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March 13, 2010

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Haier to jointly sell GE products in rural areas

CHINESE appliance maker Haier says it has joined with General Electric in selling GE appliances to rural areas, the focus of subsidies intended to boost spending by hundreds of millions of farmers.

Haier, headquartered in Qingdao in Shandong Province, is the world's fourth-largest white goods manufacturer, employing more than 60,000 people globally.

The company confirmed reports yesterday citing its President Yang Mianmian as saying in Beijing that the company began jointly selling GE appliances in the countryside last year.

Haier's own sales of appliances jumped 30 percent last year thanks to a government program that pays subsidies to rural dwellers who trade in old appliances to buy new ones. The subsidies are aimed at improving energy efficiency as well as encouraging spending by frugal farm families.

Haier's news office would not provide details about the program with GE, and GE's China office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Yang's comments, made on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress, were widely reported on Chinese Websites.


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