1 June 2005
Home AV(HKTDC Electronics, Vol 03,2005)
Look And Listen
The seemingly unstoppable convergence of everything electronic has seen television and audio come together in recent years to form the increasingly popular AV sector.
Given its well-established reputation as an electronics-manufacturing centre, it's not surprising that Hong Kong has carved out a leading role in the burgeoning home AV field.
Companies such as digital amplifier manufacturer Digicross Technology Co Ltd have been particularly quick to establish their niche with a wide variety of products.
"We have a house product, a digital amplifier for home theatre systems, which we sell to distributors," explains general manager Raico Huen, adding that a professional model will be next off the line.
"Our expectation is that the analogue market will be completely replaced by digital in the near future, hence our emphasis on the new market and digital products."
Digicross makes 5,000 amplifier sets a month at a 2,000-square-metre, 100-worker factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland that is currently applying for ISO 9000 certification.
Minimum quantities of 100 amplifier sets carrying the company's own Digicross brand are delivered to consumers in Europe and the mainland within 45-60 days of receipt of an L/C.
Similarly committed to keeping up with the digital trend is Aitkenson Int'l (Far East) Ltd, which was founded in 1985 and makes 700,000 radios, digital radios, CD players, DVD players and DVD recorders a month.
"The product range must stay modern, so our latest product - a new boombox - is fully digital," marketing executive Michelle Lee explains, noting that design is equally important. "The technical engineering design we do in-house, but mostly we manufacture to our OEM clients' specifications."
Aitkenson's marketing philosophy revolves around customer liaison and advertising exposure plus two annual fairs in Hong Kong, a similar number in Guangzhou and one overseas.
"We aim to provide good service, answer all questions and offer a genuine after-sales service," Lee adds.
The company's OEM clients include Telefunken, Citizen and Ultratek, and it has its own Aitkenson brand, which is also available in minimum orders of 2,000 pieces delivered 30-50 days after order confirmation.
Aitkenson manufactures at a 56,000-square-metre, 600-worker plant in Zhongshan on the mainland and exports to the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Argentina, Chile, Panama, Italy, Spain, South Africa and Australia.
Zhongshan in Guangdong Province is also the main production centre for Jointek (HK) Ltd, which has been in business since 1997 and manufactures LCD TVs and home theatre systems.
Jointek's 300 workers at its ISO 9001- and ISO 14000-certified factory produce 60,000 sets per month that bear OEM brands such as Cello, Gold, Sunstech, Nesx and ACL.
Minimum orders of 453 sets are delivered 30 days after order confirmation to buyers in the UK, Germany, Italy and France, says marketing manager Frank Lee.
"Jointek works hard on product quality and produces modern products for a modern market," Lee claims.
Although an OEM supplier, Lee says Jointek takes a comprehensive approach to design. "We maintain about 20 designers - including hardware, software and cosmetic design," he reveals.
Widescreen TVs fit perfectly with the 5.1 channel home theatre speaker systems offered by Tom Fair Industrial Co, which was founded in the 1990s to manufacture electronic gifts and premiums.
Marketing manager Jenny Shum maintains Tom Fair is a company with a difference. "We have a division that makes electronic premiums as well as one that makes consumer electronics," she explains. "The new home theatre speaker systems will help to expand that area of our business."
She adds that Tom Fair sells mostly to local buying offices or major retailers such as Wal-Mart and Home Depot. "Some of these clients will need us to design a product for them, in which case we bring in a freelance product designer, and others will have full specifications already," Shum adds.
Tom Fair requires minimum orders of 5,000 pieces per style delivered 30-45 days after order confirmation to buyers in Europe and the US.
These markets are also key outlets for Hankey Asia Ltd, which has been manufacturing an eclectic collection of solar power systems, solar LED street lights and high quality DVD recorders since 1992.
Hankey's 300-worker, 26,000-square-metre, ISO 9001-certified factory in Shenzhen currently produces 30,000 DVD recorder sets a month, which are available in minimum orders of 200 units delivered 30 days after order confirmation.
"We concentrate on OEM products and sell to distributors, mainly in Europe, the US, the Middle East, Japan, Africa and Southeast Asia," says director Anthony Chan, "though we are always looking for new sales outlets."
He adds that Hankey has added 80, 160 and 250GB hard disks to its DVD recorders, which are offered plus or minus R/RW. "We have also introduced a new, slim cyber look developed by our 12 designers in Shenzhen," Chan reveals. "Our products are high quality and feature multiple advanced functions that are easy to use."
Which is the mantra of most Hong Kong home AV equipment manufacturers whose products remain first choice among discerning consumers worldwide.
WRITTEN BY JOHN NEWSON
Digicross Technology Co Ltd