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Sharp tweaks China strategy, will sell appliances

(Beijing News)

14:57, November 14, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

Beijing, Nov.14 (People's Daily Online) --Japan's home appliance giant Sharp Corporation recently announced the restructuring of its business in China. While maintaining its focus on mobile phones and LCD televisions, the company will unveil a series of eco-friendly white goods in China, including refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and air purifiers.

The home appliance maker disclosed that Sharp (China) Investment Company began operations in Beijing last month to replace its previous China head office in Shanghai. The eco-friendly white goods to be sold in China, including four models of refrigerators as well as two models of washing machines, air conditioners and air purifiers, are all from Sharp's newly established healthy environment department.

Sharp's business in the Chinese mainland used to be homogenous, and about 70 percent of its income came from LCD TVs, followed by mobile phones and electronic components. The contribution from white home appliances, such as refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners was relatively low.

Given the slow pace of growth in the LCD TV market, home appliance producers are all making efforts to diversify its operations to avert market risks. For foreign brands like Sharp, it means breaking into the home appliances that used to be only available at home markets to China. Furthermore, after establishing the information and communications department, Sharp also plans to introduce products including e-book readers, calculators and electronic dictionaries into the Chinese market.

Nobuyuki Kanno, Sharp's CEO of the greater China region, said that the proportion of the corporation's sales revenue from the greater China region to the total sales revenue of all the other non-Japan regions is increasing year by year and currently has exceeded that of the U.S. market. The greater China region has turned into the largest overseas market of the corporation.

After a taste of success, Sharp changed its mode in which plans were made and products designed in Japan, while products were simply made in China. Now it is implementing the mode of both producing and selling products in China. In addition, Nobuyuki Kanno predicts that Sharp Corporation's business scale in China will reach 1 trillion yen or 83.5 billion yuan in 2011, up 118 percent compared to that of 2010.

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