The company name change for GOME reflects that its business sector is expanding beyond electrical appliance sales both online and off-line, and it also indicates that founder Huang Guangyu is making a fresh start, an article posted on the website of domestic magazine Legal Weekly said on Tuesday.
There are rumors that Huang, the mogul who is serving a 14-year prison sentence for illegal business dealings, insider trading and corporate bribery that began in 2010, will be released early, although those rumors haven't been confirmed by the authorities. However, GOME's recent frequent moves in the market have made people believe it's possible, the article said.
Domestic tycoons such as Zhang Jindong, chairman of Suning, a leading appliance retailer, and Richard Liu Qiangdong, CEO of JD.com, a major Chinese e-commerce platform, might hope the rumors aren't true, because that would mean much more pressure for them, it noted.
GOME, the appliance-focused company listed in Hong Kong, changed its name from GOME Electrical Appliances Holding Ltd to GOME Retail Holdings Ltd, it announced on June 12 on its official website.
On the same day, the so-called world's first professional virtual reality (VR) cinema appeared in a Beijing-based chain store - Dazhong Home Appliances Retail Co, affiliated with GOME - trying to create a new business model by combing entertainment, leisure and shopping.
However, it's hard to figure out the prospects for GOME in the VR cinema field due to many limiting factors such as technology and film sources although VR has been applied commercially in the gaming industry, the article noted.