China sees a nearly eightfold increase in smart speaker shipment

They are as popular as PCs and smart TVs.

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China sees a nearly eightfold increase in smart speaker shipment

Smart speaker vendors shipped a total of 11.2 million units of smart speakers in China in the first quarter, up 787.2% year-on-year, data released by market research firm IDC on Friday shows.

Huang Jiping, assistant president of IDC China, said this figure indicates that smart speakers can be comparable to personal computers and smart TVs in terms of popularity, although it still cannot beat smartphones.

He added that the middle-aged and elderly people in large cities and consumers in the fourth-to-sixth tier cities could be key for vendors to access future growth.

Alibaba and Baidu tied, shipping 3.4 million units, which made them the top players in China’s smart speaker market, IDC’s data showed. That is partly of a result of hefty subsidies offered by both companies. Xiaomi followed with 2.9 million units.

These figures are similar to those from research firm Canalys, which ranked Baidu as the No 1 vendor with a shipment of 3.3 million units and Alibaba as a close second with a shipment of 3.2 million units.