(Yicai Global) Jan. 10 -- Chinese electronics firms are increasingly looking to cut out the middlemen and making contact with foreign manufacturers and retailers as they participate in global trade shows, such as the ongoing 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The number of agents who used to profit from the price difference has drastically reduced since customers and producers can directly contact Chinese firms and do not need agents anymore, Zhou Lingxiang, a conference agent working with Shenzhen-based companies taking part in the CES, told Yicai Global.
"Chinese products are too competitive, the quality is good but the price is low," Zhou said, adding that due to the competitive advantage, some markets are only opening up to China now. For example a trade fair in Brazil opened for Chinese exhibitors just in 2015, he added.
However, the uncertainty of China-US bilateral trade has foreshadowed the electronics show and the number of Chinese participants has reduced nearly 22 percent from last year. If the two countries cannot see from eye to eye about trade before the truce deadline of March 1, some US import tariffs may rise to 25 percent from 10 percent.
Chinese firms still cover 13 percent to 14 percent of the fair's exhibition area this year, a proportion basically unchanged from last year. Some of the highlights include Royole which showcases the world's first foldable cellphone FlexPai. Drone-maker DJI Technology used the opportunity to release a remote controller with a built-in screen. Skyworth brought its organic light-emitting diode TV with 8K resolution.
Those big Chinese firms that have expanded their presence are Alibaba Group Holding, Baidu, electronics maker Changhong Electric, Future Mobility's car marque Byton, DJI Technology, Haier Group, Hisense, JD.Com, Konka Group, Lenovo Group, Suning.Com, TCL and others, who hope to build brand awareness via the CES, a spokesperson from the fair's organizing committee told Yicai Global.
Some of the exhibitors were also small and medium-sized Chinese firms. "This is the first time for us to attend the show and we hope to open to the US or even the global market," Zhang Zhibin, the market director of Shenzhen-based robot-maker Pudu Technology told Yicai Global. Last year, Zhang attended the IFA Berlin and met an Austrian agent to fuel the firm's plans to expand to Europe.
"We want to listen to the voice of the foreign market and take in the feedback," a spokesperson for Biosec Fingerprint Technology told Yicai Global. The Shanghai-based original equipment manufacturer said that they are looking for foreign brands to work with and used an agent to help with the introductions.
At the CES, a company needs to pay as little as CNY40,000 (USD5,890) for a standard booth of nine square meters. The price is very low because many firms get subsidies from the government, an agent told Yicai Global.
The CES will end tomorrow.
Editor: Emmi Laine