October 14-17, 2024 Hall 1 & 2, PWTC Expo, Guangzhou, China


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Exploring China’s Characteristic Home Appliance Industry Belts


China's home appliance industry was developed in the late 1970s through the introduction of production lines from abroad. After more than 30 years of rapid development, especially in the past two decades, it has occupied a prominent position among global peers. According to data from the General Administration of Customs, China's total exports of home appliances amounted to 3,387,168,000 units from January to December 2023, representing a year-on-year increase of 9.6%. In particular, the total exports of home appliances in November 2023 amounted to 331,816,000 units, up by 24% compared to the previous year. The data shows that the overall situation of China's home appliance exports in 2023 is favorable, driven by the ongoing recovery of domestic economy.


China's home appliance production demonstrates a trend towards diversification, the incorporation of smart technology, and environmental friendliness. The industry is notably concentrated, with industry belts emerging mainly in Guangdong, eastern coastal provinces including Zhejiang, Shandong, Anhui, Jiangsu, and Fujian, and provinces along the Yangtze River, such as Hubei and Hunan. In our forthcoming discussions, we will explore the characteristics of each industrial belt to facilitate a clearer understanding of the current situation and future development trends in China's home appliance industry.


Guangdong Province: The Largest and Most Comprehensive Home Appliance Industry Chain in China


As a major province of China's home appliance manufacturing and export, Guangdong has the world's largest and most comprehensive home appliance industry chain. This extensive network is centered around cities such as Shenzhen, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhuhai, Zhongshan, Huizhou, and Zhanjiang. The region has formed a smart home appliance industry cluster, focusing on major products like TVs, air conditioners, refrigerators, washing machines, small home appliances, and kitchen appliances. In 2022, Guangdong's home appliance output value exceeded RMB 1.6 trillion, accounting for over 40% of the national share, with profits amounting to over RMB 110 billion, and production scales of air conditioners, kitchen appliances, and lamps and lighting appliances ranking No.1 in the country. By 2025, the annual operating income of the province's smart home appliance industry is expected to exceed RMB 1.9 trillion, with an industrial added value of more than RMB 370 billion.


Shunde District in Foshan has been consecutively recognized for five years as the “Hub of Chinese Home Appliances", with Beijiao Town serving as its central cluster, and Midea, Hisense, and Glanz are its representative enterprises. There are more than 3,000 home appliance production and supporting enterprises in Shunde District. 80% of accessories can be quickly found within a radius of 50 kilometers. It is the world's largest supply base for rice cookers and microwave ovens. In addition, the major product categories include large home appliances and kitchen appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators, water heaters, range hoods, and sterilized dishwashers. It also features small appliances such as microwave ovens, rice cookers, and electric fans.


Foshan's home appliances are exported to 210 countries and regions around the world in large quantities, accounting for 25% of the global rice cooker market, 33% of the range hood market, 43% of the water heater market, and 48% of the microwave oven market. The output value of Shunde's home appliance industry was nearly RMB 370 billion in 2022, marking a year-on-year increase of 5.9%. Furthermore, Beijiao Town, covering a mere 92 square kilometers, has brought together nearly 200 home appliance enterprises above the state-designated scale. The output value of Beijiao’s home appliance industry was about RMB 300 billion in 2021, constituting about 10% of the national total.


As for Zhanjiang City, its kitchen appliance industry is recognized as a demonstration base for the transformation and upgrading of foreign trade in Guangdong Province, with Lianjiang serving as its core cluster. Its production scale and market share of small home appliances, represented by rice cookers, are leading in the country. The city produces more than 100 million units of rice cookers annually, accounting for 70% of China's rice cooker production and 60% of the global total. These products are sold to 36 countries and regions in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa, boasting a broad export market.


Jiangmen City, particularly in its Pengjiang District and Heshan City, is a key development area for the smart home appliance industry. As of February 2023, there are over 1,700 active enterprises related to the smart home appliance industry in Jiangmen. The city boasts a wide range of home appliances, including air conditioners, TVs, washing machines, and small home appliances. Notably, it was in Jiangmen that China's first automatic washing machine was developed.


