AWE Summit was successfully held at AWE2021 on March 23 2021 under the theme of Break through Barriers, Smartize the Future. The summit, previously named China Home Appliance Development Summit, was the highest level summit of the industry as well as a key event of AWE.
Year 2021 is the starting year of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan as well as the beginning year of AWE’s new decade. At this critical moment, China’s home appliance and consumer electronics industry start to deploy future development strategies from a brand new standpoint. With China proposing a dual-circulation development pattern in which domestic and foreign markets reinforce each other with the domestic market as the mainstay, manufacturing industry is changing, with cross-industry integration and platform establishment as a highlight and the shift from a manufacturer to a tech-powered service provider as a direction. Therefore, how to leverage smartization to drive the establishment of new value chains as well as new ecologies and allow the ecology systems empower each other and integrate with each other is a key topic of AWE Summit this year.
At AWE Summit, Zhang Chonghe, Secretary of the Party Committee and President of China Light Industry Council, gave an opening speech. He shared his takeaway from AWE with the audiences, saying that technological development powers home appliance and consumer electronics industry to remodel its development pattern into a future-oriented way. He proposed three suggestions: breaking through industry barriers through technological innovations, leading the future development through smart, digital technologies to provide a better life for consumers, and remodeling the dual-circulation pattern of the industry with strategic thinking.
Li Huagang, Senior Vice President and Chief Experience Officer of Haier Group and General Manager of Haier China, opened his speech with a question: Where is home appliance industry going in the new environment? He pointed out that, the traditional patterns of organization, distribution and marketing have been out of date. Haier is seeking to make a breakthrough, and has made some progress in five aspects to face future challenges, which are the establishments of digital platform, premium brand, scenario brand, ecology brand (which is currently in the planning stage) and brands for overseas markets.
Matthias Ginthum, Member of the Board of Management and Chief Markets Officer of BSH, shared his insights into consumption trends of the industry, particularly the rises of built-in appliances, health-oriented appliances and smart appliances as well as their applications in future smart home. Plus, he believed customized consumption and sustainable and environmental friendly consumption will be future trends.
Wang Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of TCL Industries and TCL Electronics, shared the best practices of TCL in its growing process of transforming, upgrading and taking the lead, and the opportunities and challenges facing the industry as well as their possible solutions. He mentioned that globalization is an inevitable route for China’s home appliance enterprises to grow bigger and stronger, and their advantage in supply chain lays a solid foundation for them to go global. Plus, he said China’s best practices in digitalization, smartization and consumption can provide a reference for enterprises in other countries and regions. But he added that, risks rising from the changes in international trade rules, anti-globalization movements, technical blockades and various compliance rules are increasing, and China’s home appliance enterprises should get more engaged in the international commercial environment.
Xie Fan, Vice President of JD Group and President of Home Appliance Division of JD.com, shared his view on future retailing. He believed that, creating new consumer desires and targeting the demands of particular demographics are very important since the current home appliance market is saturated and barely grows. JD.com has been tapping into new demands and new scenarios to break through industry boundaries and matching consumers accurately with the supply side. Plus, Xie Fan introduced JD.com’s efforts in leveraging its digital and intelligent tools to restructure the supply chain and build a bridge for enterprises and consumers to better communicate. JD.com’s new definition of its offline stores was also introduced in his speech.
Jiang Feng, Executive President of China Household Electrical Appliances Association, summarized the achievements and problems of China’s home appliance industry during China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, and new opportunities and targets of China’s home appliance industry for 14th Five-Year plan. She briefed the achievements made during China’s 13th Five-Year Plan that should be recognized, which included: China’s home appliance industry achieved an innovation-driven development mode with innovation capability reaching world-leading level; the product mix got optimized with new products springing up on the market; brands on the market got effectively upgraded with consumers’ recognition of premium brands significantly going up; home appliance industry expedited its pace of globalization with stepping-up efforts made in global R&D, manufacturing and brand deployment; green development got well implemented with significant contribution made to global greenhouse gas reduction; manufacturing got upgraded technically with manufacturing capability significantly improved; innovative distribution channels and operation modes sprang up with customer-centered supply chain established. Despite the achievements, the industry still face problems such as the imbalanced development of some aspects. Based on the past achievements and problems, she pointed out that, China’s home appliance industry will transfer its priority of development from the pursuit of development speed to the pursuit of innovation-driven development.
Ma Guangyuan, renowned economist and economics PhD, shared his insights on the future of China’s economy and home appliance industry from a historical perspective, and offered his analysis on the opportunities and risks China’s home appliance industry is facing. He believed that, home appliance industry is still one of the fields that have great investment value and deserve broad attention down the road. China’s home appliance industry has the capability of transferring risks into a new round of development.
China’s economy is experiencing a historical change. China’s home appliance industry should capitalize on this opportunity to make a breakthrough and further rise.