Alibaba Group, Dutch lighting giant Signify team up on smart home appliances

By He Wei in Shanghai (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated : 2019-10-30


Visitors pass the booth of Dutch lighting specialist Signify, formerly known as Philips Lighting, at the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai on Nov 5, 2018. [Photo provided to China Daily] 

Dutch lighting giant Signify announced on Monday it is teaming up with Chinese e-commerce Alibaba Group to forge a smart home appliances ecosystem.

Under a strategic partnership signed with Alibaba's Tmall platform, Signify aims to co-create products based on the troves of data tracking consumer predilections, bank on versatile online channels for better customer engagement, and delve into joint Internet of Things application development.

"With Tmall being the platform closest to end users in China, the cooperation is likely to further strengthen data analysis and further optimize customer feedback, product design, and ways of promotions and communications," said John Wang, senior vice-president of Signify and president of Signify China.

Synergies will be primarily generated in the following areas: Data-driven customer-to-manufacturing, the merge of online-to-offline retail, and consumer digital assets, said Feng Chi, general manager of Tmall's Home Decoration Department.

"I hope this tie-up will give a boost to the upcoming Nov 11 annual sales event," he said.

Certain Philips Lighting products operated by Signify are expected to be connected to Tmall Genie, Tmall's indigenous smart speaker and the suite of artificial intelligence solutions, by the end of this year. That means using voice command for light control, and potentially other tasks in the future.

This will leave room for the pair to roll out customized products based on data analysis, and explore other IoT scenarios to enhance connectivity within the household, said Sau Hong Lim, vice-president of Signify and general manager of marketing at Signify China.