Zhuhai City’s home appliance industry is centered in the Xiangzhou District, with support from the National Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone and Jinwan District. The smart home appliance industry is a mainstay in Zhuhai, with GREE serving as a representative enterprise. From January to September 2022, the city’s smart home appliance enterprises above the state-designated scale recorded a gross industrial output value exceeding RMB 80 billion, reflecting an 11.0% year-on-year growth. According to the municipal planning, by 2025, the output value of Zhuhai's smart home appliance industry is expected to reach RMB 150 billion.


Huizhou City has made remarkable achievements in TV manufacturing, earning prestigious titles such as one of the first batch of provincial and municipal co-built ultra-high-definition video industry bases, the pilot demonstration city for 4K TVs in Guangdong Province, and the ultra-high-definition video industry park of Guangdong Province. These honors fully prove Huizhou's leading position and innovation capability in the home appliance industry, especially in the field of TVs. In 2020, Huizhou produced a total of 31.029 million color TVs, including 17.5 million units of 4K TVs, accounting for 1/3 of the country's total. Established enterprises such as TCL and MOKA are among the city's distinguished contributors to the TV manufacturing sector, solidifying their status as the city's flagship representatives.


As for Zhongshan City, the home appliance industry in Nantou Town started in the 1990s. In 2004, Nantou was recognized as the first town-level "Chinese home appliance industry base" in China. With the advantages of a regional characteristic industry led by major home appliances such as air conditioners, TVs, and refrigerators, and more than 3,500 home appliance enterprises and their supporting companies, the town has become a home appliance industry cluster with a complete range of product categories and comprehensive support for spare parts and accessories. In addition, Nantou Town has been honored with titles of "China Home Appliances Brand Base - Nantou" and "National Foreign Trade Transformation and Upgrading Base (Home Appliances)".


Another town of the city, Dongfeng, has also been honored with the title of "China's Small Home Appliance Innovation Base - Dongfeng". The region features a diverse range of small home appliance products and has formed a comprehensive industrial chain with supporting industries, making Dongfeng Town equipped with all-around capabilities, spanning from raw material supply to finished product manufacturing. A number of outstanding and representative enterprises, including Midea, Horisun Group, Enaiter, Gemake, HMjD, and Minea, have emerged in this town.


Moreover, Huangpu Town of Zhongshan, driven by the nearby Shunde home appliance industry, has seen the rapid development of its own home appliance industry. Its production and sales of air conditioners and kitchen appliances, including microwave ovens and electric ovens, rank top in the country. A relatively complete industrial chain with supporting industries has formed, providing strong support for the sustained development of the home appliance industry in the town. Huangpu Town, for its outstanding performance in this industry, has also been honored with the title of "China's Home Appliance Manufacturing Base - Huangpu".


Zhejiang Province: The Hub of Small Home Appliances and the Epicenter of China's Kitchen Appliances


Zhejiang Province's home appliance industry mainly specializes in white goods, kitchen and bathroom appliances, and small home appliances. Currently, there are 16,531 key enterprises in Zhejiang's home appliance industry, with more than 13% having registered capital of above RMB 5 million, boasting a relatively comprehensive and mature development foundation. Home appliance enterprises in the province are mainly located in Hangzhou, Ningbo, Shaoxing, Jinhua, and Jiaxing.


The home appliance industry in Hangzhou City has evolved into a resilient cluster, weathering decades of reform and opening up of the market. Currently, there are more than 50 enterprises above the state-designated scale in this sector in Hangzhou. They mainly produce white goods, small home appliances, kitchen appliances, and other refrigeration products. Representative enterprises include ROBAM, Supor, Joyoung, and Goldfish.


Yongkang City in Jinhua is renowned as one of China's prominent hubs for the home appliance manufacturing industry. From January to November 2021, the home appliance enterprises above the state-designated scale in Yongkang recorded a total output value of RMB 8.518 billion, with a cumulative growth rate of 33.12%. The city's major product categories include kitchen appliances as well as small home appliances such as rice paste makers, health kettles, and soybean milk makers, with Superhuman Technology standing out as the representative enterprise for the region.


