Haier may acquire GE appliance division

The Haier Group, one of China’s largest appliance manufacturers, is considering a purchase of General Electric’s appliance division, according to reports in Chinese and Hong Kong newspapers.

Zhang Tieyan, CEO of Haier Asia, said that his company “will make an assessment on the possibility,” according to news reports.

Haier is China’s largest producer of refrigerators and air conditioners. In the United States, Haier sells appliances through Home Depot, Best Buy and Wal-Mart stores.

In May, General Electric announced plans to explore a sale, spin-off or joint venture partner for its appliance business. In July, the company said it continues to explore all options for its consumer and industrial businesses with a primary focus on spinning off the entire unit, which includes appliances, to existing GE shareholders.