Chinese fridge maker Haier invests 10m dollars in wine app

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One of China’s biggest consumer electronics and home appliance producers, Haier, has promised to invest $10m in a wine app dubbed the Chinese equivalent to Vivino.

Image: Wine storage, credit Decanter
Image: Wine storage, credit Decanter

Haier has invested in wine label recognition app ‘9KaCha’ and wants to use its database and label recognition function to power its new smart wine cabinet ‘Qi Yuan’, said the company.

The electronics producer also plans to work with wine distributors and specialised online wine shops, so as to allow the cabinet owners to get wines ‘delivered directly to their doors’, it said.

The move adds more evidence of rising demand for wine and wine-related services in China's middle class.

Related article: More wine, more frequently, shows Chinese consumer survey

9KaCha is considered as China’s native equivalent of Vivino, which claims to have a database of 580,000 imported wines and over 100,000 users.

Users of the app can get the wine’s basic information and stockist by taking a photo of the label and upload it to the data base.

Related article: Do we really need a wine app? – Terry Xu

9KaCha currently shares its database with Baidu and WeChat’s image recognition function, according to DONG Zhifeng, co-founder of 9KaCha.

The new wine cabinet developed by Haier is expected to adjust storage conditions based on the information and the number of wines stored in it, the company said.

During the first six months of 2016, over $1.1bn worth of bottled wines were imported into China, marking a 30% increase year-on-year, according to Chinese customs.

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