85% of Chinese sans smart speaker plan to get one: report

Smart speaker vendors are expanding the AI assistant technology into Chinese’s everyday lives.

credit: DFIC

In China, at least 85% of people who do not currently own a smart speaker at home have the plan to purchase one for the first time in the near term, according to a report from Strategy Analytics.

And Xiaomi and Huawei are their top two go-to brands.

The survey involving over 1,000 consumers conducted earlier this year also found that existing users are positive toward the smart devices. Nearly 90% said the speakers are much more useful than they had expected while 59% couldn’t imagine living without one.

Amid the rapid proliferation, China is estimated to become the largest smart speaker market by the end of 2019, with 85.59 million users, up 150% from last year. This compares to 74.2 million users in the US, an eMarketer report shows.

Eying the market potential, Chinese tech giants like Baidu and Alibaba have all jumped onto the bandwagon to launch respective smart speakers.

Baidu replaced Google in the second quarter to become the world’s No. 2 smart speaker brand. The Chinese internet search giant shipped 4.5 million units of “Xiaodu,” showing appalling annual growth of 3,700%, according to a Canalys report.

Amazon still topped the leaderboard with its Echo speakers, while e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba ranked No. 4 with Tmall Genie. Popular Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi was the fifth with “XiaoAi.”