Midea, Alibaba team up on Internet of Things open platform

Midea, Alibaba team up on Internet of Things open platform
Staff Reporter
2014-03-20
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and Midea, an electrical appliance manufacturer, signed an agreement on March 17 under which they will jointly build an open platform for the Internet of Things, allowing people to control home appliances by remote control and enabling communication between devices.=
Midea also introduced its first air conditioner that connects to the internet, which was launched on Taobao’s Tmall on Wednesday. The company stated that it plans on having at least half of its air conditioning models connect to the internet.
Users can give their orders verbally through a mobile phone app and the air conditioner will turn itself on and adjust its temperature settings. The app will also allow users to check the utility costs generated by the air conditioning and enable different temperature settings for sleeping hours, according to a summary of product features mentioned at the launch ceremony in Hangzhou.
Alibaba executive chairman Jack Ma had said previously that the company’s strategy was aimed at tapping into cloud computing technology. Ma also said that the technology was the key for the future of the mobile internet, as, in future, all data and computing will be run on “clouds.”
China Economic Daily, the website of the Beijing-based Economic Daily, reported that the collaboration between Midea and Alibaba would monitor information on consumer behavior, such as what time they usually turn on the air conditioning unit and what temperatures they normally set, which will be gathered on Alibaba’s cloud platform.
The processed data will be utilized by the home appliance manufacturers.
A UBS report said that the market scale for smarthome appliances would reach 304.1 billion yuan (US$49 billion) in 2015 and exceed 1 trillion yuan (US$163 billion) by 2020 when the penetration was expected to exceed 50%.
A research center for the Internet of Things pointed out that the domestic market’s scale was expected to reach 138 billion yuan (US$22.2 billion) in 2015 and jump to 2 trillion yuan (US$322 billion) in 2020.
The smarthome appliances sector can only be developed rapidly, however, when an industrial standard is established through which home appliances of different brands can be controlled through a single app.
Some also warn about the safety of smart appliances as many cases involving Internet of Things cyber attacks have been reported.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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