Whaley's target: young eyeballs

Updated: 2016-09-08 08:09

By Zhu Wenqian(China Daily)

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Whaley Technology Co Ltd, a Shanghai-based internet-ready television maker, launched its 78-inch TV with curved screen in the summer. Priced 39,999 yuan ($6,020), it will be on sale from Sept 30.

It is the first such made-in-China product that broke the stranglehold of foreign brands on the high-end large-screen TV segment. Tech giants Sony Corp, Samsung Electronics Co and Sharp Corp dominate this market.

"Foreign brands have their advantages in hardware. To stand out in the market, we will provide more tailor-made content and Chinese resources, in addition to better sound and image quality," said Li Huaiyu, chief executive officer of Whaley TV.

"Our television programs will include popular Chinese and foreign films, hit events, NBA games and many variety shows. We aim to become a leading internet TV brand, by taking advantage of technologies and media," Li said.

At the end of June, there were 18 internet-enabled TV brands in China. The market is set to grow in China, according to industry research firm China Market Monitor Co Ltd.

In the first six months of this year, internet-enabled TV brands took 13.8 percent share of the total TV market in China, surpassing foreign brands of traditional TVs, the report showed.

Leading that charge is Whaley, co-founded by Li Huaiyu and Li Ruigang in 2014. The company has received investments and support from internet giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Focused on home entertainment and smart homes, Whaley has introduced a range of products that includes micro projectors, virtual-reality helmets, smart television software, Wi-Fi smart stereo and smart furniture.

Whaley's smaller-screen televisions come with bluetooth-based, voice-operated and multipurpose remote controllers that make channel-browsing easier for even old people and children, besides enabling playback of virtual reality contents.

Bai Weimin, executive vice-president of the China Video Industry Association, said: "The TV industry is growing with intelligent models set to reach consumers. The business model focused solely on hardware has been replaced by a model that combines hardware, wide-ranging content and services, and attracts young viewers."