Hisense a hit in South Africa [Global Times]
(Global Times Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Hisense advertised heavily in South Africa during the 2010 World Cup. Photo: Courtesy of Hisense
Just as 2010 was an unforgettable year for South Africa because it hosted the World Cup, it was also a memorable period for the Chinese appliance manufacturer Hisense in South Africa.During the 2010 World Cup, Hisense launched a series of unique marketing campaigns in South Africa. For example, it released its 3D TV. It put up 20 three-dimensional outdoor advertising boards.It bought the naming rights for the 50-meter tall Ferris Wheel neighboring Green Point Stadium, where the World Cup was held. The wheel has 36 tour passenger carriages, with each box equipped with an LED TV that allowed audiences to watch the World Cup live while enjoying the beautiful landscape of Cape Town.Hisense settled in South Africa in 1996. Since then it won a solid reputation among local customers with its advanced technology and high quality.Sales by Hisense South Africa increased by 73.54 percent in the first quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, according to the figures from the Society for Consumer Research, a German market research institute, the market share of Hisense South Africa in 2011 exceeded 10 percent of the local TV market. Hisense's overseas expansion also helped its domestic growth. Established in 1969, the company now ranks among the top five electronics manufacturers in China.Nevertheless, like other enterprises, the road of overseas expansion has not been smooth.Liu Bin, the head of Hisense's South Africa branch, told the Metropolitan that there are three challenges for Hisense South Africa. Labor issues is one of them. "Striking has been a severe issue in this country. Increasing salaries driven by labor unions puts a lot of pressure on the company," he said. "We have been coordinating with the labor union and launching an internal motivation policy to deal with the labor issue."The safety issue is another thing that Hisense has to cope with. Liu said that the poor security situation in South Africa threatens the safety of Hisense staff there.An exchange rate that can fluctuate by around ten percent in a week and 30 percent over a year also challenges operations.Yet despite the handicaps, Hisense considers itself as an active player in local business and society. It has a strong corporate social responsibility program. The active involvement in CSR is also a response to the company's market growth. Refrigerators, another one of Hisense's major products, now has a market share of 7 percent. The company's products have got into major local chain stores.Liu said that in the future Hisense would work to make its consumer electronics and household appliances more environmentally friendly, and aim to reduce carbon emissions. To Hisense, there is still a long way to go in its expansion into Africa.
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