Chinese Brands Oppo, Hisense, Haier, TCL & TP Link Facing Major Backlash Due To COVID-19
A massive backlash against Chinese owned brands is coming according to observers with retailers facing the real possibility that they could be left with millions of dollars’ worth of Chinese branded stock which consumers are starting to boycott due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Deloitte recently bought out a report claiming that the COVID-19 crisis has put new retail and omnichannel transformations very high on the agendas of Chinese Companies who face a backlash in Australia the USA and Europe where consumers are blaming China for the outbreak and spread of COVID-19.
Deloitte’s Big Data team has examined consumers’ current shopping preferences, they claim that one effect of the epidemic has been a shift in the archetypal consumer’s journey from one brand to another and “physical store shopping + platform-based e-commerce” towards a “life on the cloud” diversity of coexisting models, including integrated e-commerce, social networking sites, vertically-integrated platforms and official brand websites over purchasing from a retailers online site.
In the USA, Europe and the UK the anti-Chinese brands push is also spilling over into the street where Chinese people, some who have lived in the USA for years are being threatened, the same has started to happen in Australia.
Among the Chinese brands facing problems are Telstra favourite ZTE who make the Telstra house brand smartphones, appliance Company Haier, Hisense, Oppo, Huawei whose telecommunication products are in many homes due to installers and carriers such as TPG and Optus still using their network gear. Also, under threat are brands such as Xiaomi, Changhong, and Realme smartphones.
To avoid being seen as a Chinese brand many Chinese manufacturers have been buying up the rights to Europe and Japanese brands such as Toshiba appliances, Toshiba TV’s Fisher & Paykel appliances which is owned by Haier or former Swedish Company ASKO appliances which is now owned by Chinese Company Hisense.
Peter Jennings the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and a former deputy secretary for strategy in the Defence Department wrote recently that the Chinese Communist Party who have major investments in Chinese Consumer Electronic Companies is using the virus to position itself as the saviour of much of the world, sending medical equipment and doctors, building political indebtedness and loudly claiming that authoritarianism is doing a better job of beating the virus than the US and many democracies.
He claims that the Communist Party even went as far of removing medical supplies from Australia prior to the epidemic becoming widespread in Australia.
He wrote recently that China and that the party hid the seriousness of the crisis in January while Chinese companies stripped countries such as Australia of protective medical equipment leaving Australian Government having to buy back medical supplies from China.
Sydney based property giant Greenland develops luxury ultra-high-rise blocks in Australia, in January they bought up and shipped off thousands of Australian medical supplies to China on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.
Greenland’s Australian staff were deployed from normal HR and management duties to go out shopping for masks, sanitiser, thermometers and gloves to be sent to Wuhan. The Company also bought supplies from wholesalers with many claiming that this was deliberately done to weaken Australia’s battle against COVID-19.
Another Company that moved to weaken Australia’s defence against the virus was Chinese-owned Risland Australia, who boasted online recently that “90 tons (sic) of selective medical supplies” were sent by “air transport direct from Sydney to Wuhan via corporate jet”.
Jennings also claims that the Chinese military are now moving their military might into position in the Asia Pacific region and that one Country that could be targeted is Taiwan.
Back in 2016 Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ, Millward Brown, urged Chinese companies to invest in their brands in markets such as Australia,with more purpose-based societal benefits to boost the growth rate of acceptance and consideration of the Chinese brands abroad, this has seen brands such as Hisense and Huawei as well as Fisher & Paykel invest in sport sponsorship and community based programs in Australia in an effort to gain acceptance.
Up unto 2018 this was working for brands such as Hisense with sponsorship of teams such as the Canberra Raiders.
Back in early 2019 consumer electronics company Lenovo topped a list of the most popular Chinese brands as perceived by people outside of China according to advertising agency group WPP and its research arm Kantar Millard Brown.
The companies’ “BrandZ Top 50 Chinese Global Brand Builders report combined Google search data with an online survey of 395,000 consumers to ﬁnd the Chinese brands highest in awareness and consideration in the U.S., Japan, Australia, U.K, Spain, Germany and France.
Also high on the list was Chinese smartphone Huawei who now due to bans by the Australian and US Governments are struggling.
At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas one third of the exhibitors were from China.
Analysts are tipping that consumers will turn to European Korean and Japanese brands such as Samsung, LG, Sharp, Loewe, Sony, or Taiwanese brands such as notebook brands Acer, MSI and ASUS as well as the likes of US brands Dell and Alienware.
In the network market brands such Taiwanese Company D-Link, US Company Netgear are set to grow over Chinese network Company TP Link.
Shortly Australians will also be able to buy a new generation of routers from US Company Arris who are set to launch their highly popular W6 Surfboard Max routers in Australia.
At an enterprise computing level, the United Nations has recently backtracked on a pact with the Chinese telecommunications giant Tencent Holdings to provide videoconferencing and text services for the international organization’s 75th anniversary, following backlash from U.S. officials and lawmakers as well as human rights groups.
Critics claim the arrangement rewards a company that has enabled Beijing’s digital surveillance efforts and stifled free speech on the internet in China.
Huawei is also facing new problems and a major backlash as global political pressure mounts on China over its handling of the global coronavirus pandemic, the Shenhzen based Company hs already warned that 2020 would be its toughest year yet, with “survival our first priority,” and that situation has now worsened—significantly.
The Company who is still trying to sell smartphones in Australia, is now almost entirely reliant on the Chinese market for growth—last year, sales in its home market soared 36% to account for around 60% of total revenues, now these sales have slumped due to the Coronavirus epidemic.
Huawei is also reliant on China to wield its diplomatic broadsword against countries wavering over their 5G decisions and in the UK this has come unstuck.
This weekend Senator Payne said the relationship between China and Australia will change in the wake of the crisis.
“All of these things will need to be reviewed, [they] will need to be considered in the light of changes in the world economy, in the light of changes in international health security,” she said.
Asked repeatedly whether she trusted China, Senator Payne would not respond directly.