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Ni Hao, Alexa: China Passes U.S. to Become World’s Largest Smart-Speaker Market

By Zhao Runhua / May 20, 2019 06:50 PM / Business & Tech

A newer smart speaker by Baidu. Photo: VCG

A newer smart speaker by Baidu. Photo: VCG

China has blasted past the U.S. to be become the world’s smart-speaker capital.

Just last year, the U.S. was the global leader in shipments of the devices that listen, speak and play audio. But in the first quarter of this year, things changed dramatically.

China shipped more than double the number smart speakers than the U.S. did — 10.6 million units versus 5 million units, a Monday report from market data provider Canalys shows.

This gives China a 51% share of the global market for the quarter; thus, if the trend continues, the country will rapidly dominate the sector.

Canalys’ mobility unit VP Nicole Peng noted that China’s rapid development is largely due to local companies "pouring in a large amount of capital" and offering significant discounts for the products.

In terms of company performances, here’s how the global giants fared, in units shipped:

Amazon — 4.6 million

Google — 3.5 million

Baidu — 3.3 million

Alibaba — 3.2 million

Xiaomi — 3.2 million

Related: Chart of the Day: Smart Speaker Shipments Surge

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