LAS VEGAS: Hisense, the leading Chinese manufacturer of flat screen TVs, is to increase its international presence by targeting high-end consumers through product launches in the US and Australia.

The strategy was announced by Zhou Houjian, who last week became the first Chinese executive to deliver a keynote presentation in the Consumer Electronics Show's history.

During his speech, Zhou said the firm had recently increased its focus on R&D as an alternative to sourcing innovation from the US and other developed nations, and pointed out that the Chinese government is investing heavily in science and education.

This could result in domestic firms moving away from products "made in China" and sold under foreign brand names and towards those which are sold as "created in China", Zhou added.

If these forecasts come to pass, leading Asian manufacturers including South Korea's LG and Samsung and Japan's Sony could lose market share to mainland China.

Brian White, managing director of Ticonderoga Securities, a US research and investment specialist, said he was broadly positive on Hisense's prospects.

"They not only have their labour in China, they also have their research and development and executives there, enabling them to scale at a very low cost," he commented.

White added that several other Chinese TV manufacturers will introduce new brands to the US during 2010.

Last year Hisense enjoyed a 39% increase in overseas sales, while the firm's revenues were also up by 15%.

Data sourced from Forbes/Hisense; additional content by Warc staff