중앙데일리

Korean giants cash in on ‘appliances fever’

Chinese have a habit of replacing appliances around the spring holiday.

Feb 26,2007
BEIJING ― On Friday afternoon in Sanhuan, the flat panel section at Dazhong Electronics, an appliances distributor, was crowded with customers enjoying the Spring Festival holiday. In China, the Spring Festival, which comes at the time of the lunar new year, is the most important holiday in China, the equivalent of Christmas in the West.
A 40-year-old housewife named Li bought a 37-inch flat panel TV for 7,000 yuan ($900). “We wanted to change our old color TV to one with a liquid crystal display, which is popular these days,” she said.
A salesperson at the shop said that sales of flat panel TVs at 65 Dazhong stores in Beijing were up 46 percent during the Spring Festival holiday compared to the same period last year.
Korean firms, such as Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, are cashing in on Chinese “spring fever” for appliances. According to local media, the number of households that replaced old TVs for flat panels during the holiday shot up in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. In Beijing, sales of high-end digital flat panel TVs made up 90 percent of all flat panel TV sales.
The digital rush is not only for appliances. As new year’s greetings via cell phone text messaging became a fad, expensive cell phones also sold like hotcakes. At the electronics chain GOME Electronics in Chungqing city, central China, sales of high-end cellular phones were up over 40 percent during the Spring Festival period.
Local management at Korean appliance firms such as Samsung and LG toured major positions and encouraged companies to be active in sales. Woo Nam-gyun, head of LG Electronics’ Chinese office, said that Chinese have a habit of replacing appliances around the spring holidays so that the sales achieved now will determine the “scale” of the crop this year, he said.
wohn@joongang.co.kr


By Chang Se-jeong JoongAng Ilbo [wohn@joongang.co.kr]



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