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Midea banks on energy innovation for edge in overseas home appliance sector

By QIU QUANLIN in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2023-09-07 09:17
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Visitors walk past Midea Group's booth during a home appliance expo in Berlin on Friday. [PHOTO/XINHUA]

Building a global research and development network would help Midea Group, a leading Chinese home appliance manufacturer, better promote the development of innovative energy-saving solutions with a user-centric approach in the overseas market, according to the company's technical chief for its air conditioning business.

"By integrating local resources, we have strengthened technical research and launched a series of innovative products and solutions for air conditioning in the overseas market," said Li Jinbo, director of Midea's innovation research institute for household air conditioners.

In its latest development, the company launched a brand new R290 green refrigerant series during the IFA Berlin 2023 Consumer Tech Fair, a prestigious industry exhibition that was held Sept 1-5 in Berlin.

As part of the R290 series, the company's EffiClima split unit has passed the highest level of the European new energy efficiency certification, using environmentally friendly refrigerant and achieving a carbon reduction of 447 kilograms.

Definition of the entire R290 series' functions, risk assessment and market compliance were supported by the company's German research team, after over 10 years of research of the product's core technology in Shunde, Guangdong province, where Midea is headquartered, Li said.

Midea's German research and development center, which was put into operation in Stuttgart in 2019, has engaged in technical cooperation with the company's household air conditioning and other business units in terms of European energy efficiency labeling, product energy-saving and environmental protection design.

"Working closely with our international technological research teams would greatly promote the development of more green and efficient products that will meet the local market's needs," said Li.

During IFA Berlin 2023, the company's groundbreaking product, the PortaSplit, won the Room Comfort Technology Innovation Gold Award presented by IDG, Europe Digital Group and Asia Digital Group, showing its ongoing pursuit of new technologies and improvements in user-centric solutions.

PortaSplit, a smart air conditioner that combines cutting-edge cooling technology with unprecedented flexibility, is set to make its market debut in 2024. Unlike conventional AC units, PortaSplit seamlessly merges the convenience of a portable AC with the superior cooling capacity and efficiency of a split AC.

At the tech fair, Midea also showcased 16 green and energy-saving dishwasher models, which are certified by TUV Rheinland, a leading global testing and certification service provider.

TUV Rheinland's certification for Midea's dishwasher encompasses a comprehensive evaluation across six dimensions — corporate social responsibility, environment management, climate resilience, recycled material content, hazardous substances and product life span.

"This rigorous assessment ensures that our products adhere to the high standards of environmental responsibility and performance," said Meteor Liu, general manager of Midea KWHA Oversea Sales Company.

Citing the company's G-X platform, which boasts an impressive A-20 percent energy savings rating, Liu said Midea would ensure every aspect of its dishwashers' life cycle, from design and manufacturing to packaging, transportation and recycling, operate in accordance with eco-friendly principles.

Midea's laundry division also won a number of technical certifications at the fair from VDE, a professional certification institute, for its energy-efficient, anti-bacterial and low-temperature drying technologies.

Founded in 1920, VDE is directly involved in the development of German national standards and is one of Europe's most experienced and globally recognized safety testing and certification organizations for electrical and electronic appliances and their components.

Midea's growing presence in energy-saving technologies and products in the overseas market has resulted in increased business revenues, the company said in its half-year financial report in early August.

The company's overseas revenue accounted for 40.88 percent of its total in the first half, with its gross profit margin of overseas business increasing by 3.3 percent.

Midea's total operating revenue reached 197.8 billion yuan ($27.07 billion) in the first half, with its innovative businesses growing rapidly.

In addition to optimizing its R&D teams in overseas markets, Midea will continue to promote the construction of production bases in Brazil and Mexico.

The company's new washing machine production lines in Egypt and household air conditioning factories in Thailand have already been put into operation, helping further enhance its competitiveness in overseas markets.

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