Chinese home appliances maker Midea Group announced its smart home strategy named M-Smart and plans to invest CNY15 billion in smart home research and development over the next three years.
Midea will establish four smart home management systems covering air; water; nutrition and health; and energy and security. The company will also launch a smart home set-top box named M-Box.
According to Li Qiang, director of Midea's smart home division, Huawei will provide IT networking hardware support to M-Box, while Alibaba will provide software support. The company plans to cooperate with more partners in the future.
Cai Qiwu, senior vice president of Midea Group, said that in the future Midea will adopt a unified internal agreement and open external agreement plan to realize the connection, communication and understanding of all home appliances products in its arsenal. Cai revealed that to achieve their smart home strategy, Midea's various business units will all launch smart products in March, May, August and November 2014. In addition, the company plans to invest CNY3 billion to build a global research and development headquarters in Shunde for future smart home development.
By 2017, the scale of the Chinese smart home market will reach CNY8 billion; and by 2020, the total output of smart home appliances, covering upstream and downstream channels, will reach CNY1 trillion. Since the beginning of 2014, many Chinese home appliances giants such as Changhong, TCL and Midea have released their smart strategies and products.