He Xiangjian couldn’t have guessed that his bottle lid workshop would be listed on Fortune Global 500 in less than 50 years. In 1968, He led over 20 of his town’s residents to open the workshop, later known as Midea.
Midea is one of China’s largest appliance manufacturers, making over $40.5 billion in annual global revenue. It has been listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange since 1973 after its successful local expansion.
Is Midea a Good Brand: wher is it made and who owns it?
Midea’s products might have a controversial reputation because they’re manufactured in China. However, not all Chinese products are made equal.
Midea is the largest manufacturing supplier of several well-known brands, including Black+Decker, Toshiba, and Whirlpool. Still, the quality of the products holding Midea’s label varies based on the target consumer market and the production facilities.
Until recently, most of Midea’s exports were sold under the name of other reputable brands. The Midea Group’s umbrella includes globally recognized brands like Toshiba, Little Swan, COLMO, Vandelo, Beverly, and Comfee.
Midea produced its first air conditioner in 1985, which still remains a core component in its cooling business. It later expanded into the home appliance market, offering refrigerators, microwave ovens, washing machines, and more.
Midea’s air conditioners are among the quietest models on the market. They feature energy-efficient inverter technology, consuming almost 50% less energy than non-inverter models.
The feedback on Mideas’s air conditioners are primarily positive because they’re affordable relative to their quality. Users have approved their effective cooling, minimal noise, and energy efficiency.
However, common complaints include the scarcity of spare parts in the local market, irresponsive remote controls, and confusing instruction manuals. Additionally, the window air conditioners require a voltage line conditioner, adding an additional cost of around $100.
Some of Midea’s microwaves are still labeled made by Toshiba, the company behind Japan’s first microwaves. Most customers appreciate the stainless steel body of the microwave, its stability, appearance, and responsive control panel. Additionally, the 3-year warranty is a deal compared to its price.
However, there were complaints about some models’ missing rotating platter (magnetron) and how long the fan keeps working after the oven is turned off. Others have reported that the control panel stopped working briefly after installation.
Midea’s cooling expertise has transferred their air conditioner quality to their famed budget-friendly refrigerators. They’re admired explicitly for their spaciousness despite the compact exterior.
The major downside of Midea’s refrigerators is their uneven cooling. This defect leads to freezing the food items near the backside, while the food in the door isn’t cool enough, which can spoil easily perishable drinks like milk.
Quality of Midea’s Products
Midea is a supplier (both OEM and ODM) for several trusted international home appliance companies. As a consumer, you might be expecting the same high-end quality of the product if it’s under Midea’s name.
However, Midea doesn’t ensure integrity across all its production facilities. Production lines serving well-known brands have to abide by the strict quality assurance standards of the client.
Meanwhile, Midea targets low-end markets, like Indian outskirts, with its budget-friendly lines. For that reason, they have to minimize costs by setting up local factories that compromise on quality. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t provide a lot of after-sales and repair services for this consumer group. This requires a huge local network and the company is still developing this. These things take time so it is normal that this is still being built out.
Midea reinvests 4% of its revenues into research and development following its internal policy. In the United States, the company has a dedicated Emerging Technology Center in California and a Research and Development Center in Kentucky.
Patents and Awards
Midea has made over 40 patent and utility applications between 2000 and 2004. Annually, Midea wins dozens of design awards from well-known local and international design shows and competitions, including the Good Design Award, Red Dot, and iF.
The company has introduced innovative air conditioners, like their u-shaped air conditioners, which allow users to open the window without removing the unit.
In 2014, Midea announced its “M-Smart” strategy, focusing on developing more than 30 categories of smart home appliances, including everyday products like air conditioners and electric cookers.
To achieve this strategy, Midea has signed cooperative agreements with several international companies, including IBM Corp, Xiaomi Corp, and Huawei Technologies Co,
Midea’s International Expansion
Midea‘s reliable quality control in its local manufacturing plants was successfully maintained after international expansion strategies. However, not all factories deliver the same quality.
Later, the company formed joint ventures with reputable companies such as Horizont and Carrier Corporation. Thus, giving them access to several local markets, including CIS, Egypt, Brazil, and India. Ultimately, Midea has reached 195 countries of operation.
Carrier and Midea have launched a joint venture in North America to bring Midea’s expertise in ductless HVAC systems to the market. Carrier has maintained a strict installation policy requiring its technicians to be certified by the North American Technician Excellence (NATE).
However, the Carrier Midea brand has more negative reviews in other countries, like India, where Carrier couldn’t maintain its installation standards.
Midea’s Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction varies depending on their location and the manufacturing quality of the product.
There are multiple complaints regarding installation and repairs. Although Midea’s products are successfully distributed worldwide, their service network is not as well established for all regions.
Many users have remarked that the after-sales service and technical support are assigned to third-party service centers. The repair staff isn’t always trained to the required level and might fail to resolve numerous issues.
Durability and Long-Term Costs
In many cases, Midea’s products worked well for a duration just over the warranty period. Since the company’s technical support isn’t widely available, you’ll have to navigate your local area for a technician. Therefore, Midea’s air products can cost more in repairs in the long term.
Finally, is Midea a good brand? After 50 years of consistent expansion, Midea is the world’s largest manufacturer of home appliances and ranks top in air-coolers and air treatment products.
However, it delivers the best of its quality as manufactured parts for other global brands, following the standards they define. Midea tailors its own labeled products to suit specific regions, sometimes compromising on durability to meet its low-income customer expectations.
The primary issue faced by Midea’s customers is its lack of a big after-service system. Midea offers competitively affordable prices for short-term use. However, it’s safer to invest in high-end brands if you’re looking for durable, long-lasting home appliances. Things are changing rapidly though and this company is catching up fast.