SHENZHEN, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese market has shown a growing preference for Turkish home appliances in recent years.
"Turkish products such as electric coffee pots, ovens, stoves and grills are gaining significant popularity among Chinese consumers, especially in recent years when the trade in home appliances has grown rapidly," said Aytac Soylu, a Turkish businessman.
Soylu first arrived in China in 2006, bringing with him not only Turkish coffee but also the tradition of handmade copperware that has been cherished for centuries. However, he soon noticed a growing demand for convenient electric coffee pots among Chinese customers.
As a result, he decided to join hands with his Chinese friend Li Linsheng in 2012 to establish an online store of Turkish specialty small appliances on China's leading e-commerce platform Taobao.
The store dominated the Turkish specialty products category, achieving 80 percent year-on-year sales growth in 2022.
"Türkiye was one of the first countries to support the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China and Türkiye have been connected since the ancient Silk Road, and now they are closely linked again with the BRI," Soylu said.
Soylu's business success reflects the broader collaboration between China and Türkiye in the home appliance industry.
According to Chinese customs data, China imported 52.06 million U.S. dollars worth of white goods from Türkiye in 2022. Among these imports, refrigerators and freezers were the primary products.
Industry insiders believe that Turkish home appliance companies see significant potential for industrial research and development as well as market collaboration between the two countries, and they aspire to further expand their cooperation with China.
Beko, which is a subsidiary of the Turkish company Koc Holding, has established its own flagship stores on Chinese e-commerce platforms, such as Suning.com, Tmall and JD.com, selling refrigerators, washing machines and dryers.
As of September 2023, it has opened 946 offline stores in Chinese cities including Shanghai, Beijing, Kunming and Zhuhai.
Leading Turkish white goods firm Vestel has also established subsidiaries in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Meanwhile, Chinese home appliance companies are also ramping up their investments in Türkiye. Haier Smart Home Co., Ltd. has established clothes dryer and dishwasher factories in Türkiye, with a total investment exceeding 85 million euros, and is poised to attain an annual production capacity of over 2.5 million units.