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June 9, 2017

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Getting ahead of Apple

CHINESE makers have developed smart speakers even before Apple announced that its HomePod speaker will be available at the end of this year, Shanghai Daily learned at the CES Asia show yesterday.

The domestically-made speakers come with smart features like voice control, connection with home appliances and other interactive functions.

Voice recognition service provider iFlytek Co, Lenovo Group Ltd and startup Mobvoi Inc, which just raised US$180 million from Volkswagen recently, have penetrated into the smart speaker sector.

IFlytek has developed a speaker able to switch on and off lights and play TV programs by voice control.

Mobvoi, which has investors such as Google and Volkswagen, displayed its prototype smart speaker that supports Siri-like functions. The speaker will be available later this year.

Apple announced on Monday that it will release its first smart speaker HomePod to fight with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home devices.

These devices are not available in the Chinese mainland market, leaving the market to domestic companies.

The CES Asia ends today.



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