Qingdao, China - The 11
annual China International Consumer Electronics Show (SINOCES) will be the largest in the show's 11-year history when it kicks off Thursday here in a port city that is one of China's largest manufacturing centers for CE and appliances.
The four-day show, which draws China-based retailers and distributors as well as some U.S. dealers, is expected to attract more than 80,000 attendees and 532 exhibitors, up from 2010's 65,375 attendees and 503 exhibitors, according to show organizers and sponsors.
Sponsors include various Chinese government ministries and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which has co-sponsored the show for the past eight years. The show's organizers are the Qingdao municipal government and the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Products.
U.S. retailers signed up to attend include BrandsMart, Office Depot, RadioShack, Fry's Electronics and Best Buy.
Although China-based suppliers such as Huawei, Hisense and Haier will dominate the show, the event is also attracting global brands such as Siemens and Panasonic, which will exhibit its 103-inch 3DTV. Microsoft is also showing up as a first-time exhibitor.
These companies will be exhibiting at a show whose key theme will be cloud computing, which "has become the future development trend in the electronics industry," said Chamber of Commerce VP Yao Wenping during a pre-show press briefing on Wednesday. Other technologies on display will include networking and green and low-carbon-footprint technology, she said.
Besides serving as a showcase for these technologies, SINOCES is also "an effective springboard for overseas companies to enter the Chinese market, one of the best portals for Chinese companies to enter the world market, and a major power propelling the development of the global consumer electronics industry," Wenping said.
On a similar note, CEA president/CEO Gary Shapiro said products introduced here and at January's International CES "not only create trade but jobs and economic growth." Based on the strength of CES and SINOCES, he said, "the world CE industry is becoming the engine of the world economy."
The show has been a major factor in improving and growing China's CE industry, Wenping contended. As a result, "the position of Chinese consumer electronics enterprises is improving in the global trade system." For now, however, she admitted that "Chinese enterprises don't have the power of influence ... corresponding to our economic power in global trade." For example, she said, "although Chinese enterprises have made more and more frequent attendance in world first-class electronics shows such as CES, CeBit and IFA, it is still difficult for us to play the leading role in such shows for various reasons."
Nonetheless, she said, "Chinese consumer electronics providers are gradually growing into international group corporations of world influence." She later told TWICE through an interpreter that Chinese CE companies could become "first class in the world" to rival major Japanese and Koran brands. "We have strong confidence here," she said.
China's CE industry has grown to the point that in 2010, China's imports and exports of CE products hit $593.5 billion, accounting for 20 percent of China's total imports and exports, Wenping said. During the past 10 years, the average growth rate in domestic CE sales has been 24 percent, she noted.
For his part, Shapiro said China gained and "exceptional reputation" during the past 10 to 15 years as a world leader in manufacturing, but he noted that as the country's "manufacturing competence grows," the country must make the next step to become a leader in innovation, which he said requires a strong educational system, free trade, and a willingness to take risks. The U.S., he noted, "views business failure as an important learning experience."
Some major Chinese CE suppliers are major players in some regions of the world outside China but not in the U.S., because those companies "lack innovation," he later told TWICE. Chinese companies could eventually rival first-tier Japanese and Korean companies if they also focus more on image and service, he added.
When asked why CEA has been involved in sponsoring a trade show in China, Shapiro noted that one key benefit has been to attract more Chinese companies and Chinese press to January's CES. The Chinese contingent grew dramatically in 2011, he said.