Monday, February 20, 2017

Huawei Voice Assistant

Huawei Technologies Co., the third-largest smartphone maker, is preparing to enter the competitive world of digital assistants with its own voice-powered service, people familiar with the matter said.

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, Inc.'s Alexa, and Alphabet Inc.'s Google Assistant, not smaller players, the person said.

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. They asked not to be identified as the details are private.

Building its own answer to Siri may help Huawei devices stand out in a crowded Chinese market, where many Google services that come with the dominant Android smartphone operating system are blocked.

Huawei is targeting $33 billion in sales from its consumer business this year. The company trails only Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. in global smartphone shipments as it pushes upmarket with premium features.

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