Haining City of Jiaxing, the birthplace of integrated stoves, produces not only integrated stoves but also various other kitchen appliances. The cluster of Haining's integrated stove industry spreads across Yuanhua Town, Jianshan New District, and Chang'an Town. Since the inception of the world's first integrated stove in 2003, the city’s integrated kitchen appliance industry has begun to flourish. In 2021, Haining's integrated stove industry achieved an output value of RMB 4.5 billion.


Cixi City of Ningbo is one of China's four major home appliance manufacturing bases. It is also the world's largest production base for irons, heaters, and sockets, entitled the “Hub of Small Home Appliances". There are more than 2,000 enterprises producing whole machines of home appliances covering over 30 series and thousands of varieties. Together with more than 10,000 enterprises in the upstream and downstream, a complete industry chain has formed in Cixi, which manufactures about 60% of the world's small home appliances. In the first three quarters of 2023, the output value of Cixi's smart home appliance enterprises above the state-designated scale amounted to RMB 63.66 billion, up by 5.8% year-on-year. In 2022, Cixi's home appliance products exported to the Belt and Road Initiative countries amounted to RMB 3.46 billion, reflecting a substantial 23.8% year-on-year growth.


The Shengzhou City of Shaoxing is known as the "Kitchen Appliance Hub of China". Started in the mid-1980s, Shengzhou now has nearly 500 kitchen appliance enterprises and supporting companies, with about 180 engaged in the production of complete appliances. Kitchen appliances from Shengzhou account for about 30% of the domestic market, and its integrated stove production accounts for more than 65% of the national total, thus establishing the county-level city as the largest integrated stove production cluster base in China. In addition, Shengzhou plays a significant role in the production of key accessories such as motors, pot holders, distributors, and fan system assemblies, contributing to about 35% of the domestic production.


Shandong Province: China’s National Innovation Center for Home Appliance Manufacturing


Shandong Province is a major home appliance manufacturing province, with Qingdao City as its core cluster. In the late 1980s, Qingdao emerged as a hub for renowned brands, including Haier, Hisense, Tsingtao Brewery, Double Star, and Aucma, collectively known as the "five golden flowers". Notably, three of these "golden flowers" are home appliance brands. With Shunde's leading brands Midea, Country Garden, and Galanz also emerged in the same period, a pattern of "Shunde at the South, Qingdao at the North" thus established, solidifying the dual powerhouse status of China's home appliance industry.


Qingdao has been approved to establish the only national innovation center for manufacturing of home appliances. It is also the national innovation center for high-end smart home appliances. The city hosts over 2,200 enterprises within its home appliance cluster, including 17 national manufacturing champion enterprises for individual items and 1,297 high-tech enterprises. From January to November 2023, the industrial added value of home appliance manufacturing in Qingdao, which includes the manufacturing of refrigerators, washing machines, and other home appliances, grew by 8.9%; the industrial added value of the manufacturing of non-professional audiovisual equipment such as TVs and stereo equipment grew by 9.3%; nearly 60 million units of refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, washing machines, and TVs were produced, accounting for more than 9% of the country's total output. Furthermore, Qingdao's home appliance products have enjoyed strong demand in foreign markets. According to customs statistics, Qingdao exported RMB 31.05 billion of home appliances during the first 11 months of 2023, with an increase of 22.2%.


Hefei City, Anhui Province - The Largest Home Appliance Production Base in China


With Hefei, Wuhu, and Chuzhou serving as its major home appliance industry clusters, Anhui Province has become an important home appliance manufacturing base not only in China but also globally. The annual output of refrigerators, air conditioners, washing machines, and color TVs, often referred to as the "four major appliances”, approaches nearly 100 million units. Statistics show that during the 13th Five-Year Plan period, the total output of these "four major appliances" in Anhui reached 498.703 million units, ranking second nationwide. In 2021, the province's exports of home appliances amounted to RMB 32.51 billion, an increase of 16.6% year-on-year, and the industry utilized USD 203 million of foreign direct investment (FDI), an increase of 19.4%. By 2025, the total output value of Anhui's home appliance industry chain is expected to exceed RMB 200 billion.


