Mar 18, 2020 (China Knowledge) - After launching equipment manufacturing to produce medical mask and thermometer devices, Dong Mingzhu, chairwoman and CEO of Gree Electric (000651) announced the company will further invest RMB 1 bln in making medical equipment. Dong has made this public this new business during a live TV broadcast of a program: "the new direction of China's manufacturing industry after the epidemic" yesterday.
"We have two major businesses at Gree; namely the consumer and industrial setctor. After the outbreak, I suddenly saw that China still facing challenges in the medical equipment sector. Thus, we have announced inside our company that RMB 1 bln will be invested in this field, even if it doesn't work out," Dong said on the live broadcast. She further reiterated that she believes it is impossible to invest such amount of money without a result.
As early as Feb 18, Gree invested RMB 20 mln to establish a wholly-owned subsidiary, Zhuhai Gejian Medical Science & Technology Ltd. It is now mainly produces epidemic prevention products. Outsiders have been wondering whether Gree would continue to operate this subsidiary after the COVID-19 ended, or is this a signal of Gree Electric venturing outside its core business in home appliances.
Dong reveals her proposition of diversifying into medical equipment manufacturing is due to China’s lacking in the core know-how of medical equipment. With these shortcomings, many high-end medical equipment needs to be imported into the country.
Within 2 months after the outbreak of pandemic, Gree has successfully developed an air purifier, which can eliminate coronavirus. The purifier has been tested in the hospital; and, currently its daily production reached 20,000 to 30,000 units, which are on the presale basis, and shipments only begin on Mar 18.
Known for being a formidable hi-tech manufacturer of home appliances and other industrial machinery Gree’s new venture in medical fields may be a good timing to ride the wave for pend-up and future strong market demand – these could be lucrative exports.
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