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Houjian: Hisense Ready For Top Spot

“Don’t look back. Someone might be gaining on you.” That famous Satchel Paige quote was the subtext of the keynote given by Zhou Houjian, chairman of the Hisense Group, here at Interantional CES.

Houjian had the honor of being the first high-level executive of a mainland Chinese firm to keynote at International CES, as noted by CEA president Gary Shapiro who introduced him.

Houjian spent 45 minutes describing his company and its accomplishments. Hisense is the No. 1 seller of flat-panel TVs in the huge Chinese market, with 16 percent share, followed by Skyworth, TCL, Konka, Changhong, Sharp, Samsung, Haier, LG and Sony. Houjian declared that China is expected to be the largest single LCD TV market in the world by 2011. The company was also the first Chinese company to build an LCD module factory in 2007 and was among three companies introducing LED TVs in 2008.

In case executives at competing companies didn’t get the picture, Houjian declared: “Hisense’s goal is to become a world-leading CE brand.”

He reported his company weathered the 2009 economic storm far better than most, with an increase of export revenue of 17 percent and 91 percent growth in the U.S. Total sales revenue increased by nearly 15 percent to $8 billion and net profit doubled in 2009.

Along with LCD TVs and other CE devices such as IPTVs, Hisense also makes appliances, communications and IT products. Among the highlights pointed out by Houjian is a 10GB optical transceiver for Fiber To The Home (FTTH) networks currently being sold worldwide.

He ended his speech by quoting Confucius, who said when a man turns 40 he has much more confidence. “We are now 40 years old. We understand what is coming and are confronting it with a clear vision. Failure is not an option for Hisense.”

Competing companies should take Satchel Paige’s words to heart.