- TCL goes a long way in moving public opinion away from the stereotype traditionally associated with "Made in China"
- Chinese companies reshape the global color TV landscape
BEIJING, Feb. 28, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- China-based TCL is giving its Japanese and South Korean peers a run for their money in the TV industry, as it revealed that the company became the first Chinese TV maker with global shipments breaking the 20 million mark, an event that occured in 2016.
According to data from Beijing All View Cloud, an independent data analysis and market research firm more commonly known throughout the industry as AVC, Chinese TV brands, with TCL taking the lead, captured a 30 percent share of global shipments, further taking market share from South Korean peers. The rapid rise of Chinese companies who are taking a strong position in the market has reshaped the competitive landscape across the sector.
In the past year, Chinese TV makers have become the "dark horses", as South Korea-based LG was only able to muster a middling performance for 2016, a result of the company having to reduce the number of shipments due to an internal reorganization and having achieved no breakthrough in terms of OLED TVs, while veteran Japanese manufacturers continued to lose market share and core competitiveness as they failed to foresee the changes taking place across the market.
Statistics show that Chinese color TV brands, led by TCL, accounted for 30 percent of global shipments in 2016, an increase of 3.2 percentage points from a year earlier, with color units made in China taking a 60.3 percent share. TCL made the biggest contribution with its TV shipments surpassing 20 million units last year. In North America, TCL's market share has gradually increased with access to almost all mainstream sales channels in the US. TCL has increased its brand awareness among local shoppers through collaborative efforts with Google, RokuTV, Amazon and Netflix. Revenue outside China now accounts for nearly 50 percent of TCL's total, with North America being an important market as part of its globalization strategy. TCL has climbed to fourth place in terms of brand awareness among US shoppers.
TCL was the first Chinese brand to adopt the quantum dot display technology. Over a three-year period, TCL built a complete industrial structure for the development of the technology in China by integrating talent and technical resources. In 2016, TCL, with a focus on promoting the technology, established XESS, a subsidiary brand that specializes in high-end products. OLED TVs launched by some vendors had inherent defects including a short lifetime and ghost images coupled with a high price tag due to the limited properties of the organic materials. Using inorganic luminescent materials, quantum dot TVs feature a more stable display, higher quality image and cost performance, as well as 110% coverage of the NTSC color gamut, while the HDR technology's heightened contrast and dynamics enhances the brightness as well as the 3D color gamut. Although other brands such as South Korea-based Samsung have also turned to quantum dot technology, TCL, with years of R&D experience in the field, has more obvious first-mover advantages.
Furthermore, China Star Optoelectronics Technology (CSOT), a well-known panel designer and manufacturer and TCL subsidiary, owns the world's largest 8.5-generation LCD panel production line by capacity and the world's highest-generation panel production line. The cost, production and yield advantages brought about by its complete industry chain have allowed TCL to stand out from other brands, ensuring the Chinese manufacturer's ability to supply far more than 20 million TVs and reach the next milestone in terms of position in the market.
The rise of TCL is similar to that of another Chinese brand, Huawei. In addition to independent ownership of the core technology in their respective industries, their development strategy and abilities at innovation have also gone well beyond the stereotype that has been traditionally associated with "Made in China". The global shipments of 20 million units reflect the success of TCL's efforts at greatly improving the quality of its products while seizing a big share of the market. If more Chinese companies were to consider TCL and Huawei as their role models, similar changes in terms of what China's makers can produce would spread across the entire manufacturing spectrum, going way beyond TVs and mobile phones. Japanese and South Korean giants, the original leaders in the display industry, have been deeply impressed by what TCL, the "Huawei in TV sector", has done and achieved.
Chinese brand TCL's successful expansion in the global TV market during 2016 has set another milestone in terms of resetting the meaning of the term "Made in China", as the world once again recognizes the strength of the growing Chinese economy. Time will tell how far Chinese brands like Huawei and TCL can go.