Not exactly a household name to most consumers outside China, Haier is the world’s leading producer of major home appliances, from the kitchen to the laundry. Now it has its sights set on defining, and owning, the entire smart home.
Haier unveiled its first Smart Home Solution at the recent 2018 Appliances & Electronics World Expo in its home city of Shanghai. Its systems join those from many other IoT brands, including those belonging to Samsung and Amazon. Its goal is to digitally orchestrate the functions of appliances and other control systems in the home.
Its vision encompasses an entire household in one connected system including a smart living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, “representing comprehensive solutions for air, water, clothes care, security, voice control, health and information.”
For instance, Haier’s smart home platform will help customers manage and monitor water usage for the entire household and alert them when a change of filter is needed.
“Haier Smart Home, our strategy in the IoT era, brings convenience, health, safety and comfort to customers with one-stop, all-scenario solutions,” stated Wang Ye, vice president of Haier Home Industry Group.
“Haier is transitioning from a traditional manufacturer to an open entrepreneurial platform, integrating social features that and interface with local businesses, while building a smart home platform that enables connectivity between our high-quality products to customers around the world.”
Haier cited research from Euromonitor which showed that Haier owns the largest share of the global refrigerator market, at more than 17%, a lead it has held for 10 consecutive years.
It consolidated a good part of that share after buying GE’s appliance division in the US two years ago. LG and Samsung have 7 and 6 percent of the global market, respectively, while the leading remaining American brand, Whirlpool, ranks fourth, with less than 5% market share.
“With the advantage of four times the market share of Whirlpool,” the company boasted in a press release, “Haier refrigerator leads the world refrigerator industry into the ‘Chinese era.'”