China is the second largest economy in the world and is nicknamed as the world’s factory. The Chinese mentality since the time of its supreme leader Mao was to become a global power and for that, the economy needed to be strengthened. After several centuries of economic downfall, colonization and revolutions, China finally started to make some relevant changes in the later part of the 20th century.
These changes resulted in the growth of numerous sectors but the most benefitted of all is the electronics industry. China has emerged as the heaven for the electronics industry. The country gave birth to many giants such as TCL, Haier, Hisense, Midea, Casadi and Gree who are the market leaders today.
History has been a witness that wherever there is too much money or power involved there has been some kind of conflict and China is no different in that scenario. Midea and Gree are some of the electronics majors in the country. They have been in a lawsuit for quite some time now, which is hampering both of their businesses.
Midea commenced its business in 1968 in Guandong, China. It currently holds over 200 subsidiaries, 60 overseas branches and 12 business units. It also owns 95% stake in KUKA. This has made Midea one of the leading companies in the Consumer Electronics. Midea is present all over the word as the map above already suggests. However, they have good presence in India especially with their Air Conditioners that goes by the name of Carrier.
Indians have a good perception of the brand, Carrier and numerous commercial buildings, educational institutions and medical facilities have installed Midea made Carrier ACs at their place of operation. Apart from their ACs, Midea has planned to bring their full-fledged electronic goods stores in India as early as the first half of 2019. Considering their good reputation in the market with their Carrier brand, they hope to perform well in the market. However, they need to directly compete with other majors such as Haier who are also doing good in the Indian electronics appliances market.
Gree on the other hand, came later to the party in 1991. Until that time, Midea was already 23 years old. Moreover, Gree only focused on the Air Conditioning market. They produced some of the best ACs available. Currently, they have over 80,000 employees serving over 100 million customers daily. They have covered some of the most famous and prestigious events and venues such as the 2008 Beijing Olympics games village and the 2010 South Africa FIFA World Cup venues.
Interestingly Gree is also present in Pakistan and Brazil. Pakistan is a crucial and strategic partner of China in the international platform whereas Brazil is the largest economy in the South America.
The lawsuit that hampered the businesses of both the companies and Gree lost the case. They are not at all satisfied.
Although the Chairman of Gree Electric Ms Dong Mingzhu has been calling for plagiarism, the court gave Midea a notarized judgment. On December 26th, Midea sued the Gree for slogan infringement case.
The judgment of the People’s Court of Chancheng District, Foshan City, Guangdong Province compelled Gree to immediately stop using the “unfair and windless” slogan for unfair competition, pay compensation to Midea worth 500,000 yuan and rejected other claims from Midea.
However, both parties to the statutory judgment were dissatisfied, and both parties appealed after the judgment.
Midea won, but not satisfied!
It can be seen that the verdict has not achieved the expected effect of both sides, so this cross-annual lawsuit will continue to play out.
The conflict between Midea and Gree has been around for a long time. Prior to this, it can be seen from the known reports that Ms Dong Mingzhu has repeatedly expressed her dissatisfaction with Midea, showing her hatred of Midea.
However, Midea rarely responds to Gree’s accusations. Some people in the industry revealed that Midea did not have strong personal characteristics, but low-key actions, not to open up. The outside world will not affect the globalization process of Midea. Moreover, Midea does not want to participate in Gree’s “Mouth War”.
One fact of existence is that Ms Dong Mingzhu has indeed become a business card for Gree. Ms Dong Mingzhu is equal to Gree air-conditioning, Gree air-conditioning seems to be Ms Dong Mingzhu. Including Ms Dong Mingzhu’s personal endorsement of Gree has further increased the consumer’s awareness of Gree.
Once Ms Dong Mingzhu stepped down, will Gree be the Gree? Is there no Gree from Ms Dong Mingzhu, is it so arrogant? Ms Dong Mingzhu has become a business card of Gree, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, and Midea does not have an overly obvious personal label. In the long run, it is necessary to use the system and standards to promote the development of the company.
Perhaps this is more sustainable than Gree’s distinctive Ms Dong Mingzhu personality. Midea will not affect the company because of a change in one person, but will Gree not? It is really impossible to make a conclusion now.
In Guangdong, the same is known as the home appliance manufacturing industry, but the two are incompatible. Ms Dong Mingzhu is actually very difficult. A woman in the world dominates the male-dominated home appliance industry, at least unprecedented.
In public, Ms Dong Mingzhu slammed the voice of Midea, more than Midea attacked Gree. Some people say that the character of the two corporate leaders is the character of the two companies.
This is true. Ms Dong Mingzhu was quick-hearted and publicly expressed her dissatisfaction with Midea. It is rare for Midea to express its dissatisfaction with Gree in public. It is better to invest in things and do things well. This is the consistent practice of Midea.
Not just Midea, both Xiaomi and Haier have been smashed by Ms Dong Mingzhu. In fact, this is not good. If there is a problem with one company and there is still a problem with the second and third company, then Gree should also reflect on itself. The other two companies that have been smashed have done very well.
Midea and Gree are competitors. The globalization and diversification of Midea clearly exceed Gree, electrical products, robots, intelligent supply chains, and global R&D centres. This is the “trump card” of the globalization.
Gree is also diversified and globalized, but it seems to be a small step compared to Midea. For example, investing in Yinlong Automobile, the result can be described as a failure. Investing in Gree mobile phones is rarely seen in the market. The globalization of Gree is only the globalization of some air-conditioning products, and the globalization of Midea is the globalization of the industry chain and technology research and development.
From the revenue composition it is seen that, Midea in addition to household appliances, other products occupy a gradual increase in the proportion, which means that Midea in addition to the home appliance business, new growth point will be more and more strengthened, and Gree in addition to household appliances, other products occupy a proportion which is lesser than Midea.
Although both parties have expressed their appeal, the court can see that the court’s determination of Gree’s misconduct is the best protection for Midea’s intellectual property.