CE China is the premier consumer electronics expo, put together by IFA organisers Messe Berlin GmbH and the Shenzhen City Council. Although Shenzhen is already gazetted as China’s most technologically advanced city, this event aims to further showcase Shenzhen’s role as China’s ‘Silicon Valley’. It is also the first time CE China is hosting a keynote program, featuring speakers from respected international brands like Bosch, HTC Vive, Alibaba and Huawei.
This year, the emphasis is on the future of IoT Smart Appliances, eCommerce and VR technology. Some major exhibitors include major brands from Germany like Bosch and Siemens, alongside HTC, Chinese retail behemoth Suning and Midea – an innovative Chinese home appliance company making inroads into IoT technology.
Here are some major exhibitors headlining CE China 2017. (Among others)
Despite intense competition from Sony and Samsung, HTC’s Vive VR platform is successful at attracting innovative third-party content developers. At CEC, the Vive gets to flaunt its growing suite of apps developed at HTC’s Vive X Accelerator. (Some of these are actually useful in a real world setting!)
Midea may be known in China for home necessities like air-conditioners and kitchen appliances, but they will soon be popular for IoT-capable appliances as well. At CeC, Midea displayed one of the Show’s most complete IoT ecosystems.
Midea’s smart lifestyle products are aimed at improving quality of life while reducing hefty electricity bills. For example, they have air conditioners which, are not only energy-efficient, but can intelligently track your movement to direct cool air specifically towards you – further shrinking your electrical bill. Use the Midea Smart App to schedule your appliances and track usage, or operate them with your voice through a Midea portable speaker.
All the latest smart Midea products like kitchen stoves, washing machines and refrigerators can also be operated remotely through voice or the App. But before you get too excited, there’s a caveat. Midea IoT appliances are only available in China, and Midea’s voice assistant only understands Chinese! As of now, there are no news when Midea will launch these products in key consumer markets outside China.
Suning Commerce Co. Ltd
If you’re visiting a Chinese city, you’ll likely encounter a Suning retail outlet. Suning is one of the three largest online retailers of consumer products in China; and one of the largest Chinese brick and mortar chains with more than 1300 physical stores in China, alone. It has morphed into China’s premier O2O (Online To Offline) retailer, having striven (since 2011) to merge its online and offline retail stores into one seamless customer experience
The company’s gigantic booth at CE is where participants can experience some of China’s most cutting edge and innovative brands -under one yellow umbrella. (Complete with lion-headed mascots!) I also had the opportunity to visit Suning’s glittering retail store in downtown Shenzhen to get a glimpse of Suning’s innovative O2O retail concepts.