Hisense grew out of Qingdao No.2 Radio Factory, setup in September or December of 1969 by Qingdao governmental authorities.[Bell 1] This was the year its existence was first officially recognized.[Bell 3] This small factory's first product was a radio sold under the brand name Red Lantern, but the company later acquired the know-how to make TVs through a trial-production of black and white televisions ordered by the Shangdong National Defense Office. This involved technical training of three employees at another Chinese factory, Tianjin 712, and resulted in the production of 82 televisions by 1971 and the development of transistor TVs by 1975.[Bell 3]
Television production in China was limited until 1979 when a Beijing meeting of the Ministry of Electronics called for greater development of the civil-use electronics industry. Qingdao No.2 Radio Factory was then quickly merged with other local electronics makers and began to manufacture televisions under the name Qingdao General Television Factory[Bell 3] in Shandong province.[Bell 3]
Color televisions were manufactured through the purchase of a production line from Matsushita,[Bell 3] the first of many such technology transfers from foreign firms Hisense has made in order to remain competitive. The companies it has bought from include Hitachi, Lucent, Matsushita, NEC, Sanyo, Toshiba, and Qualcomm.[Bell 4]
The Hisense Group emerged in 1994 from a tumult started in 1992 by then-president Zhou Houjian or perhaps even by Li Dezhen, director of the Electronic Instrument Bureau of Qingdao.[Bell 3] The Hisense Electrical Appliance Share Holding Company (now, Hisense Electrical Co Ltd) was publicly listed the on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in April 1997.[Bell 3] Increased competition and price wars in the Chinese electronics market in the 1990s were a boon to Hisense, which acquired ten failing enterprises by 1998.[Bell 3]
Eager to expand beyond consumer electronics, Hisense Group aimed to also become a regional leader in household appliances, computers and communications. This strategy that prompted great outlays of capital on R&D and on the creation of industrial parks, etc.
Hisense Pingdu Home Appliance Industrial Park
Located in Pingdu, Shangdong, it is home to Hisense Air Conditioning Co Ltd.
Hisense Yellow Island Information Product Manufacturing Park
Encompassing over 200 acres (0.81 km2), Hisense Yellow Island Information Product Manufacturing Park is one of the twelve industrial parks owned by Hisense as of 2009.
Huzhou production base
A Hisense inverter-type/variable-frequency air-conditioner production base is located in Huzhou, Zhejiang, and was set up on May 8, 2005. A joint venture between Hisense Air Conditioner Co Ltd and Zhejiang Xianke Air Conditioner Co, it is operated by subsidiary Hisense (Zhejiang) Air Conditioner Co Ltd and comprises a 60,000 square meter factory and over 200 mu of land.
Hisense Whirlpool (Huzhou) Household Appliances Industrial Park
A production base that manufactures washing machines and refrigerators for a joint venture with Whirlpool is situated at this Huzhou park. It comprises an 80,000 square meter factory on 20 hectares of land.
Nanjing Refrigerator Industrial Park
Located in the Nanjing Xingang Economic and Technological Development Zone of Nanjing, Jiangsu, a refrigerator production base is situated in this industrial park. The site's factory is 52,000 square meters in size.
Sichuan production base
A Hisense Kelon refrigerator production base with a 36,000 square meter factory is located in Chengdu, Sichuan.