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TV War Looms As Hisense Battle It Out With TCL

A major battle has broken out between Chinese arch rivals TCL And Hisense in the TV market with Samsung tipped to start shipping cheap TV’s to take both brands on in the “value” end of the market.

Common in China where Hisense and TCL fight over TV market share the battle has now spilled over into the Australian market where Samsung is looking to create a category “buffer” to take on the two Chinese brands.

ChannelNews understands that the Korean Company will use a range of Samsung TV’s manufactured by third parties to take on the discounted offerings from TCL and Hisense.

Some observers claim that this could create a “discount war” in the value and affordable premium market leaving LG and Samsung to fight it out at the top end of the premium market with 8K TV’s and 4K premium TV’s that are powered by new processors that neither Hisense or TCL can afford to bundle with their discounted TV’s.

Currently Hisense is desperately trying to dump stock after over estimating demand for their TV’s last year, due in part to the Chinese Company trying to lift the price of their TV’s just as more retailers who have in the past sold Hisense TV started ranging models from TCL.

In 2019 European brand Philips and Japanese brand Hitachi are also set to pressure both TCL and Hisense in the “affordable premium” TV market with new top end TV models at what has been described by The Good Guys and JB Hi Fi as “fantastic value”.

Hitachi is also set to expand their range of smaller combo TV’s in the 40” and below categories.

Sony who use TCL to manufacture their TV’s have avoided a price war by keeping their prices high with observers claiming they are only interested in selling at a “high price”.

The Good Guys will shortly roll out new premium models from Hitachi and JB Hi Fi, models from Philips, that analysts claim will put pressure on both Hisense and TCL as they are seen as being “trusted brands” from well known, consumer electronic Companies with a history in Australia.

According to retail sources Hisense in 2018 were desperate to deliver more margin as they are currently seen as a discount brand used by retailers when consumers “cannot afford a top end premium brand”.

One retailer said “Hisense more so than TCL are seen as a discount brand by people who would like to own a Samsung or LG premium TV but cannot afford the stocker price’ said one retailer.

Hisense who at one stage were bragging that they were the number one TV brand in Australia despite producing no evidence after we requested copies of the research to justify their claims, is now trying to shift 55” OLED TV’s for as low as $1,995.

ChannelNews understands that this price could drop even further if the stock is not moved this weekend.

What is helping TCL is that the brand is getting a lot of traction and exposure in the US market where sales have been so successful that the Chinese Company has been forced to stop taking on OEM brand manufacturing to deliver more of their own TV’s for the US market.

While global TV set sales decreased 3.6 percent from 2016 to 2017, TCL recorded unit sales growth of over 16 percent during the same period, according to the company.

TCL sources in Asia have told ChannelNews that the Chinese Company is looking for “significant” growth in Australia this year after Harvey Norman, The Good Guys and JB Hi Fi lifted orders for the TCL range of TV’s increased “significantly” in 2018 they are now claiming that this could increase by 15% this year for TCL branded TV’s.

The same sources said that Company is also set to manufacture a second TV brand for the Australian that will be sold in Australia exclusively via a major retailer.

The TCL source who did not want to be identified, refused to name the retailer who apparently called a tender, but they did claim that it is set to replace a current house brand TV currently being sold in Australia.

According to US analysts Hisense who were forced to buy the Toshiba TV brand name after a fall out with the Foxconn owned Sharp who accused the Chinese TV Company of putting the Sharp name on “inferior” TV’s, is struggling in both the European and US markets with Australia in the past being one of the best markets for the Company who claim to be #1 in China.

Sharp sued Hisense in 2017, claim that the Hisense manufactured TVs bearing its name broke US rules on electromagnetic emissions and that Hisense had made false claims about picture quality.

The two eventually walked away from the pending Court case after cutting a mutual deal.

Shortly afterwards Hisense cut a deal with Toshiba whose TV’s have in the past been sold exclusively in Australia by Harvey Norman via Powermove.

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