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Companies in the GBA | How does TCL put China-made TVs on the map of global high-end TV market?

At the outset of 2024, Canadian tech influencer Linus, with millions of followers, shipped a 115-inch television from China to the US. He then posted an unboxing video on YouTube, which garnered millions of views. Countless viewers marveled at the TV's super-size and ultra-high definition. 

Produced by TCL, a company based in Huizhou, Guangdong province, it's the world's largest QD-Mini LED television. Measuring 2.56 meters in length and 1.43 meters in width, this TV is even taller than the doors of most apartments. What's even more astonishing is its price, selling at around 80,000 yuan, while Samsung's Micro LED TV of similar size sells for a million, more than ten times the price.

This isn't the first time that TCL has captured the world’s attention. In 2023, TCL's revenue from consumer electronics and home appliances exceeded 120 billion yuan, with roughly 70% coming from overseas markets. That same year, its global TV shipments reached 25.26 million units, ranking second among all color TV brands, second only to Samsung. In the high-end Mini LED field, TCL's market share reached 50.9%, which was head and shoulders above competing Japanese and Korean brands.

From the shelves in Costco and Sam's Club, to the giant screens for events like the Super Bowl, and the LED displays on the MSG Sphere in Las Vegas, TCL's presence is seen everywhere. TCL's overseas expansion has undoubtedly been successful, in which it takes to high-end products, changing the stereotype of Made-in-China to be all low-end offerings. 

According to TCL's founder Li Dongsheng, TCL's best-selling TV in the US market is the 98-inch model, capturing 60% of the market share. As more and more American consumers recognizing the quality of Chinese home appliances. And TCL's move into the overseas high-end markets is in fact influenced by the current state of China's television industry.

In an era dominated by smartphones and tablets, the demand for home TVs is gradually declining. According to All View Cloud data, the retail scale of China's color TV market has reached its lowest point in a decade. For TCL, the revenue pressure is daunting. Overseas expansion is imperative, but so is keeping up with technological advancement.

In recent years, TCL has made significant investments in R&D. This move brings TCL numerous patents, totaling 25,700,in 2022 alone, ranking seventh among the top 500 Chinese enterprises. Its semiconductor display subsidary, TCL CSOT, is not only a global leader in LCD TV panels, but also a tech-savvy giant in the industry.

The forementioned 115-inch display on TCL's TV is produced by TCL CSOT. Thanks to its strategies of super-sized and high-end products, TCL Tech's net profit is projected to see a staggering year-to-year growth of 704% to 857%, in 2023. In addition to the exports of the "old trio," TCL also ventured into photovoltaic, one of the "new trio", as its second growth curve. Currently, TCL's PV products are selling in Central Asia and South America, with accelerated exports to Europe. 

TCL, as a tech giant, born and bred in the Greater Bay Area, is now a model among Chinese firms venturing overseas, ushering in "Greater Bay-manufactured" products to billions of households following the leap of globalization.

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