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Feature: Chinese appliance maker does more than help Cubans stay cool

November 5, 2018


Abstract : The hot Caribbean sun beats down on Cuba year-round, so it's no wonder that finding ways to cool off is almost a national obsession among Cubans. But they have found an ally in Chinese appliance maker Midea.

家电制造

HAVANA, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- The hot Caribbean sun beats down on Cuba year-round, so it's no wonder that finding ways to cool off is almost a national obsession among Cubans. But they have found an ally in Chinese appliance maker Midea.

Midea electric fans and air conditioners are a common fixture in Cuban homes. The company opened a branch in Havana five years ago.

Today, Midea, which also makes washing machines and refrigerators, is a household name in Cuba thanks to the great price-quality ratio of its products.

The company maintains close ties with Cuba's state-run importing and marketing firms, such as ITH, CIMEX, Copextel and Cuba Electronica, making its products always available here.

"We feel very close to the Cuban market," Midea's commercial interpreter, Yu Xiaolan, told Xinhua as he manned the company stand at this year's Havana international trade fair FIHAV 2018.

In impeccable Spanish, Yu spoke of Midea's development plan for the Cuban market, which currently centers on providing spare parts to the island for after-sales services.

Fans are the biggest Midea seller in Cuba, being both economical and effective at beating the heat, especially at night.

Midea is now considering building an assembly plant in Cuba's Special Development Zone of Mariel (ZEDM), located about 45 km west of Havana.

Similar to China's special economic zone, Mariel offers foreign enterprises tax breaks and other incentives to bring their manufacturing work, as well as know-how, to the island.

Midea aims to set up an assembly line here make it easier to meet the market demand, and distribute products to other Caribbean and Central American countries.

Some 41 companies from 19 countries are already established in the ZEDM, taking advantage of its ideal location to expand into other regional markets.

Founded in 1968 in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, Midea Group is currently the world leader in its field and the second biggest seller of air conditioners by units.

Data show the company employs approximately 150,000 people at 21 manufacturing plants and 260 logistics centers in 200 countries and regions, and generates more than 22 billion U.S. dollars in sales revenue each year.

Cuba's government deems China to be a strategic partner as it pursues economic and social reforms, and Midea occupies a niche in those plans given its commitment to the Cuban market.


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