New Dongbu Daewoo aims to tap China

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New Dongbu Daewoo aims to tap China

Dongbu Daewoo Electronics has chosen China as its first foreign market to penetrate since the home appliance maker formerly known as Daewoo Electronics was acquired by Dongbu Group in February.

The reborn company, which trails Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics among domestic players, recently established sales headquarters in Tianjin and launched branches in Bejing and Shanghai, aiming to appeal to well-heeled Chinese consumers.

“In tandem with rapidly growing purchasing power and industrial structure getting ever more sophisticated in China, we intend to focus on premium products to distinguish ourselves,” said a Dongbu Daewoo spokesman.

The world’s second-largest economy has seen annualized growth of 10 percent in its white goods market. Last year the market was 250 trillion won ($222.5 billion), behind only the United States.

The appliances that Dongbu Daewoo consider to have a competitive edge in China, where people tend to value made-in-Korea products, include its three-door refrigerator under the Klasse brand and a wall-mounted miniature drum washing machine called Mini - both produced at the company’s Gwangju plant in South Jeolla. Mini - thanks to the convention-breaking idea of hanging a washer on a wall to save space - accepted pre-orders of 10,000 units from a Chinese distributor earlier this month.

Dongbu Daewoo reserved space inside Shanghai No. 1 Department Store in the bustling shopping district of East Nanjing Road and Babaiban Department Store, which is considered to be the city’s most luxurious mall. In Beijing, B&Q China, the country’s largest household goods sales complex, has had a Dongbu Daewoo store since last week and cities around Shanghai will have smaller shops selling its goods. Before the merger, Daewoo Electronics was already earning more than 80 percent of its sales revenue from outside Korea - largely because it inherited the massive global sales network of its former mother group Daewoo, once a competitor of Samsung and LG, that went bankrupt in 1999.


BY SEO JI-EUN [spring@joongang.co.kr]

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