The Appliance & Electronics Word Expo 2019, or the AWE 2019, opened at the Shanghai New International Expo Center (SNIEC) on Mar. 14 as a historic event for the household appliance & consumer electronics industry. AWE displayed a full range of the latest developments in household appliances, consumer electronics, smart home, IoT, AI, 5G, intelligent transportation system (ITS) and smart entertainment, among others. The AWE 2019 covered an unprecedented area of 130,000 m2, once more establishing itself as the largest Asian exhibition brands and one of the three top global brands of its kind.
The AWE 2019 created many records: unprecedented space, distinguished exhibitors, state-of-the-art technological products and solutions, large flows of visitors and universal coverage. It not only visualized the scenes of an imaginative yet materializing smart life, but impacted significantly on people’s lifestyle and the industry’s business ecology. As a Chinese commercial event with a global reach, the present AWE has made itself known as one of the top global exhibitions concerning household appliances and consumer electronics.
Convergence of Global Brands at an Unprecedented Cross-industry Expo
① Cross-industry Supply Chains
The AWE rented a total of ten pavilions, including W1-W5 and N1-N5, to display an extended series of appliance solutions, including white goods, smart TV, digital 3C, kitchen & bathroom, environment & health, beauty & health (personal care), home cleaning, hygiene, smart home, smart retailing, smart manufacturing, smart supply chain, smart transporation, smart medical care, and smart city. Thanks to the solutions, the AWE saw its impact grew in both depth and width.
② A Full Array of Elite Companies
The AWE brought together nearly 900 leading global appliance & consumer electronics makers, IT/internet firms and core component suppliers. These included Chinese appliance giants and leading specialty companies (Haier, Midea, Hisense, TCL, Skyworth, Konka, Changhong, Gree, Aux, Robam and Fotile), global premiere appliance & consumer electronics brands (Bosch, Siemens, AEG, Panasonic, Sony, Sharp, Samsung, LG, A. O. Smith and Philips), IT/internet giants (Huawei, JD.com and Qihoo 360), supply chain supporters (GMCC & Welling, Jiaxipera, Embraco, Highly and Donper), and IoT and AI start-up companies (XLINK, Unisound, Broadlink and Tuya). All these companies are not new to the AWE.
More than that, a host of new brands appeared at the AWE 2019, including display giant LG Display, renowned gas stove manufacturer Rinnai, German high-end cabinet manufacturer Nobilia, appliance manufacturer Gorenje (newly acquired by Hisense), premium brand COLMO owned by Midea Group and AI leader iFLYTEK.
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Die Moderne Küche (AMK), new to the AWE, dedicated along with its members a nearly 2,000 m2 space to a range of modern German kitchen technologies and solutions, e.g. integrated kitchen and module kitchen.
On the occasion were a full range of global TV brands, such as the best-known five Chinese brands (Hisense, Skyworth, TCL, Changhong and Konka) and top foreign brands, including Samsung, Sony, Sharp, LG, and Panasonic. For the first time, the 3S TV brands (Samsung, Sony and Sharp) met at the AWE, contributing to the most eye-catching array of global TV brands.
③ Top International Exhibits
The trend-setting exhibits symbolized the top technical criteria for the global appliance & consumer electronics industry. Pleasing exterior and exquisite industrial design interpreted what underlay the craftsman’s spirit: pursuit of perfection. Smart user experience and people-oriented functional design were based on smart technology, material science, sensing technology, mechanics and thermodynamics as well as continuous innovations and iterative upgrades in products, applications and technologies. Energy efficiency, high performance and environmental green materials symbolized how an entire supply chain achieved perfection through ingenious material science and manufacturing techniques.
④ Record-high Visitor Number
The AWE registered close to 340,000 visits in total, a record-high number composed of unprecedented corporate executives, professional visitors, consumers and overseas visitors. While corporate executives alone accounted for nearly 30% and overseas visitors climbed to 6%, professional visitors and consumers sprang out sharply. The AWE 2019 achieved significant breakthroughs in the dimensions of both number and quality.
Forerunner in Technology, Industrial Revolution and Business Ecology Restructuring
① AIoT Quickly Materialized in an AI Age
As a world-leading platform of appliance & consumer electronics innovations, the AWE are highly valued not just for state-of-the-art technology backing up global developments, but also for an industrial revolution driven by technological trends and consumer lifestyle which were the greatest appeal specific of the event. Exhibitors attending the AWE interpreted its theme, “Falling in love with AI · Smart Life”, in a perfect form.
