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Haier wins greater global recognition

Updated: 2009-06-01 08:27
By Bao Wanxian (China Daily)

Haier wins greater global recognition

Four of Chinese firm Haier Group's refrigerator-related technologies received worldwide recognition early last month by being written into international refrigerator industry standards by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

The four technologies help to save energy, prevent electric shock, ensure greener performance and protect refrigerators during transportation.

"This is the first time a domestic refrigerator manufacturer has won international recognition in this way," said Xu Dongsheng, an expert from the China Household Electrical Appliances Association (CHEAA).

These four newly approved standards are a clear indication of domestic manufacturers' fast-paced technological innovation, Xu said.

"In the past, Chinese products made headway in the international market due to their low price," added Xu, noting that Haier's global recognition would encourage other Chinese manufacturers to devote more efforts to innovation.

According to Haier Group, this worldwide recognition is due to the company's long-term attention to world-class technological innovation and its work to protect intellectual property rights (IPR).

So far, Haier has participated in the drawing up of 19 international refrigerator-related standards and 192 domestic standards.

Statistics from the State Intellectual Property Office showed that by the end of 2008, the office accepted 8,735 patent and 2,261 invention patent applications from Haier Group. Only last year, the company applied for a total 912 patents and 525 invention patents from the State Intellectual Property Office.

Moreover, "Haier is seen as the leader among China's brands going overseas," Xu said, adding that the company conducts business in more than 180 countries across the globe.

"The international market is the best classroom for us to learn the basic rules of doing business overseas," said Zhang Ruimin, chairman of Haier Group.

According to Zhang, after doing business in the international market for several years, "we have considered and taken action as globalization has produced new challenges in terms of product quality, environmentally friendly performance and intellectual property rights".

"Improved IPR protection supports our sustainable development in overseas markets, and it has already resulted in Haier's fast increasing sales revenue," according to a manager from Haier Group, surnamed Wang.

According to a recent report from Euromonitor International, Haier displaced US rival Whirlpool in 2008 as the world's top refrigerator maker in terms of sales with a 6.3 percent of global market share.

Last year, Haier sold a total 12 million refrigerators worldwide, up 20 percent year-on-year, according to the company.

(China Daily 06/01/2009 page9)

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