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Haier celebrates 30 years of ‘Inspired Living’
01-16 2015

Click on the image above to see a video presentation of the history of Haier


In 2014, Haier celebrates its evolution from a small collective enterprise into the world’s number one Major Appliances Brand*. The origins of Haier date back to 1984, when Zhang Ruimin, now CEO of Haier Group, took over the ailing Qingdao Refrigerator Factory. Haier’s 30th anniversary is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the unique success story behind a brand that has shaken up the global household electricals market.


It all began with a hammer…


Zhang Ruimin, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

On 26 December 1984, at the beginning of a period of Chinese economic reform, Zhang Ruimin took over the struggling Qingdao refrigerator factory and its 600 workers. Shortly afterwards, he received customer complaints about faulty products. To emphasise the importance the company needed to place on quality, Zhang lined up the faulty models and proceeded to smash them with a sledgehammer in front of his 600 factory workers. Those responsible for the products were invited to do the same. ''There is no A, B, C, or D quality,” he said at the time. ''There is only acceptable and unacceptable.'' A focus on quality that has not wavered in the 30 years that followed.


At that time, it would have taken a wild imagination to predict that the small factory would become the cornerstone of a global group employing 70,000 people and with a presence in over 100 countries worldwide. Haier Group, China’s leading home appliance manufacturer, now has 30 years of experience under its belt and has forged a strong and ever-improving international reputation, offering a full range of domestic appliances and electronic devices for the home.


Haier Worldwide reputation


Ø  Haier Group Chairman & CEO, Zhang Ruimin, was ranked among “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders (Fortune Magazine, March 2014)

Ø  Haier is the 8th most innovative company in the world, according to a survey by the Boston Consulting Group (January 2013)

Ø  Haier was crowned the 10th most innovative company in the world by American magazine Newsweek (December 2010)


Haier headquarters - Qingdao


A global business strategy that has led to the Haier success story


The Haier success story has resulted from a global strategy which is focused on maximising products, market segments and geographic coverage, while simultaneously ensuring that the company delivers the most innovative breakthrough products that maximise cost efficiency. In order to achieve these ambitious goals, Haier has identified the key focus areas of product range enlargement, coverage of all market segments, geographic development, industrial platforms, R&D Innovation and Design and an HR Empowerment Philosophy.

Global Key Figures:


Ø  N° 1 Brand in the World for multiple product areas (refrigeration, home laundry, freezers, wine coolers/chillers)

Ø  Haier has showed consistent growth over the last three decades, achieving a record turnover of $29.5 Billion in 2013 (vs. $25.8 Billion in 2012), with a profit of $1.76 Billion

Ø  70,000 employees worldwide

Ø  A sales network of 143,330 distributors across 100 countries

Ø  66 trading companies

Ø  24 manufacturing plants

Ø  24 industrial parks


From China to Europe: a clear understanding of European consumers to develop tailor-made products


Haier has ambitious growth plans to become a major player in Europe, aiming to be within the top 5 European household electrical appliance manufacturers. For Haier Group, the key to successful globalisation is successful localisation. Through the development of Haier Europe, the group’s European entity, Haier has been able to get closer to its target markets and end users within those markets. The company is active in a total of 30 European countries, with operational headquarters in Paris, France and local offices in France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Russia, Benelux and Poland.


René Aubertin, CEO of Haier Europe

“In the 30th year of Haier’s existence, we are more conscious than ever of the successful and continuous evolution Haier has pursued to become a truly global brand. We have not been afraid to reinvent ourselves in order to grow and our vision is to be the industry leader, the first choice for end users, offering an electrical appliance for every household need.”


Primarily renowned for the high-quality white goods products (refrigerators, washing and dish machines), which have formed Haier’s DNA for years, Haier Europe has successfully branched into new product lines such as tablets, smartphones and televisions. In 2012, Haier also launched the new Home Solutions division in Europe: a complete range of heating, cooling, and domestic hot water solutions.


An obsession with quality


Responding to the demands of the European market for premium-quality and long-life products, which can last from generation to generation, Haier focuses on the high-end and mid-range market segments. A firm emphasis is placed on listening to consumer opinions and feedback at every stage of the product creation process, to design and develop products across all product lines which best satisfy customer needs and make everyday life simpler.



Innovation and design, the Haier way


Innovation has long been at the heart of Haier’s strategy and significant ongoing investment in R&D is one of the key drivers of the company’s success. 4% of annual turnover is invested in this area, with 8,150 staff employed in innovation programmes across the world. With an R&D centre in Nuremberg, Germany, and a manufacturing facility in Campodoro, Italy, Haier Europe has a better management of customer needs and demands, offering innovative and competitive solutions for the European market.

Did you know?


Ø  Haier has 5 R&D centres worldwide

Ø  As the number one and most powerful domestic enterprise design centre, Haier Design Centre obtained more than 60 awards of industrial design, including 37 iF awards, 20 reddot awards, 3 Gmark awards, 3 IDEA awards etc..

Ø  Haier was among the first brands to bring A+ energy-rated refrigerators to the European market 

Ø  Haier was the first brand to launch an A+++ -40% energy rated washing machine on the market

Ø  This year, Haier launched the world’s first lifetime warranty on compressors in its new one-metre range of refrigerators, with storage capacities reaching 792L

Ø  Haier is at the forefront of understanding and interpreting trends: its designs have earned numerous international awards and each product category has a defining aesthetic such as Haier Glass Design® home appliances.


*with 9.7% retail volume share in 2013 (source: Euromonitor International Limited 2013)

For interview requests or further information, please contact our UK press team:


Joseph Chance
+ 33 (0)1 55 02 15 17

Orlaith Finnegan

+ 33 (0)1 55 02 27 97


About Haier:

The Haier Group is the world’s No. 1 Major Appliances brand with a 9.7% retail volume share in 2013 (Source: Euromonitor International Limited; retail volume sales in units based on 2013 data). With its commitment to quality and innovation, Haier brings the inspired living experience to consumers in over 100 countries worldwide. With global headquarters based in the Chinese city of Qingdao and regional headquarters in both Paris and New York to serve its clients in Europe and America, Haier has 66 trading companies, 143,330 sales outlets and 24 industrial parks with 70,000 employees worldwide. Haier both pursues excellence in innovation through its five R&D centres and ensures its products are adapted to the tastes and needs of its consumers in its various local markets. Haier specialises in technology-driven research, manufacturing and trading a large range of durable products. In Europe, these include: televisions, refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, consumer electronics and energy saving home solutions. Haier’s global revenue in 2013 was US$29.5 billion and profit of US$1.76 billion in 2013. Haier Electronics Group Co., Ltd. (HKG: 1169), a subsidiary of the Haier Group, is listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong. Qingdao Haier Co. (SHA: 600690), also a Haier subsidiary, is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

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