Hefei City is the country's largest home appliance production base, boasting the highest concentration of domestic brands, which is also China's home appliance manufacturing center of the greatest international influence and competitiveness. The High-tech Zone, the Economic and Technological Development Area, and the Xinzhan Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone are the three core clusters of the city, specializing in the production of kitchen and bathroom appliances, small home appliances, as well as the four major appliances of air conditioners, color TVs, washing machines, and refrigerators. In 2022, the total output of these four major appliances reached 57.506 million sets, securing Hefei’s position as the world's top-ranking city for the twelfth consecutive year. The home appliance industry is the inaugural sector in Hefei to surpass the milestone of RMB 100 billion output value, having created numerous "firsts" in the past.


Chuzhou City is the only cluster with four national-level manufacturing bases for home appliances. It is also the first development base for the smart home appliance industry cluster in Anhui Province, as well as the province's export base of home appliances and demonstration area for the production of high-quality home appliances. The city's home appliance production categories mainly consist of major appliances including refrigerators, color TVs, air conditioners, and washing machines, complemented by small appliances such as water heaters, vacuum cleaners, and kitchen and bathroom appliances. Outstanding companies such as HKC, BSH, KONKA Electric Appliance and KONKA Tongchuang were established here.


Wuhu City is one of the country's main production bases of air conditioners, one of the country's three largest micro-motor (air-conditioning compressor) production bases, and the largest air-conditioning production base in East China. The industrial layout now revolves around key areas such as the Wuhu Economic and Technological Development Area (WEDA), Sanshan Economy Development Zone, and Wanzhi District, supported by various other districts such as Yijiang and Jiujiang. The home appliance industry, which contributes more than 15% to the city's total industrial output value, currently primarily focuses on the production of air conditioners, complemented by emerging products such as smart disinfection closets, integrated stoves, dishwashers, water purifiers, and other small home appliances.


Dangtu County of Ma'anshan takes smart home appliances as its top industry, with an output value of RMB 18 billion in 2023. It covers household, commercial, and automobile air conditioners, and the manufacturing of small home appliances is also gaining traction in the county. Representative brands include AUX, Yuetu, BG, and SEAC.


Jiangsu Province: A Key Battleground for High-end Home Appliance Brands


Jiangsu Province is one of the most important home appliance markets in China. With its prominent scale and numerous enterprises and employees, the industry plays a vital role in stabilizing the economy and promoting growth in the province. From a manufacturing standpoint, Jiangsu has developed into a hub for the appliance industry, with cities like Nanjing, Wuxi, Suzhou, and Suqian serving as focal points. Its production of washing machines and refrigerators takes up a leading share in the country, and its dominance in clean electrical appliances is unparalleled. On the retail end, Jiangsu Province hosts over 1,300 specialized retail enterprises above the designated size specializing in home appliances and electronic products, employing nearly 40,000 individuals and generating a retail turnover of over RMB 75 billion. The total retail sales of home appliances and 3C products in Jiangsu surpasses RMB 100 billion if taking into account the retail sales of e-commerce platforms and nonstatistical enterprises.


Jiangsu is also a key battleground for high-end home appliance brands, leading the country in the growth rate of retail sales, share of high-end product sales, and share of smart products. According to statistics from Nanjing Customs, Jiangsu's home appliance shipments rose 4.8% year-on-year to RMB 52.07 billion of home appliances in the first 11 months of 2023. Among them, RMB 4.93 billion was exported in November, with a year-on-year increase of 17.6% and a double-digit growth for four consecutive months since August.


Suqian City, known as "China's home appliance industry base", specializes in the production of air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, TVs, and other small home appliances, forming a comprehensive industry chain of large, medium, and small home appliances with full support from both upstream and downstream. The smart home appliance industry is also one of the four emerging industries that Suqian focuses on and an important part of Suqian Economic and Technological Development Zone's "2+1" featured industries.


In contrast, Suzhou City is the global production center of cleaning appliances, manufacturing 60%-70% of the world's vacuum cleaners. The OEMs of the leading brands are largely located in Suzhou. The city also hosts a number of well-known companies including LEXY, ECOVACS, Midea Chunhua, Chunju, and EUP.


