Even before the current economic turmoil, Haier—like other appliance manufacturers—was facing the challenge of excessive production capacity. So recent government efforts to promote domestic consumption by subsidizing home-appliance sales in rural markets have ignited much excitement. Haier is poised to take advantage of this opportunity not only because of its brand reputation, but also because it produces appliances that have been targeted specifically to rural consumers.
Haier has created a personal computer that’s easily mastered, especially when it comes to input method. The common form for inputting Chinese into mobile phones or computers is PinYin, i.e., the alphabetic system based on English for representing the pronunciation of Chinese characters. However, as most rural consumers don’t use PinYin, Haier developed a handwriting input system that is more intuitive; you simply write Chinese onto a sensor pad.
As it faces declining exports, the Chinese government is looking to the rural market as an opportunity to stimulate domestic consumption. Other brands should follow Haier’s lead and tap into the vast rural market.