Haier (600690.SH) will buy Panasonic Corp’s (PC.NYSE) Sanyo Electric washing machine and refrigerator businesses in Japan and Southeast Asia for about US$130 million, as the Chinese firm seeks to expand into Japan’s white goods market, Reuters reported. Panasonic said the sale fits in with its strategy to restructure its businesses that overlapped with those of Sanyo Electric. A final agreement between Panasonic and Haier is expected to be reached by September, and most of Sanyo’s 2,000 employees will be transferred to Haier. After partnering with Sanyo in 2002 to access the Japanese market, Haier has achieved over 50% market share for small refrigerators. The Chinese appliance maker hopes to compete with Japanese brands head-on in mainstream washers, air conditioners and refrigerators with lower prices.