Chinese smart speaker apps saw 822% hike in installations last year

But global industry leaders are locked out of the lucrative Chinese market.

credit: DFIC

Smart speaker app installations in China have gone from 2.57 million in January 2018 to 23.7 million in January 2019, recording a whopping 822% annual growth. In the same period, smart speaker apps’ penetration rate went from 0.25% to 2.15% among smartphone users in the country.

More than 86% of smart speaker app users are under the age of 35, and 60.5% smart speaker app users are male, according to data from Aurora Mobile.

Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou lead in user numbers. While first-tier cities and provincial capitals tend to have more smart speaker app users, Aurora Mobile’s report shows that more than 40% of the users are from smaller, third- or fourth-tier cities.

Alibaba’s Tmall Genie, Xiaomi’s Mi AI Speaker, and Baidu’s Xiaodu speaker are the three most popular smart speakers in the country. China’s smart speaker market is projected to reach USD 11.6 billion before the end of the year.

While local Chinese brands thrive, global industry leaders like Amazon and Google have been locked out of the lucrative Chinese market. Apple, on the other hand, sells its home pod in China, but fails to impress Chinese customers due to its higher price.

Global shipment volume for smart speakers exceeded 16 billion in 2018, with Amazon and Google dominating the market with 59.8% and 30.7% in market share, respectively, according to research firm IDC.