Source: CHEAA

China’s economy was in a period that featured post-pandemic recovery and proactive policy support in 2023 following China’s smooth transition of Covid-19 response in a relatively short time and its introduction of economic stabilization policies. In the first half of 2023, the traveling consumption and some service-related consumption resumed fast among Chinese residents but that of durable consumer goods including home appliances lagged behind slightly though on the path of recovery. As to overseas market, the inflation in the Europe and the America continued to decline year-on-year, which took some pressure off industry players that came from the inflation of overseas markets and destocking in overseas markets. In the second half of the year,exports began to recover noticeably, leading to positive growth for the entire year.

Revenue and profit

Despite pressures from slowing global economy and weak domestic consumer spending, China’s home appliance industry, with strong resilience, made a steady growth in 2023. According to National Bureau of Statistics, revenue of home appliance enterprises above designated size stood at 1.84 trillion Yuan in 2023, up 7% YoY, with profits reaching 156.4 billion Yuan, an increase of 12.2% YoY.

Performance reports of listed home appliance companies show that most industry leaders made a growth in 2023. Haier Smart Home posted a revenue of 261.428 billion yuan, an increase of 7.33% YoY, profit of 16.921 billion yuan, a 15.8% YoY increase and net profit attributable to shareholders 16.597 billion yuan, a 12.81% YoY increase. Midea Group posted revenue of 373.71 billion yuan, an 8.1% YoY increase, and net profit attributable to shareholders was 33.72 billion yuan, a 14.1% YoY increase. Gree Electric Appliances expects to achieve a total revenue of 205-210 billion yuan in 2023, an increase of 7.8-10.4% YoY, with a net profit attributable to shareholders of 27-29.3 billion yuan, an increase of 10.2-19.6% YoY. Hisense Group’s revenue exceeded 200 billion yuan in 2023, with Hisense Home Appliances’ net profit attributable to shareholders increasing by 97.7% YoY.

Performances by category

China’s home appliance industry was bouncing back from Covid-19 in 2023 amid the overall economic recovery of China, which coupled with the low base of outputs during the pandemic led to a significant increase in the outputs of major home appliances. Statistics from show that, the output of air conditioners stood at 169 million units in 2023, up 11.1% YoY, refrigerators 87.38 million units, up 16.3% YoY, and washing machines 79.958 million units, up 16.4% YoY. Compared with 2021, the output of air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines increased by 8.6%, 1.5% and 12.8% respectively.

In 2023, portable appliances and kitchen appliances including microwave ovens, electric cookers, vacuum cleaners, gas ranges, range hoods and cool/hot water dispensers experienced varying degrees of growth, of which cold/hot water dispensers stood out with the highest growth.

Domestic retail market

The domestic retail market of home appliances was recovering in 2023. Statistics from All View Cloud show that, the domestic retail sales of home appliances (with 3C products excluded) reached 849.8 billion yuan in 2023, up 3.6% YoY.

The white goods market was picking up in overall scale. According to All View Cloud, the retail sales volume of white goods reached 147 million units, up 2.7% YoY, and retail sales value 449.6 billion yuan, up 6.4% YoY, with retail sales of air conditioners up 6.5% in volume and 7.5% in value, refrigerators up 1.5% in volume and 7% in value, freezers down 12.3% in volume and 11.6% in value, and washing machines up 3.4% in volume and 5.8% in value.

The kitchen appliance market made an overall growth in both retail sales value and volume in 2023 with retail sales of range hoods up 2.7% in volume and 6.5% in value, gas ranges down 1.9% in volume and up 3.5% in value, electric water heaters down 3.5% in volume and up 4% in value, and gas water heaters up 5.9% in volume and 10.4% in value.

Portable appliance market showed an up in the growth of retail sales volume but a down in value. According to All View Cloud, omni-channel retail sales volume of portable appliances stood at 260 million units, down 0.9% YoY, with retail sales value at 51 billion yuan, down 9.6% YoY.

As to emerging categories, dishwasher sector and electric dryer sector outperformed others. According to All View Cloud, dishwasher sector saw a 2.3% rise in retail sales volume and 9.6% in retail sales value in 2023. For dryers, the growth rates were 16.4% and 23.8% respectively. As a comparison, integrated stove sector saw a 4.2% fall in retail sales volume and a 4% fall in retail sales value while air fryer sector dived by 37.8% and 46% respectively in retail sales volume and value.


China’s home appliance exports withstood pressure from factors such as destocking cycles, weakening price effects, production capacity shifting abroad and geopolitical tensions, showing strong resilience. Entering the second half of 2023, the export of home appliances gradually picked up following the rise of overseas demands and the decline of inventory in overseas market. Statistics from General Administration of Customs show that, the export value of China’s home appliance industry stood at 98.58 billion USD, up 1.36% YoY.

By category, many categories of large appliances saw improved performances with a growth made in export volume, particularly for washing machines and refrigerators. But the export of large-capacity refrigerators hadn’t stepped out of the downwardness starting from 2022. Freezer sector remained the worst sector by export performance among all categories but have started to shift from a decrease in both volume and value to an increase in volume and a decrease in value. Air conditioner sector made an export growth in both volume and value. Washing machine sector kept its strong growing momentum thanks to a surge of demand for small-capacity front loaders in Russian market.

As to portable appliances, export of food processors and electric ovens, roasters, grills & bakeware started to pick up since Q2, the export volume of vacuum cleaners and electric fans recovered fast, but the export value remained sluggish. Electric hair dryers slowed down in export growth. Coffee maker sector was relatively behind among all portable appliances but was improving in export volume in H2.

Personal care products posted outstanding performance since March with a leading export value growth among all home appliance categories. The export of high-speed hair dryers deserves constant attention. The export of electric irons kept a strong growth momentum starting March.

The export of components and parts was sluggish starting Q4 2022.

China’s home appliance exports continued to differentiate among various countries. The accumulative export of home appliances to the US, Australia and Canada narrowed its decline in export value, to the EU and the UK kept improving, to Japan remained weak, while to the BRICS, the ASEAN, west Asia and north Africa continued to improve.

Forecast for 2024

Entering 2024, the recovery of the home appliance industry is expected to continue, aided by relaxed real estate policies and the introduction of more and more economic stabilization policies. However, it’s worth noting that residents still face big employment pressure, signs of a slowdown in disposable income growth are apparent, and consumer confidence remains weak, indicating a relatively weak domestic consumption recovery for the home appliance industry in 2024. Plus, raw material prices have remained stable since a significant downturn in the second quarter of 2022, leading to narrowed profit margins from competitive raw material prices.

In the first quarter of 2024, the export of home appliances from China is expected to see a rise, considering the stock replenishment of overseas markets following the end of their destocking and the rapid development of cross-border e-commerce platforms such as TEMU. However, the U.S. consumer market has shown signs of weakening under a long-term high-interest rate in 2024. While cross-border e-commerce brings new orders, the profit per order is declining due to intense competition. Beyond that, with expectations of the Fed’s interest rate cut in 2024, a slight appreciation of the RMB against the U.S. dollar may occur, which would make an impact on export-oriented enterprises.

There’s still a vast global market there for the Chinese home appliance industry despite the challenges ahead. It requires strengthened capabilities of Chinese home appliance enterprises including technological innovation, global operation and risk prevention and control.