Alibaba announces that its voice-controlled assistant will feature in Chinese cars
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Alibaba announces that its voice-controlled assistant will feature in Chinese cars

Chinese technology giant Alibaba announced on Tuesday that its voice-controlled artificial intelligence (AI) assistant will feature in local vehicles from giant carmakers Audi AG, Renault SA and Honda Motor Co Ltd. As the country’s premier ecommerce company looks to expand its presence in AI, this is a big step forward in the race to smart speaker market-share.

Alibaba’s share price has increased 6% in five days

Alibaba June 14th

Source: Yahoo Finance

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show Asia 2019 in Shanghai, the company said that the Tmall Genie Auto smart speaker will allow drivers to do things like purchase goods from Alibaba’s online retail platform or buy movie tickets, all while driving. Going forward, new functionality will be added, such as the ability to control smart devices in homes.

Miffy Chen, general manager at Alibaba AI Labs said: “We are thrilled to partner with global, distinguished auto brands such as Audi, Renault and Honda. Together, we can greatly enhance our in-car services and make driving experiences more intelligent and interconnected.”

Alibaba’s speaker is of-a-kind with Amazon’s Echo (Alexa) and the Google Home speaker. And, like those western equivalents, its journey into automobiles is a sure-fire route to growth. But unlike Amazon and Google, Alibaba is launching this tech into a market-place that remains uncrowded and hasn’t yet embraced the idea of smart speakers and voice-controlled AI assistants. With JD.com and Baidu also producing speakers of their own, the race is on to conquer a nascent market that – if Chinese consumers get behind it – could far outpace established western markets.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Alibaba in its Global Trends Managed Fund.


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