Huawei is working on a voice assistant for Chinese customers.
Huawei already develops its own application processors through its HiSilicon subsidiary, and it looks like the manufacturer is now working on a voice assistant to further differentiate its products in its home market. According to Bloomberg, work on developing a voice-based assistant that will rival Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant is underway:
A team of more than a hundred engineers is in the early stages of developing the technology at its Shenzhen, China offices, one of the people said. The efforts are extensive and are aimed at Apple Inc.’s Siri, Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa, and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Assistant, not smaller players, the person said.
The Bloomberg report suggests that Huawei’s technology will be limited to the Chinese market, with the company partnering with Google and Amazon in global markets:
Huawei’s assistant would communicate in Chinese languages and target domestic users while the company will continue to work with Google and Amazon outside China, one of the other people said.
The two-pronged strategy makes sense for Huawei as it can leverage already-existing solutions — like Alexa — in Western markets, while focusing its attention on the competitive Chinese segment.
Huawei retained its position as the second-largest smartphone vendor in China last year with 76.6 million shipments, and with OPPO and Vivo cornering the market with their extensive retail presence, Huawei will be looking to standout features — such as a voice-based AI assistant — to attract new customers.