(Yicai Global) Jan. 7 — Midea Group is planning to focus more on the business-to-business sector, in addition to its dominant business-to-consumer trade, to seek more opportunities from commercial clients amid a general slowdown in the country’s property market, the vice president of the Chinese home appliances giant said recently.

China’s white goods industry has benefited greatly from the rapid growth of the real estate sector, but these dividends are on the decline, so Midea needs to become more active in the B2B market, Guan Jinwei, who is also president of the Midea Building Technologies Division, said at the 2021 Building Technology TRUE Conference held from Jan. 5 to Jan. 6.

Midea is expanding its central air-conditioning business into the building sector, as it believes this is the way forward after seeing multinationals such as the US’ General Electric, Germany’s Siemens and Japan’s Panasonic take this route, Guan said.

Given the already large share that Midea’s central air conditioners have in the local construction market, the company hopes to make up for shortcomings in other industrial market segments this year, said Zhou Xing, general manager of marketing at the Midea Building Technologies Division.

For example, the upgrading of central air-conditioning systems at data centers and railway projects can bring in more orders for Midea, Guan said. Last year, the Foshan, southern Guangdong-based firm had a number of telecoms operators as clients and sold over 1,000 units of magnetic centrifuges.

The Building Technologies Division is also looking at low-carbon smart building solutions, which would pit Midea against not only local tech giants such as Alibaba Group Holding and Huawei Technologies but also foreign companies. However, Midea is a supplier of integrated hardware, software and control solutions, so it can also cooperate with rivals at the same time as competing with them, Guan said.

Editors: Tang Shihua, Kim Taylor