The Haier pavilion put on display its latest breakthroughs in seven areas, including security, laundry, and indoor air cleaning, among others. Take laundry for example. Haier Laundry IoT offered a life-cycle management platform to provide users with an integrated smart solution to laundry, care, storage, drying and buying. Haier XCOOK, as a health counsel and part of Haier Food IoT, integrated 200+ resource providers falling under seven categories, e.g. food, entertainment, farms and dietitians, so that an all-in-one solution covering buying, storage, cooking, hygiene and health management could address all users’ diverse needs. Take Midea BUGU as an example. It’s a new internet brand intended to make a bundle of kitchenware, sitting room fitments, bathroom ware, indoor air cleaning and water purification which combine to serve multifarious user needs in life. Take Hisense for example. Its intelligent speech interaction system, by seamless connection to household appliances and fitments, integrated AI with sensing technology in order for users to speech-control conditioners, fridges, washing machines and TV sets as well as smart home solutions, like curtains, door locks and kitchen appliances.
TCL exhibited its full AI technologies and AI & IoT-centered full AI-supported product mixes which covered many categories, e.g. TV sets, conditioners, fridges, washing machines, security solutions, fitness and digital devices. The new releases further contributed to a diversity of full AI-based smart solutions to daily life. As for Changhong, in-depth combination of AI with IoT enabled interaction among various smart solutions as well as content interaction. Panasonic came up with an IoT ecosphere solution by fitting individual appliances into living space, thereby communicating to users the smart home concept from the perspectives of architecture, decor, appliances and services.
② Introduction of Cloud Interconnection Cloud (CIC) to Create a Safe, Boundless Smart Life
Actually, China has already risen as a leader regarding innovative smart household appliances. It’s the first country to have materialized cross-branding interconnection for different smart household appliances. At the AWE 2019, the directorate of the China Household Electrical Appliances Association (CHEAA) released cross-branding CIC solutions in order to simulate three main components of a smart life, i.e. smart sitting room, smart kitchen and smart bedroom, so that visitors experienced in person a smart life full of cross-branding CIC solutions.
Furthermore, China takes the lead globally concerning smart appliance industry standards. During the AWE 2019, the CHEAA directorate released its official standard (Part II - Smart Appliance Cross-branding CIC Standard (T/CHEAA 0001.2—2019)) as a uniform information security code intended to protect the interests of the relevant companies, contain information sharing-related risks, and smooth the way for the smart appliance cross-branding CIC strategy. This is also the world’s first information security standard regarding on smart appliance CIC.
③ Appliance & Consumer Electronics Upgrades Boosted by 8K and 5G
8K and 5G stood out as two of the hottest topics of the AWE. 2019 is generally considered as the first year of 8K, a leading technology that serves not only to boost new developments in consumer electronics, but also to improve user audiovisual entertainment experience to an unprecedented new high. At AWE 2019, 8K sprang up everywhere; all TV manufacturers at the AWE launched and displayed a host of 8K TV products at the most prominent positions.
As for 5G, the most popular technology in 2019, high-tech crocodiles, including Samsung and Huawei, sported their 5G network-based products and solutions to let people see how this telecommunications technology was changing their life while creating new opportunities for the appliance & consumer electronics sector.
Numerous Concurrent Activities and Company Product Releases
A host of high profile forums and conventions took place during the AWE 2019, let alone company product releases, brand strategy releases and interactive consumer experience activities totaling over one hundred which made an integral part of the AWE business ecology.
① Packed Top Forums
During the AWE 2019, a range of concurrent activities brought together top executives and premiere leaders at home and abroad. Multifarious forums and events concentrated attendees’ interest in industry trends and inspired their insights into economic dynamism. They were: The 9th China Household Appliance Summit (hosted by CHEAA & AWE), The AWE 2019 International Press Day (hosted by AWE), The News Conference on the Release of Cross-branding CIC Initiative & Information Security Standards (hosted by CHEAA), The China Environmental & Health Household Appliances Summit 2019 (hosted by AWE and Direct Drinking Water Times under the guidance of CHEAA), The GTIC Global AI Chip Innovation Summit 2019 (hosted by AWE, Zhidongxi, and Jiguo), The China Household Appliance Supply Chain Convention 2019 (hosted by the China Appliance magazine under the guidance of CHEAA), The China Home Decor & Modern Kitchenware Summit 2019 (hosted by the CHEAA, China Real Estate Association and AMK), AWE Appliance Prize Awarding Ceremony (hosted by AWE under the guidance of CHEAA).
