As Apple’s been busy pushing forward HomeKit, a framework to control smart home accessories, Amazon acquired Eero to better connect smart home devices. Today, it seems that enterprises, no matter appliance makers, or Internet giants, are breaking into this brand new market – smart home.
It comes as no surprise that smart home is thriving, thanks to the hardware maturity, telecommunication achievements, and the advance of cloud computing, AI, etc. However, when you are exploring a new market, every decision must be carefully made, especially when it comes to supply chain. And China is certainly a popular choice of qualified suppliers.
What makes China appealing to home automation companies?
Here, the key points are: digital appliance controls, electronic visual displays, home appliance manufacturers, supporting technologies, and OEMs. Let’s take a brief look at them one by one.
1. Cost-effective digital appliance controls
Digital appliance controls produced in China are generally of high-quality, equipped with effective solutions, and more cost-effective.
Topband, a renowned appliance controls maker in China, not only provides top quality products that meet the demand of Siemens, TTI, but also renders smart home appliance makers a one-stop solution called T-Smart. T-Smart combines appliance controls, telecommunication, cloud computing, applications together, and enables appliance makers to choose among their own cloud computing systems and those of the third parties, including Alibaba Cloud.
Compared with big names like Diehl Controls, appliance controls in China are cheaper without sacrificing quality, due to the relatively lower labor costs and shipping costs. As China also embraces many electronic clusters, products can be mass produced more efficiently.
2. Advanced electronic visual displays
In recent years, Chinese enterprises have been vigorously exploring the possibility of graphene-based and flexible displays.
Royole, an innovation company in Shenzhen, has successfully invented and produced world’s first sixth-generation flexible graphene-based display. It has been applied to smart home devices to strengthen the interaction between users and devices. Advanced as it is, the display isn’t even as costly as the curved screens made in Japan or Korea.
3. Innovative home appliance manufacturers
In the endeavor to be the global trend leaders, home appliance manufacturers in China are dedicated to innovation on smart home devices.
Haier, the biggest appliance maker in the world, has launched U+, a smart home appliance control center. So what’s particular about U+? It can be the “commander” of “fragmented” smart devices, since some devices only work with certain program, but U+ is destined to help with compatibility by integrating programs and accessories of different brands and kinds, offering marketing chances to more device makers.
The chips embedded in Haier’s smart house appliance are made for 5G, which will surely sharpen the performance of products.
4. Improved supporting Technologies
Internet giants in China are devoted to the technologies such as AI, cloud computing, 5G, as Baidu leads AI patent applications in four key AI areas; Alibaba Cloud ranks the top three infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) public cloud service worldwide – behind just Microsoft and Amazon.com.
The improvement of supporting technologies will surely contribute to the development of home automation in China.
Although China’s labor costs are rising, it is undeniable that China still owns the labor that is much cheaper than those of the US, Europe, but more well-trained than those of Southeast Asia and Mexico. Hence, OEMs in China are still appealing in terms of efficiency and costs.
However, for China, some challenges do exist.
Weakness in sensors and chips
For a long time, China’s been struggling to enhance its international competitiveness in sensor and chip technology, yet the progress is slow, and China still has a long way to go. However, as the Chinese government and innovation companies are making hard efforts continuously to remedy the situation, the prospect is promising.
Overall, there are both opportunities and risks in China. Meanwhile, the global smart home industry isn’t mature yet. To win a place in this emerging market, you have to seize every chance and figure out a nice plan. But it is hard to make right decision about everything. So let Insight Solutions Global be your partner to take care of your supply chain, while you can focus on making your way to success.
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