China Household Electrical Appliance Development Summit 2017 is convened in Shanghai on March 9, during AWE 2017. Organized by China Household Electrical Appliances Association and supported by CCTV, this summit brings together top leaders of the industry, including Liang Haishan, Vice Chairman of the board and Executive President of Haier Group, Karsten Ottenberg, Chairman of the board and Chief Executive of BSH Home Appliances Group, Yan Xiaobing, Vice President of JD.COM and President of the Home Appliance Division of JD.COM, Mao Zhongqun, Chairman of the board and President of Ningbo Fotile Kitchenware Co. Ltd., Shao Yang, Chief Strategy Officer of Huawei Device Co., Ltd., etc. Industry representatives, renowned scholars and media attend this meeting to share their views on industry development, consumption trends and smart life direction.
Smart life coming into being
Liang Haishan, Vice Chairman of the board and Executive President of Haier Group, made a keynote speech titled “an integrity based eco system, a shared platform”. Liang says that, Haier, as a traditional leader in domestic home appliances, is undergoing a transformation through its smart home platform in the era of Internet of Things. He says, enterprises used to sell functional products, but now they sell products that establish scenarios for consumers. And these scenarios, equipped with strong technologies, must be connected to resources and services from ecosystems to offer premium user experience.
Karsten Ottenberg, Chairman of the board and Chief Executive of BSH Home Appliances Group, shares his view about what makes a true smart home. He reveals that, BSH cares about the benefits consumers gain from its smart home platform. Built upon the idea of a closed yet open system, BSH’s Home Connect platform enables home appliances of different brands to interconnect in a safe environment. According to Ottenberg, BSH has involved its full lines in Chinese market into its Home Connect system in 2016. Home Connect has been placed on market in 24 countries, not only as a way of selling products, but also as a database that allows BSH to have a better understanding of consumers’ needs and therefore offer best services. In 2017, 90% of China’s Home Connect enabled products will be manufactured within China.
According to Mao Zhongqun, Chairman of the board and President of Ningbo Fotile Kitchenware Co. Ltd., Fotile developed its IoT system that is capable of managing kitchen network, tracking and controlling kitchen appliances and monitoring the smoke, moves, air and water in the kitchen. And this system is connected to other areas of a house, for example the living room and the dining room, to allow linkage reaction.
The idea of “new retail” also creates heated discussion. Home appliance players have been exploring new operation modes in recent years through integrating online and in store resources to create a diversified distribution system. Yan Xiaobing, Vice President of JD.COM and President of the Home Appliance Division of JD.COM, points out that, cost, efficiency and user experience are what a retailer must consider no matter the operation mode is “old” or “new”. And out of them, user experience matters most. When it comes down to it, big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence, all these hot technologies, are all approaches to elevate user experience.
Shao Yang, Chief Strategy Officer of Huawei Device Co., Ltd., introduces what Huawei provides for a smart home. He says, “Huawei’s HiLink, initiated in Dec 2015, forged its alliance in 2016. With combined services, it connects terminal users through mobile phones and devices through routers. HiLink is an organic integration of users, devices, services and distributors.”
China’s first group standard on home appliance interconnectivity unveiled
CHEAA, alongside Haier, Midea, BSH, TCL, Changhong, Hisense and Skyworth, established China’s first group standard on home appliance interconnectivity to allow for interconnection and interoperability among brands. This standard was unveiled at China Household Electrical Appliance Development Summit 2017 during AWE 2017.
According to Jiang Feng, President of CHEAA, China’s smart appliance sector is fast-evolving with an increased variety of products and continuous updates starting from 2014. The expansion of the Internet and Internet of Things speeds up this process. However, services from different brands are isolated and fragmented, which not only stands in consumers’ way of getting better services, but also hinders the development of smart home appliances.
To address this issue, CHEAA initiated a work group with Haier, Midea, BSH, TCL, Changhong, Hisense and Skyworth as group members in 2015 and reached a consensus in 2016: interconnectivity can be achieved through a cloud-to-cloud approach based on individual cloud platforms of enterprises. Work group members collectively developed a set of standards concerning user access, device access, service interface, device functionality model, information safety, etc. Under a unified conversion protocol, enterprises open interfaces of their cloud platforms to allow interconnectivity. Jiang Feng stressed that CHEAA will continue to work on standards of smart home appliances to include more brands, and gradually open standards to third parties. With an open mind and a win-win approach, CHEAA is committed to address pain points of consumers and bottlenecks of the industry, and advance the interconnectivity of smart appliances.