(Yicai Global) April 12 -- Chinese smartphone and consumer electronics maker Smartisan Digital is preparing to launch a new e-cigarette brand as the mobile market cools.
Founder Luo Yonghao visited e-cigarette producers in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen in early March, technology media outlet 36Kr reported yesterday, citing a supplier. The new brand will be called Xiaoye in Chinese and Yeld in English, it added.
Beijing-based Smartisan applied last January to trademark Xiaoye under the category of scientific instruments and approval is still pending, according to corporate information website Tianyancha.
Former key Smartisan employee Zhu Xiaomu created his own vape brand Flow and debuted its first product after leaving the company, Luo said at a press conference on Jan. 15.
Analysts believe Luo has an advantage in marketing and in the mature nature of China's e-cigarette supply chain. Such brands can release a product quickly, within three to six months. The industry's entrepreneurship threshold and research and development costs are also much lower than those for mobile phones.
Still, state broadcaster China Central Television highlighted the e-cigarette industry's problems on March 15, World Consumer Rights Day, which may put some pressure on Luo, who has just entered the arena.