Washing Machines In China: a Promising Market for Foreign Brands?

Major global washing machine brands are looking to China as a promising market for future growth. But is this segment of the Chinese home appliances market this significant? In this post, we’ll take a look at the current state of the washing machine market in China and explore whether or not it’s a good market for global brands, the trends, and how to sell and promote your brands there!

China Washing Machine Market

China remains the world’s largest consumer, exporter, and seller of washing machines. This is despite the setbacks imposed by the pandemic in recent years. In fact, most consumer sectors are using washing machines in China for everyday life. For instance, you’ll see a washing machine used in residences and commercial properties such as resorts and hotels.

This increased demand for washing machines resulted from the prevailing trend of increased income from its population. Moreover, we can also attribute the exponential growth of the Chinese washing machine market to urbanization and the electrification of China’s rural areas.

However, despite the rapid expansion of the market, China still suffers from a lack of innovation and development of washing machine products. Although we can see the rise of multinational brands like Haier and Panasonic, we’re yet to see the same level of growth for small homegrown washing machine businesses. The reason for this is the inability to amass economies of scale due to the lack of innovation, government subsidy, and financial resources. Although, we can see that this is changing as the Chinese government is ramping up subsidies in recent years and even imposing policies for market consolidation.

Laundry Appliances in China: Trends To Look Out For

With the large Chinese consumer base, it’s crucial to keep track of the China Laundry Appliances market. After all, if you’re a business that wants to expand in China, it just makes sense to start looking into how you should approach its market and consumers.

Here are the most crucial market patterns to look out for when selling washing machines in China:

The Resurgence of the Washing Machine Market

Initially, China’s demand for washing machines stumped in 2020 because of the pandemic. However, given the Chinese government’s better pandemic prevention and control, we’re seeing a re-emergence of the demand for washing machines in China. In fact, we can see this spike in need across the China Laundry Appliances Market.

Furthermore, while offline channel sales slowed down, online sales of washing machines in China had positive growth in recent years. As we said before, this development is attributed to the increased living standards of Chinese consumers. As their quality of life improves, their demand for wash and care equipment rises.

Therefore, we can say that China’s elevated average level of income is the primary growth driver for the China Laundry Appliances Market. So, suppose you want to sell washing machines in China. In that case, you should expect more significant amounts of sales if you properly position yourself in the market.

Demand for Innovative Washing Machine Products

Data indicate that the China Laundry Appliances market expects more technological breakthroughs in their products, notably the washing machines segment. After achieving exponential growth, companies that sell washing machines in China are now shifting their business model from sales-oriented to innovative.

This increased demand for innovation is evidenced by the rise in sales of inverters and washing machines with temperature sterilization and drying functions. As we said before, washing machines in China are used in domestic households and for commercial properties. Therefore, Chinese consumers demand more comfort and more functionalities from their washing machines that make their lives easier.

There’s also a rise in demand for subsections in washing machines like:

  • Clothing care machines
  • Partition washing
  • Ultrasonic washing
  • And mini washing machines

Suppose your business can find a way to provide more value through its technology. In that case, you can potentially see success in the China Laundry Appliance Market.

The Chinese Washing Machines Landscape is quite competitive

Established brands that sell washing machines in China have a clear advantage over newer entrants in the market. These advantages look like their consumers’ brand loyalty and their reputation in the market as trusted and reliable washing machine manufacturers. 

We can also see that the Chinese government wants to consolidate its China Laundry Appliances Market to make it more globally competitive. As a result, we’ll see more of the smaller companies for washing machines in China get subsumed by more giant, more established domestic conglomerates.

Currently, large multinational companies dominate the market of washing machines in China, which includes:

  1. Haier – this Chinese multinational company is the leading manufacturer of washing machines in China. Haier generates 57.7% of its machine revenue from intelligent machines with remote controls.
  2. LG Electronics – a Korean multinational conglomerate that produced approximately 13.66 million washing machines in 2020.
  3. TCL – employing 48,000 employees worldwide, TCL is one of the largest Chinese electronics companies, along with Midea Group and Haier.
  4. Siemens – this German multinational conglomerate is also one of the leading brands of washing machines in China. 
  5. Midea Group – the last most notable brand is also a Chinese multinational company called the Midea Group. This Beijao-based company has generated 21.6 billion yuan or 3.3 billion US dollars in 2022 from its robots and automated systems.

Furthermore, established companies are more capable of responding to domestic emergencies such as an epidemic because of their:

  • Better supply chain management and capabilities, like supplier linkages
  • Established organizational structures
  • And economies of scale

However, we can see some pushback from smaller brands trying to innovate to differentiate themselves.

Exports of Washing Machines

Because of the increased government subsidy and advances in manufacturing technology, China quickly became one of the world’s largest exporters of washing machines. Its exports are valued at approximately 255.561 million USD for December 2021 alone. In fact, washing machine exports will probably become the primary growth driver for the market in the future. This estimate comes from increased demand for higher-quality washing machine products. Manufacturers are more comfortable producing higher-end washing machines in China because of consumers’ willingness to pay a premium for them.

