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Japanese company Lixil sees two-digit growth in China

By SHI JING | | Updated: 2023-11-09 17:17
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Tao Jiang, CEO of Lixil Water Technology for China. [Photo provided to]

Despite the overall sluggish performance of the water and housing industry, due to economic slowdown, the Japanese company Lixil managed to see its project volume seeking two-digit growth in China, Tao Jiang, CEO of Lixil Water Technology for China.

Tao disclosed the above information during an exclusive interview with China Daily during the 6th China International Import Expo held in Shanghai from Nov 5 to 10.

The water and housing industry in China is also affected by the lackluster property sector in the country due to the strong positive correlation between them. But Lixil's differentiated management of all its brands has helped it to achieve strong growth in China amid such difficulties, said Tao.

On one hand, Lixil's brand American Standard is positioned to provide cost-effective products among all foreign brands of the kind, meeting everyone's needs for home life. On the other, Grohe and its luxury sub-brand Grohe SPA, which are both owned by Lixil, can meet the needs of the high-end crowd. Such differentiated brand positioning addresses the increasingly polarized consumer needs in China, explained Tao.

Meanwhile, Lixil is making continued efforts to explore new growth potential in China, with renovation in water and housing products for the elderly to become one growth engine, she said.

According to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, there are 280 million people above the age of 60 in China. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Municipal Health Commission said that more than 30 percent of the population in the city is over 60 years old.

As Tao understands, industries targeting the aged group are only at the starting stage in China. The aging process may be faster than expected, and a lot of the senior people will require help. New demand will arise, and water and housing product providers need to address that need.

It is for this reason that Lixil has set up a wellness area at its booth at the CIIE. Its brand Inax showcased the elderly suite, which includes smart and age-friendly products such as smart toilet covers, bidet shower systems, and flip-up safety handrails.

Tao further explained that people need a little bit of happiness in their lives, especially after the pandemic and during the time of economic downturn. Water and housing products can assume that role, she said.

Amid China's continuous expansion of its market size and the optimization of the business environment, Lixil has also witnessed the transformation of China's home consumption market from "owning apartments" to "improving living conditions". Therefore, the company needs to upgrade in terms of business model, digital transformation, and product innovation, said Tao.

It is the fourth year in a row for Lixil to take part in the CIIE. The company has also signed up for next year's exhibition.

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