General Electric Appliances
There are few more iconic American companies than General Electric and the GE Appliances division of the company has been providing American homes with stoves, refrigerators, washers and dryers since 1907. This would drastically change in June 2016 when China would make its largest acquisition of an overseas electronics business when it bought a 90% controlling stake in the company.
That 90% stake would cost Chinese multinational home appliances and consumer electronics company Qingdao Haier a staggering $5.4 billion, part of that deal allowing them the rights to use the GE brand name until 2056. But Qingdao Haier was not just some new kids on the block with some money to spend. They have been the number one brand globally in major appliances for 10 consecutive years from 2009–2018.
In 2015, Haier began investigating how to integrate smart home technology into their appliances. Due to their inexperience in this field, they would partner with consumer electronics company IngDan, a subsidiary of the Cogobuy Group, the largest e-Commerce platform for corporate procurement of electronic components in China.
However, Haier already had a shaky past when it came to the installation of software in their products when in 2014, German media outlets were openly accusing them of delivering smartphones and tablets with pre-installed malware.