消毒蒸汽拖把和洗碗机的需求激增。传统的消毒洗衣机、消毒柜和空气净化器也受到消费者的青睐。”


郭指出,对厨房通风机、热水器和空调等需要工人安装的家用电器的需求大幅下降。他补充说,疫情对家电行业的影响取决于控制疫情的努力。


他预计,由于6月18日的购物狂欢节,家电产品消费将在第二季度末出现“报复性”反弹。预计购物狂欢节将引发大规模购物活动。


他补充道:“这一流行病还将加速零售渠道的革命。”他同时指出,随着线上和线下购物的区别将变得越来越过时,将出现一股新的浪潮,对传统线下渠道进行洗刷。


中国家用电器研究所的统计数据显示,去年中国家电行业的收入达到8032亿元(1155亿美元),同比下降2.2%。网络渠道销售额3108亿元,占市场份额38.7%。


AVC表示,今年第一季度,空调、冰箱和洗衣机的销量将分别同比下降35.2%、28.3%和25.1%。


中国家用电器协会副会长徐东表示,家电行业是实体经济的组成部分。具有较强的抗风险能力,消费者对家电产品有刚性需求。


“近年来,我国家电行业的智能制造取得了长足进步,企业的自动化生产水平相对较高,因此对生产的负面影响是有限的,”徐说。


他补充说,一旦恢复正常生产,企业就有能力弥补以前生产能力的不足。这种流行病将迫使领先企业加速向工业自动化转型,以更好地适应未来的竞争。


他强调,实施防控措施将有效控制疫情。


“在地方政府出台的各种扶持中小企业的优惠政策下,家电企业应该在危机中寻找新的商机,促进市场的复苏。”


中国最大的家电制造商海尔集团表示,截止2月20日,其冰箱、洗衣机、空调、热水器和厨房电器的生产能力已经恢复到正常水平的70%。


海尔表示,2月25日出口订单达到设计产能,90%以上的海外订单可以得到保证。


在其供应链方面,截至2月17日,约85%的供应商已经恢复生产。此外,这些供应商在春节假期(1月24日- 2月2日)之前有一定的库存,这有助于缓解商品供应的压力。


TCL科技集团表示,2月10日已恢复正常的业务运营和生产。中国之星光电科技有限公司(CSOT)表示,该公司深圳和惠州工厂没有直接受到疫情的影响。CSOT是TCL的子公司,也是中国领先的电视面板供应商。

 

该公司位于湖北省会武汉的一家生产中小型智能手机显示屏的工厂在春节期间保持了正常运营。


“半导体显示器件的生产工艺很特殊,生产线需要全年连续运行,”它指出。


CSOT已经采取了一系列措施来保证武汉一线工作人员的工作效率。除了支付加班费或带薪假外,它还提供津贴和补贴。


TCL集团创始人兼董事长李东生表示:“自新型冠状病毒爆发以来,我们一直高度重视员工的健康和安全。”


该公司表示,目前的原材料库存可以满足其生产需求,但由于供应商推迟恢复工作和物流堵塞,一些材料的供应可能会推迟一段时间。


积极协调物流渠道,与战略供应商谈判,确保材料供应。根据疫情发展和市场波动情况,调整生产经营战略。


TCL集团在墨西哥、巴西、越南、波兰和印度设有海外工厂。年生产能力达到1500万台左右。


值得注意的是,随着广播电视公司与地方教育部门和在线教育公司加强合作,为学生提供直播课程,网络电视行业将出现强劲增长。


国家广播电视总局已经发布了视听平台指导方针,以便在疫情期间为学生提供在线学习资源。这推动了大型屏幕的销售。


北京歌华有线电视网与北京市教委合作,推出优质的教学资源和课程。


AVC表示,春节假期期间,65英寸及以上电视的销售增长迅速,在线零售渠道占20.8%的市场份额,比去年同期高出7个百分点。


AVC北京全视科技有限公司副总经理李欣表示,人们倾向于呆在家里,以遏制疫情的蔓延,他们打开电视机的意愿正在上升。


“对在线教育服务的需求也呈现爆炸式增长。许多家长选择大屏幕电视作为孩子在家学习的工具,而不是智能手机和电脑,因为它们对眼睛更有害,”李说,强调大屏幕一直是家庭的娱乐中心。


李彦宏看好网络电视行业的发展前景,预计到2020年,网络电视硬件销售和广告、游戏、教育、电子商务等增值服务的收入将超过200亿元。


今年2月,电视制造商推出了一系列智能电视产品,提供交互式场景,并可与各种智能家居设备连接。


海信集团开发的社交电视为用户提供互动体验,包括游戏、六方视频聊天、电影分享、3D卡拉ok、人工智能视觉识别和健身、多屏交流等。


2月18日,创维集团推出了Q80电视的升级版,该升级版由一个名为Swaiot的AIoT生态系统支持。


它使用户能够从电视上查看、控制和管理所有智能家居设备。顾客还可以通过电视体验一些社交功能,如拍照、视频通话、健身等。


学生可以免费在线学习,因为其互联网电视品牌Coocaa与网易云课堂和易达教育集团等教育机构合作,提供各种学习资源。

 

原作者: Fan Feifei 来自: china daily