Nanjing City, represented by brands like Suning, Skyworth, and LGEPN, focuses primarily on manufacturing white goods, with a reliance on partnerships with various foreign enterprises. Conversely, Wuxi City mainly produces washing machines and refrigerators, with renowned brands like Little Swan, Hodgen Technology, and Panasonic Home Appliances Refrigerator (Wuxi). Both cities are important home appliance production centers in Jiangsu, playing pivotal roles in the development of the province's home appliance industry.


Fujian Province: Private Enterprises as the "Main Force"


According to Xiamen Customs statistics, in 2023, Fujian Province exported RMB 11.76 billion of home appliances including TVs, electric fans, and vacuum cleaners, increasing by 2.6% year-on-year. These products were predominantly shipped to over 190 countries and regions worldwide, including ASEAN, the EU, and the UK. Private enterprises were the "main force" of exports in Fujian, reaching a value of RMB 8.34 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 8.2%. It accounted for 70.9% of the province’s total export value of home appliances during the same period.


Zhangzhou City is a major cluster of home appliances in Fujian, with the industry centered in Nanjing County and the Taiwanese Investment Zone. There are two smart small home appliance industrial parks in Longchi Development Zone and Jinfeng Development Zone. These parks specialize in products such as smart commercial displays, mobile communications, intelligent control, and environmental appliances. EUPA, Malata, and Leedarson are representative enterprises of the city.


Hubei Province: A Smart Home Appliance Industry Belt with a "One Core and Multiple Wings” Approach


The smart home appliance industry is one of the 100-billion-scale industry belts in Hubei's 14th Five-Year Plan and one of the province's nine emerging featured industries. In 2022, the revenue of Hubei's smart home appliance industry reached RMB 65 billion. From January to May 2023, Hubei produced 10,247,200 units of air conditioners, marking a 9.8% year-on-year increase and securing the third rank in the country. By 2025, the provinces' revenue from the whole industrial chain of smart home appliances is expected to exceed RMB 100 billion. Hubei is striving to create a national-level smart home appliance industry belt, positioning the province as a center for smart home appliance production, sales, innovation, and service.


Regarding the industrial layout, Hubei is endorsing several initiatives. It supports Wuhan City in expanding the scale of home appliance production and diversifying product offerings to build a nationally significant air-conditioner production base; backs Jingzhou City in extending the smart home appliance industry chain, focusing on high-end refrigerators, washing machines, small freezers, and fresh cabinets, as well as other small home appliances, to further strengthen the scale of the industry; and supports Huangshi, Xiaogan, and Huanggang cities to promote the coordinated development of both smart large and smart small home appliances. In terms of digital intelligence reform, the Jingzhou Midea Refrigerator, hailed as the "World Lighthouse Factory”, and the Midea Washing Machine, recognized as the "5G Fully-connected Factory”, serve as benchmark demonstrations. They lead and propel the development of the smart home appliance industry by exemplifying the fusion of digitalization and intellectualization, supporting the province’s technological transformation and upgrading of the smart home appliance industry.


Hunan Province: Smart Home Appliances as the Leading Industry


In the Ningxiang Economy Development Zone of Changsha City, smart home appliances are one of its leading industries, with a wide range of product categories including household/commercial air conditioners, refrigerators, and other white goods, as well as small home appliances. Representative businesses such as Gree, CECII, Hisense, and Sunynn Technology have achieved prominence and excellence in China's smart home appliance industry by virtue of their superior technological strength and market competitiveness. The success of these enterprises has not only promoted the development of the smart home appliance industry in the Ningxiang Economy Development Zone but also made important contributions to China's manufacturing industry and overall economic development.


GSF Online Business Matchmaking Session + Offline Seminar

Facilitating Accurate Matchmaking Between Chinese Enterprises and Foreign Trade Cooperation


Given the regional characteristics of China's home appliance industry clusters and the demands of the export market, Global Sources, Poly Exhibition and Grandhub will join hands with local government departments, business associations, and enterprises in key industrial zones, global buyers and communities, as well as domestic and overseas customers, in preparation for the Guangzhou Sourcing Fair. Together, they will organize offline GSF promotional seminars and online business matchmaking sessions. Through supply and demand matchmaking, business exchanges, and product experiences, GSF aims to provide a diverse range of choices for both supply and demand parties at home and abroad. Please stay tuned to the latest news!