Hisense technology cracks French market

By Zhang Linwan| (China Daily)| Updated : 2024-05-07

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When the Chinese home appliance giant Hisense first entered France in 2014, there were no products, no customers and no market share, a senior executive recalled.

But now the company records an increasing market share in France, with a diversified product portfolio covering televisions, laser TVs, refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioning.

"It was really an adventure, a success story," said Remy Journe, deputy general manager of Hisense France, who witnessed the company's leapfrog growth in France during the past 10 years.

"When you start from scratch, especially in a mature market such as the French market, you need a very strong advantage. If not, you have no chance to succeed," Journe said.

"So from the beginning, we set our sights on high-end products instead of cheaper ones. We aim to offer consumers top products featuring excellent designs and latest technologies despite high prices."

As a pacesetter in laser display technologies, Hisense chose laser TVs with large screens, high image quality and a better user experience as its key product in France.

Laser TVs are the best brand ambassador of Hisense, said Liu Tao, general manager of Hisense France. By March 2024, the company had filed 2,552 patent applications in the laser display field. Of them, 1,183 have been approved, including 88 issued by foreign intellectual property offices.

Its flagship product, the Hisense L9H Laser TV, features a 100 to 120-inch screen with low blue light, as well as 4K Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, allowing users to enjoy a cinema-like experience in the comfort of their home.

In terms of energy consumption, Hisense laser TVs use 50 percent less power in comparison with LCD TVs (liquid crystal display televisions) of same size. Also, more than 90 percent of its components are recyclable, aligning with the preference of French consumers for eco-friendly and high-tech products.

The high-end strategy was also applied to refrigeration products.

Its side-by-side refrigerators are equipped with a deodorizing filter, electronic touch controls, and advanced "total no frost technology", which can circulate cold air internally, thus preventing the formation of ice crystals and relieving users from manual defrosting.

Up to now, Hisense's fridge products have branched out into all major home appliance channels in France including Fnac Darty and Boulanger.

Data from January showed that it ranked fourth among home appliance brands in France in terms of the television market share. It secured third place among refrigerators, only behind Samsung and LG.

Journe said the year 2016 marked a milestone for Hisense in France and in its global operations. In that year, Hisense, as the first Chinese sponsor in history, appeared in the Union of European Football Associations Euro competition held in France.

"Football is the most popular sport worldwide, so we intended to connect with more consumers through it and improve our brand visibility," Journe said.

"Meanwhile, it delivers values such as teamwork and perseverance to audiences worldwide. That's also what Hisense believes in."

Following that, Hisense signed strategic partnerships with many top sports events, including the UEFA 2021 and the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

This summer, it will participate in the UEFA 2024 as one of the official partners, providing global fans with a great viewing experience through its cutting-edge display technologies.

"During the past 10 years, we moved from an unknown brand to a well-known one in France. It's good but it's not enough. We will continue our efforts for further growth," he said.

In addition, Hisense is planning to increase its market share across all product categories in France, with the goal of ascending to the top three in the next three years, according to Journe.

"We will also improve the in-store customer experience, which is key to our brand reputation and sales," Journe said.