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Korea, China and Japan Competing in European Home Appliance Market
Samsung and LG Booths at IFA 2019 Wow Visitors
Korea, China and Japan Competing in European Home Appliance Market
  • By Kim Eun-jin
  • September 10, 2019, 10:09
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Visitors crowd the LG Electronics booth at the IFA 2019 in Berlin, Germany on Sept. 8 (local time).

Korean, Chinese, and Japanese companies participating in the IFA 2019 in Berlin showcased their new products to attract European consumers. In particular, they drew much attention from visitors with innovative technologies in such fields as 8K TV, 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT), which were one step ahead of those of local companies.

Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics of Korea, Sony and Panasonic of Japan, TCL and Huawei of China among others showed stronger technological power than their local counterparts at IFA 2019, Europe's largest consumer electronics exhibition held from Sep. 6 to 11 (local time) in Berlin, Germany.

Samsung presented the “Galaxy Fold” foldable phone to the public for the first time, drawing many visitors. The booths of Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics became required tour courses of Korean and overseas corporate delegations. They showed wide technology gaps with other companies in most products such as TVs and home appliances. In particular, Samsung Electronics prepared the largest exhibition space in City Cube Berlin, differentiating itself from other companies.

In response to this, Japanese companies made a bold move with the help of the Japanese government as Japan previously ranked as a powerhouse in the global IT industry, recently not only lost its shares to Korea in the TV and home appliance market but became inferior to Korea in technological competitiveness.

In particular, senior Japanese government officials such as deputy minister Yoshihiro Seki of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Keita Nishiyama, director-general of the Commerce and Information Policy Bureau at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry indirectly supported Japanese companies while directly participating in official IFA 2019 events.

This year, China sent the largest number of companies to the IFA 2019 as they did last year. Chinese companies numbered about 780 or about 40 percent of about 1900 participating companies in the exhibition. Half of the exhibition hall was occupied by Chinese companies.

In particular, Huawei CEO Richard Wi gave a keynote speech and appeared as a cover model in the Day 1 Edition of the IFA Magazine published by the organizer.

However, some observers pointed out that China's Korea copying strategy had not stopped. Major Chinese companies showcased products suspected of being copycats of TVs and refrigerators of Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, but such products were evaluated a little behind in quality.