Visitors experience the new products at TCL's headquarter in Huizhou, Guangdong province. (Photo/China Daily)
Chinese electronics giant TCL Corp launched its first internet TV brand by working with online giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd to strengthen its content offering.
The brand FFALCON, which targets young viewers, will integrate TCL's capital, research and development and supply chain with Alibaba and Tencent's abundant video content, including TV dramas, films, live sports events, animation and documentaries, according to TCL.
The companies will cooperate in the artificial intelligence and cloud services sectors to realize data and resource sharing.
Guo Tong, vice-president of TCL Multimedia, said the new internet brand will carry out more business in content and user operation, and improve user experience by offering high-quality content and applying big data analysis technology.
The company also launched its new TV products－the X, C and P series－covering QLED TVs, curved-screen TVs and other medium- and high-end products.
TCL will pay attention to both online and offline channels this year, with an emphasis on the application of AI-enabled technologies in newly-released TV products, including voice and image recognition, and human-machine interaction, Guo said.
China's TV brands witnessed explosive growth in the global market last year. TCL's worldwide sales surpassed 20 million units, ranking third internationally.
Chinese TV sales totaled 50.89 million units last year, up 7.8 percent from 2015, with the value reaching 156 billion yuan (.6 billion), according to All View Cloud, a Beijing-based consultancy.
Industry insiders said that while the traditional TV market is already saturated, internet TV is still growing. They estimate online TV will witness rapid growth in the next five years as the format has accumulated and cultivated a large number of users.
Internet TV brands such as LeEco and Xiaomi have an advantage in content and value-added services, from which traditional home appliance manufacturers could learn, the insiders said.
Dong Min, general manager of AVC's TV department said there is a trend of traditional TV manufacturers marching in line into the internet TV sector.
“It shows the era of smart TV is coming and Chinese consumers' demand has become diversified,” Dong said. But he added it is not easy for each market player to earn dividends in this environment.
TCL's revenues totaled 48.34 billion yuan in the first half of last year, posting a net profit of 788 million yuan.