That’s why many international brands like Samsung, LG, and Panasonic are building their plants in China through their local partners there. China’s leading trade partners for washing machines include South Korea, Japan, the USA, and the UK.

Why China Is the Biggest Washing Machine Market in Terms of Consumption

As we said before, the rise in income levels and standard of living have a considerable role in establishing China as the biggest washing machine market. But more than that, we can see that China’s urbanization efforts for 3rd and 4th tier cities are also a reason why the demand is still increasing in size.

Moreover, the Chinese washing machine market is also a boon for numerous international brands, making it a center of washing machine technology and innovation. We’ve already discussed how brands from abroad are building their manufacturing plants in China. Consequently, new technologies are imported into the Chinese market, which captures the ongoing interest of Chinese consumers in washing machines.

As the income levels of the Chinese population are steadily increasing, we’ll also see a higher replacement rate of appliances, especially washing machines in China.

Segments in the Chinese Laundry Appliances Market

There are numerous segments in the China Laundry Appliances market that you can leverage for your penetration strategy. We have subdivided these segments into:

  • Type
    • Freestanding
    • Built-in
  • Product
    • Washing machine
    • Dryers
  • Technology
    • Automatic
    • Semi-Automatic
  • And Distribution channel
    • Supermarkets
    • Hypermarkets
    • Specialty Stores
    • Online

The washing machine segment still leads the China Laundry Appliances Market to use energy and water-saving technologies that are much sought-for by Chinese consumers.

As we said before, technological innovations and advancements are crucial if you want to sell washing machines in China. Suppose your washing machine can provide more comfort and convenience for the consumer’s hectic lifestyle. In that case, you’re likely to succeed in this market.

How To Sell and Distribute Laundry Appliances in China

Sell Washing Machines and Laudry appliances in China

While opening brick-and-mortar stores is an option, there’s a noticeable shift towards online purchases among Chinese consumers. In fact, the digital economy or e-commerce transactions accounted for about 38 percent of the country’s GDP.

  1. You can open a shop in the leading e-commerce platforms of China, which includes JD.com, TMall Global, and Suning Global. JD.com is the leading e-commerce platform for home appliances that sports flagship stores for international brands. Similarly, TMall also has a global platform for international brands to set up shop. It would help if you didn’t miss out on Tmall since it’s the largest e-commerce platform in China in terms of user numbers. Suning Global is also an excellent choice to reach niche audiences to sell washing machines in China.
  2. You can also go for the distrubution route. Working through home appliances retailers such as Suning or Gome. However, to do so you’ll have to either have the right connections and network or/and work hard on your branding, just like you would have doing through the direct selling route.

Why do you need such a strong online presence and reputation to succeed in China?

If you want to sell washing machine brands in China, you’ll need to have a strong online marketing strategy. This is because the Chinese market is very competitive, and shoppers are increasingly turning to the internet to find the best deals.

With the advent of online marketing, the route to selling washing machine brands in China has become easier and more efficient. However, while there may be a host of choices when it comes to online marketing services, not all of them are created equal. To ensure that your washing machine brand gets the adequate exposure it needs in China, you’ll want to partner with a reputable and experienced online marketing firm that specializes in this region.

How do you maintain a robust online presence in the Chinese market?

  • You can do this by ranking high in Baidu search, their version of Google, through keywords and SEO. This will help with organic traffic and visibility as well as brand reputation. A good ranking on Baidu can truely set you appart from the competition.
  • Improve your visibility as well through PR releases. However, you need to ensure that these PR statements are supported by experts such as Key Opinion Leaders and other reputable entities and individuals.
  • You should also ensure that you have accounts on China’s most prominent social media platforms like WeChat, Weibo, and Douyin. Each of these platforms has a user base of above 500 million. You can significantly improve your brand’s reputation by establishing an official account on all of these platforms. Remember that you should get an account on these platforms to access the marketing tools available to brands and touch as many demographics as possible and spread your content like wildfire. Having official account is also a reassurance for customers that you are a legit brand.
washing machines in china - panasonic on weibo
  • Chinese Forums (Zhidao/Zhihu/Wenwen…)are going to be another channel to leverage to set your brand appart from the competition. Forums can be quite “neardy” and very specifics. This is the place you can shine and introduce yourself as THE expert in your field and engage directly with consumers. What’s best with chinese forums is that you can use them for “undercover marketing”. Build users accounts that will lead and animate the discussion arount your brand. It is a bit of work to set up but done well, it will encourage UGC and organic discussion that in turns will be displayed high on Baidu’s serp.

Want to sell your Laundry appliances brand in China? or Increase your Visibility Online?

Although the laundry appliances market in China is highly competitive, with the right online marketing strategy brands can see great success. By focusing on e-commerce and developing a strong online presence, brands can reach more consumers and build trust and loyalty among Chinese shoppers. Additionally, working to improve your brand’s online reputation will help you stand out from the competition.

gma - DIgital Marketing Agency China

Are you ready to conquer the Chinese laundry appliances market? Let us help you get started! contact us here to schedule a free consultation with one of our experts.

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