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Tech firms making strides in consumer electronics

Attendees walk past a display of televisions at the TCL booth during the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show, which was held from Jan 9 to Jan 12 in Las Vegas, the United States. STEVE MARCUS/REUTERS

When TCL participated in the Consumer Electronics Show for the first time in 1991, its booth encompassed just 9 square meters, Li Dongsheng, founder and chairman of the Chinese consumer electronics maker, recalled.

This year, though, its booth covered an area of nearly 1,700 sq m, the largest exhibition space among all Chinese enterprises taking part in the CES 2024, the world’s largest consumer technology show that was held from Jan 9 to Jan 12 in Las Vegas, the United States.

“Just like our TV, it is becoming bigger and bigger. In fact, the products we show at CES have expanded from consumer electronics to different smart devices and display technologies,” Li said at a product launch during this year’s CES.

Currently, the company offers smart devices, displays and new energy products in over 160 countries and regions.

The remarkable change in TCL’s presence at the CES over the past decades provides a glimpse into Chinese technology enterprises’ increasingly important role in bolstering the development of the global consumer electronics sector and spearheading technological progress worldwide.

Over 1,100 Chinese enterprises, more than double the number of exhibitors last year, unveiled an array of cutting-edge technologies and new tech products, including new-generation semiconductor displays, artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous driving and augmented reality, at the show.

The annual show drew more than 130,000 attendees and over 4,000 exhibitors from over 150 countries and regions, including over 1,200 startups.

Industry experts said the resilient performance of Chinese tech companies at the CES 2024 demonstrates China’s latest breakthroughs in world-leading technologies and its growing capacity for independent innovation in tech frontiers.

Highlighting that Chinese tech companies are playing a vital role in promoting technological innovation and accelerating efforts to expand their overseas footprint, they said the rapid integration of artificial intelligence with a wide range of hardware devices is fueling the evolution of the global consumer electronics industry.

China’s leading TV brands and display panel makers showcased their latest innovations at the show.

TCL demonstrated over 120 pieces of intelligent terminal devices, such as the world’s largest quantum dot mini LED TV with a 115-inch screen, smartphones, AI-powered tablets, AR goggles, vehicle-mounted displays and a smart cockpit.

Sun Li, chief technology officer of TCL Industries, said the company has always attached great importance to the exploration of state-of-the-art technologies and has established a research and development center in Silicon Valley in the United States.

“The R&D center will help us keep abreast of the latest technological trends, obtain new technical information, better integrate the company’s products with advanced technologies, as well as deepen cooperation and exchanges with local high-tech companies in the US,” Sun said.

Eyeing the fast-growing generative AI wave triggered by the ChatGPT chatbot, Sun said the company is ramping up efforts to integrate AI large language models into its various terminal devices, hoping to provide better voice interaction experiences and personalized content recommendation services.

It is also boosting production capacity at its Mexican factories, given that building global competitiveness has always been important for TCL.

In the first three quarters of last year, shipments of TCL’s smart TVs in North America rose 11.4 percent year-on-year, driven by increased demand for large-sized TV models.

BOE Technology Group, a major Chinese display panel manufacturer, rolled out a slew of new products, such as a flexible organic light-emitting diode, or OLED display, a transparent display panel, a 4K mini LED curved display and a 45-inch 8K borderless cockpit screen equipped in automaker Geely’s new electric vehicle, Galaxy E8.

BOE will step up investments in technological innovation, especially in fundamental and cutting-edge technologies, and collaborate with global tech heavyweights, including Samsung, LG, HP and Qualcomm as well as carmakers, the company said.

Hisense Group, a leading Chinese home appliances manufacturer, unveiled its latest ultra light-emitting diode or ULED TV and innovative laser display technology at the CES.

David Gold, vice-president of Hisense International and general manager of Hisense Americas, said the company is integrating display technology into homes, and providing consumers with high-quality home entertainment. He said its display technology is widely applied in the sports, education and medical fields, and continuously pushing technological boundaries.

 

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