Hisense Group is a Chinese multinational white goods and electronics manufacturer headquartered in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China. It started out making radios in 1969.
Televisions are the main products of Hisense; their first TV model CJD18 was produced in 1978, and it is the largest TV manufacturer in China by market share since 2004. In 2013, Hisense invented a type of transparent 3D television. In 2020, it introduced the world's first true 8K 10 bit HDR screen TV that is based on an AI-powered HDR algorithm and an image quality engine claiming 6.5T supercomputing power. Hisense retails products under several brand names, including Hisense, Toshiba, Gorenje, Sharp, Kelon and Ronshen. Hisense is also an OEM, so some of its products are sold to other companies and carry brand names not related to Hisense.
In September 1969, Qingdao No.2 Radio Factory, the predecessor of Hisense Group, was established. This is the year its existence was first officially recognized. The small factory's first product was a radio sold under the brand name Red Lantern, but the company later acquired the know-how to make TVs through a trial-production of black and white televisions ordered by the Shandong National Defense Office. This involved the technical training of three employees at another Chinese factory, Tianjin 712, and resulted in the production of 82 televisions by 1971 and the development of transistor TVs by 1975.
Television production in China was limited until 1979 when a Beijing meeting of the Ministry of Electronics called for greater development of the civil-use electronics industry. Qingdao No.2 Radio Factory was then quickly merged with other local electronics makers and began to manufacture televisions under the name Qingdao General Television Factory in Shandong province.
Color televisions were manufactured through the purchase of a production line from Matsushita, the first of many such technology transfers from foreign firms Hisense has made in order to remain competitive. The companies it has bought from include Hitachi, Lucent, Matsushita, NEC, Sanyo, Toshiba, and Qualcomm.
The Hisense Group emerged in 1994 from a tumult started in 1992 by then-president Zhou Houjian or perhaps even by Li Dezhen, director of the Electronic Instrument Bureau of Qingdao. The Hisense Electrical Appliance Share Holding Company (now, Hisense Electrical Co Ltd) was publicly listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in April 1997. Increased competition and price wars in the Chinese electronics market in the 1990s were a boon to Hisense, which acquired ten failing enterprises by 1998.
Eager to expand beyond consumer electronics, Hisense Group aimed to also become a regional leader in household appliances, computers and communications. This strategy prompted great outlays of capital on R&D and on the creation of industrial parks, etc.
In July 2015, Hisense bought a Mexico facility from Sharp for $23.7 million alongside rights to use the Sharp brand on televisions sold in North and South America.
In November 2017, Hisense announced that it would acquire a 95% controlling stake in Toshiba Visual Solutions for US$113 million. In 2018, Hisense became the majority shareholder in Slovenian appliance manufacturer Gorenje with 95.4% of shares.
Hisense manufactures white goods, televisions, set-top boxes, digital TV broadcasting equipment, laptops, mobile phones, wireless modules, wireless PC cards and optical components for the telecommunications and data communications industries.
It also provides a variety of services, including property management, information technology services, product design, mold design, pattern making as well as mold processing and manufacturing.
Hisense sells under multiple brand names.
- Gorenje: Acquired 100% of shares in 2019 of the Slovenian Gorenje.
- Combine: Affixed to no frills air conditioners and refrigerators, Combine-branded products may be purchased by Chinese farmers.
- Hisense-Hitachi: A brand of commercial air-conditioners designed and manufactured by a joint venture of Hisense and Hitachi.
- Hisense Kelon: A high-end brand under Hisense, can be found on refrigerators and air-conditioners.
- Ronshen: High quality, middle-end air conditioners and refrigerators retail under this brand name.
- Savor: A home appliance brand, from the eponymous Modern English word.
- Toshiba: On 15 November 2017, Hisense reached a $114 million deal to acquire a 95% stake of Toshiba Visual Solutions.
In 2015, Hisense received a five-year license to use the Sharp brand on televisions in the Americas. Hisense also bought a Sharp factory in Mexico.
In June 2017, Hisense was sued by Sharp under its new owner Foxconn, seeking to have the license agreement halted. Sharp accused Hisense of damaging its brand equity by utilizing its trademarks on products it deemed to be "shoddily manufactured", including those that it believed to have violated U.S. safety standards for electromagnetic radiation, and deceptive advertising of their quality. Hisense denied that it engaged in these practices, and stated that it planned to defend itself in court and "will continue to manufacture and sell quality televisions under the Sharp licensed brands."
In February 2018, Sharp dropped the lawsuit.
In September 2007, Hisense TV LCD module production line was put into production, which is the first LCD module production line in China's color TV industry, breaking the history of foreign monopoly.
In June 2005, China's first industrial digital video processing chip with independent intellectual property rights was born in Hisense, which is the first chip with independent intellectual property rights and can be officially industrialized in China's audio and video field. The history of China's 73 million color TV sets annually using foreign chips is coming to an end.scale commercial air conditioning market.
In 2002, Hisense and Hitachi established Qingdao Hisense Hitachi Air-conditioning System Co., Ltd. as a joint venture, and began to set foot in the large-scale commercial air conditioning market.
In 2001, Hisense completed HiCON adaptive traffic signal control system, filling the gap of high-end products of China's traffic signal control system, and thus determined Hisense's leading position in domestic intelligent transportation technology.
Hisense Elctronics A shares (600060) listed on Shanghai Stock Exchange
Hisense South Africa was founded in October 1996, taking the first step of internationalization.
In 1996, Hisense introduced frequency conversion technology in China and established air conditioning company.
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