Weak 2014 Boosts Chinese New Year TV Comparison

TV sales ‘recovered’ during the Chinese New Year period, according to DisplaySearch’s Bing Zhang in a new blog post ( Unlike 2014, the three-week period in 2015 showed no signs of weakness. DisplaySearch’s initial estimate is that 3.7 million LCD TVs were sold: a 4% YoY rise.

These positive results mostly followed the expectations of TV makers. As a result, inventories were largely back to normal less than two months after the holiday.

Traditional holiday periods have been becoming less important in China in recent years, due to the growth of online sales. The comparatively strong YoY growth this year was due to weak sales in 2014, which came at the end of the government’s energy-saving subsidies.

Tier 3-4 markets, in rural areas, largely drove sales; these are workers from urban coastal cities purchasing TVs before returning to their rural homes. Because rural customers have smaller incomes, small and entry-level sets sold well. Major local Chinese brands gained share.

Firm panel prices and a ‘tough’ financial performance from major brands meant that there were no aggressive price wars in traditional or online channels this year. New premium TVs, such as curved and wide colour gamut models, did not draw attention – largely due to the lack of support from local brands and higher prices of imported models.

There has not been a major drive to refill panel inventories following the holiday sales. Major local manufacturers are being largely conservative in their panel purchases, while panel prices soften. TV exports have also been weak. DisplaySearch believes that major vendors will not aggressively restock panels until the May promotional period, or the arrival of any new government subsidies.