Two subsidiaries of Chinese home appliance giant Hisense are forming an equally owned joint venture to leverage the Hisense brand and hike market share in member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations so as to expand their overseas footprint.

Hisense Home Appliances Group, which mainly makes air conditioners and refrigerators, and TV manufacturer Hisense Visual Technology will invest a combined CNY318.3 million (USD44.5 million) to set up Qingdao Haixin Huanya Holding to merge and promote the two firms' businesses in the region, the Qingdao-based pair said in separate announcements yesterday.

Neither Hisense Home Appliances nor Hisense Visual have opened plants yet in Southeast Asia, rather most of their overseas business has been based in Europe and America up to now.

Hisense Home Appliances made some forays into the ASEAN region this year and achieved good results, a company employee told Yicai today, adding that he hoped this momentum will continue next year.

Hisense Home Appliances’ foreign sales grew faster than that in China in the fourth quarter, the employee said.

Hisense Home Appliances reported CNY14.2 billion (USD2 billion) in international sales in the first half, accounting for 33 percent of its total revenue, while Hisense Visual Technology logged CNY13.5 billion, making up 54 percent of its total revenue.

Southeast Asia has become a focus of Chinese white goods makers’ overseas expansion this year. Small household device maker Xinbao Electrical Appliances Holdings set up its first overseas plant in Indonesia this year while geyser manufacturer Vanward New Electric did the same, choosing Thailand.