(Yicai Global) March 18 -- Chinese home appliances giants, including Gree Electric Appliances, TCL Electronics Holdings and Haier Group, have expanded their business to smart door locks to fend off South Korean and Japanese rivals.
The three firms showcased their intelligent lock mechanisms at the Appliance & Electronics World Expo 2019 that was concluded yesterday in Shanghai. Prior to this, Samsung Group and Panasonic have introduced their internet-enabled locks.
The value of China's smart lock market will reach hundreds of billions of Chinese yuan in the future, said Li Li, head of Haier's smart security business. The Qingdao-based firm's lock recognizes a visitor within seconds after they touch the handle. Upon entering, air conditioner, lights and curtains will turn on or open automatically.
The growth of the emergent field may be hindered by security concerns. As an increasing number of household appliances move onto an open source platform, risks of data security widen, Jiang Feng, president of China Household Electrical Appliance Association, said to Yicai Global. The CHEAA and major Chinese electrical appliance makers issued safety standards for the first time during the AWE.
Zhuhai-based Gree brought its advanced door sensors, smart air conditioners, and the Internet of Things mobile phones to the fair. The door lock uses finger vein authentication which makes it completely safe, said Tang Jie, chief at Gree's IoT research institute. Buyers can use Gree Plus mobile application to interact with other smart home appliances, including an alarm system, he added.
Huizhou-based TCL introduced four smart door locks, featuring fingerprint or facial recognition, as well as semi-automated or fully automated models. One of the locks can sense movements in front of the door, said Wang Cheng, chief executive officer of TCL, adding that the system will record a 15-second video clip with which the house owner can authorize or deny the visitor's access.
Hong Kong-based Skyworth Digital Holdings also carried its smart locks to the fair. Shunde-based Midea Group and Shenzhen-based Konka Group have made inroads into the digital lock market before.
Editor: Emmi Laine