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Electronics firms up their game

By HE WEI/OUYANG SHIJIA/REN XIAOJIN/SHI JING | China Daily | Updated: 2018-11-10 09:58
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E-sports and gaming market experiencing rapid growth

A Samsung representative introduces functions of its mobile phones to the audience on Friday. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]

The lifting of bans on gaming consoles, the advent of cross-border e-commerce, and the pursuit and embracing of technological advancement are injecting a fresh vigor into China's consumer electronics market, according to industry players and observers.

Consumer electronics are defined as electronic devices that are intended for daily use such as smartphones, tablets, PCs, gaming consoles, TVs and cameras, according to a market research by Technavios.

The size of China's consumer electronics market has almost tripled to 2 trillion yuan ($290 billion) in 2015, from 844 billion yuan in 2009, according to Zhiyan, a Chinese consulting firm.

The easing of bans has allowed foreign enterprises to manufacture consoles in Shanghai's free trade zone. Consequently, companies such as Sony and Microsoft are adopting aggressive marketing strategies to capture this sector during the next couple of years.

US personal computer maker Dell is hoping to cash in on the booming sector after opening its first Alienware flagship store in East China's Suzhou city in late September. The facility also houses an e-stadium dedicated to e-sports and provides ultra-configuration PCs, monitors, headsets and other peripherals as well as a battle stage for e-sports enthusiasts and professional players.

According to Frank Azor, vice-president and general manager of Alienware, the store opening illustrates how Alienware has changed and not only revolves around power, futurism and technology, but also seeks to communicate a simple, fashionable and high-quality lifestyle.

"As a leader in PC gaming, we continue to innovate, improve players' gaming equipment, participate in e-sports activities, and expand Dell and Alienware's brand portfolios to meet the advanced needs of players, fostering a healthy and positive gaming environment," Azor said.

Razer Inc, one of the names best known by gamers, is bringing a virtual reality experience room to the China International Import Expo, pampering gamers who crave an immersive experience with the company's latest gaming laptop Razer Blade 15 Series and its Mamba Elite gaming mice.

Razer says China's e-sports and gaming market is experiencing explosive growth. According to data from Niko Partners, the number of gamers in China will surpass 768 million and the market is projected to generate $42 billion of revenue by 2022.

"At Razer, we are proud to enrich such growth by offering gamers the best-in-class gaming experience, driving the industry evolution to a new era," said Min Liang Tan, co-founder and CEO of Razer.

Meanwhile, the quick uptake of e-commerce portals is expected to have a positive impact on consumers as it gives them a platform to compare the prices of smartphones or tablets. These portals also assist in comparing the specifications of electronic devices and allow consumers to buy and sell their gadgets online.

Electronic devices have enjoyed the most robust growth on cross-border e-tail and the variety has expanded from PCs and smartphones to more personalized offerings like smart speakers and beauty and massage machines, said Zhang Tianbing, Deloitte Asia Pacific Consumer Products and Retail Industry Leader.

Chinese people's growing pursuit of a higher quality life are drawing companies like Nutri Air Solution Inc from Canada to debut its Nutrisleep6 sleep-aid device at the CIIE.

"Through our patented NAI chip technology, which can shorten slow-wave sleep latency and extend slow-wave deep sleep duration, we are confident the product will be a great catch among Chinese who have sleeping troubles and are willing to pay a premium to change the status quo," said Teng Shujie, the company's Asia regional director.

State-of-art solutions

Finnish speaker maker Genelec, which has an online presence via Chinese leading eportal Tmall, is among the eight manufacturing brands being displayed at the Finnish National Pavilion during the CIIE.

"Today more Chinese are pursuing the quality of life through electronic goods. We want to win over the hearts of those who are willing to pay a premium for quality goods, by showcasing our capability in the craftsmanship of manufacturing," said Feng Hanying, director of Genelec China.

Technologies that power consumer electronic items can have enterprising undertakings. As China vies for manufacturing supremacy through constant technological upgrade, the CIIE offers the country a glimpse of state-of-he-art solutions that are adopted by foreign players.

Omron Corp, the company known for its household electronic thermometers and smart blood pressure monitors, flexed a bit of muscle on factory automation solutions during the show. It presented an AI-powered table tennis robot that can make highly accurate trajectory predictions in milliseconds and memorize the characteristics of the player.

The prototype leverages deep learning time-series analysis and synchronized control, technologies that can be widely applied in manufacturing scenarios for better precision.

"Intelligent manufacturing development and innovation of manufacturing are the hot topics around the globe," said Nakamichi Noriaki, general manager of Omron China. "CIIE is the important platform for Omron to demonstrate our unique 'i-Automation' concept, which will contribute to the transformation and upgrade of the industry."

Ouyang Shijia, Ren Xiaojin and Shi Jing contributed to this story.

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