Hisense: From a Radio Maker to one of the Best TV Manufacturers in the World

Hisense Co., Ltd. is a Chinese multinational major appliance and electronics manufacturer headquartered in QingdaoShandong province, China. It is a state-owned enterprise with publicly traded subsidiaries. It started out making radios in 1969.

Hisense has two publicly traded companies, Hisense Electric Co Ltd, which is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE600060) and Hisense Kelon Electrical Holdings Co Ltd, which is listed on the Shenzhen (SZSE000921) and Hong Kong (SEHK921) stock exchanges and a number of other subsidiaries.

Hisense retails products under several brand names. These include Combine, Kelon and Ronshen, etc. Hisense is also an OEM, so some of the products it makes are sold to other manufacturers and carry a brand name not related to Hisense. The main products of Hisense are televisions; their first TV model CJD18 was produced in 1978.  It has invented a type of transparent television in 2013. In 2015 it acquired the right to sell televisions in the Americas using the brand name of the Japanese firm Sharp.

Hisense has 13 manufacturing facilities in China (located in the provinces/cities of: GuangdongGuizhouHuzhouJiangsuLiaoningLinyiShandongSichuanYangzhouYingkouXinjiangZibo and the municipality of Beijing) and several outside China, namely in HungarySouth AfricaEgyptAlgeriaSloveniaFrance and Mexico.

Hisense is a Chinese company which grew out of Qingdao No.2 Radio Factory, set up in September or December of 1969 by Qingdao governmental authorities. This was the year its existence was first officially recognized. This small factory’s first product was a radio sold under the brand name Red Lantern, but the company later acquired the know-how to make TVs through a trial-production of black and white televisions ordered by the Shandong National Defense Office. This involved the technical training of three employees at another Chinese factory, Tianjin 712, and resulted in the production of 82 televisions by 1971 and the development of transistor TVs by 1975.

Television production in China was limited until 1979 when a Beijing meeting of the Ministry of Electronics called for greater development of the civil-use electronics industry. Qingdao No.2 Radio Factory was then quickly merged with other local electronics makers and began to manufacture televisions under the name Qingdao General Television Factory in Shandong province.

Color televisions were manufactured through the purchase of a production line from Matsushita, the first of many such technology transfers from foreign firms Hisense has made in order to remain competitive. The companies it has bought from include HitachiLucentMatsushitaNECSanyoToshiba, and Qualcomm.

The Hisense Group emerged in 1994 from a tumult started in 1992 by then-president Zhou Houjian or perhaps even by Li Dezhen, director of the Electronic Instrument Bureau of Qingdao. The Hisense Electrical Appliance Share Holding Company (now, Hisense Electrical Co Ltd) was publicly listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in April 1997. Increased competition and price wars in the Chinese electronics market in the 1990s were a boon to Hisense, which acquired ten failing enterprises by 1998.

Eager to expand beyond consumer electronics, Hisense Group aimed to also become a regional leader in household appliances, computers and communications. This strategy prompted great outlays of capital on R&D and on the creation of industrial parks, etc.

In July 2015, Hisense bought a Mexico facility from Sharp for $23.7 million alongside rights to use the Sharp brand on televisions sold in North and South America.

In November 2017, Hisense announced that it would acquire a 95% controlling stake in Toshiba Insurance for US$113 million. In 2018, Hisense became the majority shareholder in Slovenian appliance manufacturer Gorenje with 95.4% of shares.

Products and services

Hisense manufactures white goods, televisions, set-top boxes, digital TV broadcasting equipment, laptops, mobile phones, wireless modules, wireless PC cards and optical components for the telecommunications and data communications industries.

It also provides a variety of services, including property management, information technology services, product design, mold design, pattern making as well as mold processing and manufacturing.

Sharp

In 2015, Hisense received a five-year license to use the Sharp brand on televisions in the Americas. Hisense also bought a Sharp factory in Mexico.

In June 2017, Hisense was sued by Sharp under its new owner Foxconn, seeking to have the licence agreement halted. Sharp accused Hisense of damaging its brand equity by utilizing its trademarks on products it deemed to be “shoddily manufactured”, including those that it believed to have violated U.S. safety standards for electromagnetic radiation, and deceptive advertising of their quality. Hisense denied that it engaged in these practices, and stated that it planned to defend itself in court and “will continue to manufacture and sell quality televisions under the Sharp licensed brands.”

In Feb 2018 Sharp dropped the lawsuit.

 

Subsidiaries

Hisense owns over 40 subsidiaries, both in and outside China. A list is available here.

 

Hisense-Hitachi Air-conditioning System Co Ltd

Established in 2003 as a joint venture between Hitachi and Hisense, Hisense-Hitachi Air-conditioning System Co Ltd is an air-conditioner company that sells under the brand names “Hisense-Hitachi” and “Hitachi”. It designs, manufactures and markets its products, which include commercial and household central air-conditioning systems, in China. Hisense-Hitachi products are also sold in Japan. It operates a commercial air-con production facility in the Hisense Information Industrial Park.

Hisense Arena

In July 2008 Hisense entered into an agreement with Melbourne & Olympic Parks allowing them six-year naming rights to Hisense Arena, a Melbourne venue for spectator sports such as basketball, netball, dance sports, cycling, gymnastics and tennis. It is the first stadium in the world to be named after a Chinese company. By 2018, the arena had been renamed Melbourne Arena.

 

University Partnerships

In China, Hisense has begun a relationship with the Beihang University (Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics) to set up an engineering postgraduate program approved by the Ministry of Education and a collaboration with Peking University to set up an MBA remote education program.

Euro 2016

Hisense was the main sponsor of the UEFA Euro 2016.

Hisense was also the official sponsor of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Aston Villa Football Club

On 27 July 2017, Hisense and Aston Villa F.C. jointly announced a strategic partnership.

 

SOURCE

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