Hisense plans efforts in smart traffic solutions
Home appliance giant seeks to acquire Siemens unit for global expansion
Chinese home appliance giant Hisense Group plans to buy Siemens' Intelligent Traffic Systems, which provides solutions for effective road traffic management, for nearly $1 billion, people familiar with the matter told China Daily on Wednesday.
The traffic division of Siemens is a world leader in intelligent traffic services and solutions with a history of more than 100 years, while the ITS business, which is affiliated to Siemens Mobility, operates in more than 40 countries and has an annual revenue of 600 million euros ($679.2 million).
The ITS unit mainly offers hardware and software for intelligent traffic control and management, from toll systems to traffic light controls. Media have reported German conglomerate Siemens planned to spin off the ITS business in fiscal year 2021 and sell it by mid-2021.
Hisense is taking the lead in China's intelligent transport industry. The Qingdao, Shandong province-based company has tapped into this segment since 1998 and its innovative integrated solutions for the intelligent transport industry have been applied in 169 cities across the nation. The company declined to comment on the deal.
Apart from the domestic market, Hisense is beefing up efforts to expand its presence in overseas markets. Zhang Sihai, president of Hisense TransTech Co Ltd, said the company is actively participating in the bidding of global intelligent transport projects and has already won bids in some countries.
"Hisense has been engaged in the intelligent transport segment for over 20 years, and acquiring Siemens' traffic management business will further help Hisense expand its presence in the global market," said Zhao Meimei, assistant president of market consultancy All View Cloud.
It is an inevitable trend that Chinese home appliances manufacturers are stepping up to march into overseas markets to seek new profit growth points and achieve long-term development, Zhao said.
Zhao said if Hisense wins the bid, overseas revenue may account for a larger proportion of its overall sales.
Hisense purchased Sharp's TV business in Mexico and acquired Sharp America's TV line for the North and South American markets in 2015.The company acquired a 95 percent stake in Japan's Toshiba Visual Solutions Corp in 2017, as part of its efforts to expand globally. In August 2018, it completed the acquisition of Slovenian appliances producer Gorenje.
Liang Zhenpeng, an independent consumer electronics analyst, said the acquisition will help Hisense speed up its layout in the global smart transport sector. "Cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, big data and cloud computing, are playing an important role in bolstering the development of the intelligent transport industry."