The technology of artificial intelligence is redefining the home appliance industry and forcing companies to upgrade their business model so as to compete with new players, Yicai.com reported. Those who manufacture are venturing into retail, while those who sell are beginning to develop their own products. In the burgeoning era of AI, the evolution of products and value chains in the home appliance sector are being radically restructured.

China’s home appliance firms are seeing more cooperation with IT internet giants such as Huawei, JD.com and Alibaba. In addition, traditional electrical appliance manufacturers such as Midea Group, have evolved from just providing hardware, to also offering extended services. The company has invested about 100 million yuan (USD 15.8 million) every year in AI, and extended its business to smart manufacturing, smart logistics and new retail. The future of home appliances will not be a single product, but a combination of “commodity + service + data + content,” said Yan Xiaobing, vice president of JD.com, one of China’s e-commerce giants. – Atimes