BUSINESS

[Herald Interview] China’s Ecovacs vows to provide Koreans with smaller, quieter robots

By Song Su-hyun
  • Published : Oct 1, 2017 - 12:23
  • Updated : Oct 1, 2017 - 12:23
Like other fast-growing tech companies in China rapidly chasing and surpassing global leaders, Ecovacs of China is confident that it can provide robot vacuum cleaners that better suit households here than those by strong Korean competitors Samsung and LG.

“According to our study, Samsung and LG products are bigger and louder than ours, which are more perfect for European and US households than Asian,” said David Qian, president of the international business unit at Ecovacs, expressing his confidence in a recent interview with The Korea Herald.

Ecovacs is the No. 1 robot vacuum cleaner maker by sales not only in China, but also in Germany, according to Qian, who attended the IFA 2017 in Berlin last month. The company ranked second in Europe. Before adopting the robotics technology, the firm had 10 years of experience in the vacuum cleaning industry. 
David Qian (Ecovacs)

The Chinese company entered the Korean market in April with an aim “to provide right products for right consumers.”

Although Qian said he is still learning about the market, he is well aware of the hectic lifestyles of Korean consumers and living conditions of ordinary apartments in Korea, where noise is a big issue.

“Ecovacs’ navigation technology enables a robot cleaner to map out a living area accurately,” he said. “We pay special attention to sound and compactness, so robot cleaners are able to navigate into smaller areas much more quietly than competitors, which is perfect for the Asian living environment.”

The company’s exclusive OZMO technology also caters to the needs of Asian consumers by offering them an option to sweep and mop the floor in a single process, he said.

Ecovacs unveiled Deebot Ozmo 930 and Deebot Ozmo 610 featuring the all-in-one technology at IFA this year.

“We know Korea is a unique market,” Qian said. “Because we want to be in Korea for the long term, we plan to make right investments, provide right products and premium services.”

Ecovacs’ major strategy for the Korean market is to target younger generations, who have favorable opinions toward robots with reasonable prices.

“Younger generations will be a golden push for robots worldwide, whether in Asia, Europe or the US,” Qian said. “Robots present a completely new lifestyle, including cleaning options. If you have a robot, you get the liberty of not cleaning.”

To target the younger generations, Ecovacs offers its robots at prices starting at $200, while Samsung and LG’s robot cleaners are priced starting from $500.

“This robot cleaning industry should be pushed forward by the generations, so I believe pricing is important to give access to more populations,” he said.

Ecovacs’ goal is to be a solid brand in the cleaning robot category, Qian said. But he wants more. Rather than being a vacuum cleaner company, Ecovacs aims to be a robotics company, Qian added.

“The robotics industry will grow at a significant pace, and robots at your home will do more things for you in the future,” he said.

By Song Su-hyun (song@hearaldcorp.com)