② Company Product and Technology Releases
Beginning from Mar. 12, a dozen of companies, including Haier, Midea, Panasonic, Samsung, TCL, Macro, Fotile, Lexy and Tineco, became the first to enliven the AWE in popularity with a number of new product and brand strategy releases. Besides, a few dozen companies, including Bosch, Siemens, LGD, Hisense, Nobilia, Robam, Sacon, Rinnai, Joyoung and Philips, chose to release new products and strategies during the AWE, resulting in the introduction of numerous new concepts, products and technologies.
③ The 1st Kitchen Appliances & Gourmet Festival Began with a “Taste Bud” Tour
Mar. 16 saw the official opening of the 1st AWE Kitchen Appliances & Gourmet Festival sponsored by CHEAA with a number of exhibitors. It was a moment when kitchen technology, modern aesthetics, fine food and eye-catching surprises met to present to the public the food revolution under way in the Chinese kitchenware industry. The festival reached thousands of visitors from all walks of life as well as top-ranking chefs, famous amateurs and internet gurus, making a broad network of big shots and grassroots gourmets. It’s safe to say that the festival was more than a feast party, but also an AWE platform intended to impress customers with the appeal of modern kitchenware. Visitors and viewers were expected to enjoy the delicacies while experiencing the cooking appliances’ performance and the smart life technology introduced to epicureans.
④ The AWE & JD-sponsored Global Quality Household Appliances Festival
The Global Quality Household Appliances Festival launched by the AWE with e-commerce giant JD opened on Mar. 11. Under the unprecedented support of JD, consumers only needed to log into the website or download a JD app to get four surprises prepared by the AWE and JD: AWE choice goods, AWE executive recommendations, AWE themed pavilion and AWE beauty & health (personal care). Besides, exhibitors synced the images of the AWE exhibits onto JD’s website, with each page bearing unique AWE logos that would signify AWE quality recognition thereafter. There were also exhibitors who launched aggressive promotions in order for buyers to get more product information or directly place an order on JD’s website with a mere scan of the QR codes. This strategy meant an all-new buying experience for consumers.
Unprecedentedly Extensive International Coverage
The AWE had unprecedentedly got extensive global coverage. As the host and organizer, the AWE received hundreds of reporters from 180 media organizations, including 15 TV stations, 40 print media publications, one radio station, and 120+ web media or self-media organizations. 500+ reporters registered with the AWE press office, while hundreds of authoritative national, local and industry media organizations dedicated a lot of time to covering the event from multiple perspectives and at close intervals.
① Intensive CCTV Coverage
Apart from dispatching multiple reporter teams to cover the AWE 2019 on the scene in depth, CCTV dedicated three weeks to reporting intensively on the event through such core programs as CCTV News, Dialogue, In-depth Finance & Economics, Consumer Advocate, The First Time, China Business News, Live News and Midnight News.
② Combination of Local TV Coverage with New Media Coverage
Apart from CCTV News, multiple local TV stations, including SMG, Dragon TV, BTV, CBN, GDTV, CETV and JSTV and, launched a series of programs that covered the AWE repetitively.
③ Unprecedented International Media Coverage
International media groups began covering the AWE as early as four months ago. During the event, global news agencies, including Reuters, Forbes, EFE, Nikkei and New York Times dispatched reporters to cover what the Chinese appliances & consumer electronics had achieved in innovative smart home, AI and IoT solutions. WBS, one of the most famous economic news programs of TV Tokyo, sent a special journalist team to investigate the latest trends and developments in the Chinese appliance & consumer electronics industry.
④ Quality Online Media Coverage
In addition to Chinese and foreign TV stations and print media, a variety of online media organizations covered the AWE from beginning to end and recommended it to viewers. For example, more than 200 million fans logged into Sina Microblog to comment on the AWE and Toutiao pushed the most important news alerts in order to give full publicity to the event.
The AWE 2019 is already over, yet the curtain of the AI-based smart life is just rising for global consumers to experience. Meanwhile, the wave of innovative smart technologies concerning appliances & consumer electronics is just surfacing with one tip of the iceberg.
2019 is an all-new starting point for the AWE, for it’ll usher in an all-new era of development. We expect the next AWE to further expand to involve 13 pavilions as planned, with a total 150,000+ m2 area and a greater diversity of product categories. The AWE 2020 is bound to demonstrate the latest innovations in the global appliances & consumer electronics industry that will be achieved as part of a high-quality smart life. We expect more surprises during the AWE 2020.
AWE is willing to shake hands with global partners in providing new motive power for the household appliance industry in an effort to usher in a happier and brighter future.