Jack Ma’s Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is reportedly working on a device to rival Amazon’s Echo. Echo is a hands-free speaker that allows users to shop through voice. Alibaba is trying to replicate the product, providing voice input action facilities in the Chinese language.
The new device will interpret and respond to commands in Chinese and allow users to make orders from online stores. According to the most recent reports, the device is already built and could arrive in the market as early as next week.
This device is developed by Alibaba’s artificial intelligence research teams in China. It will only be targeted at local consumers who already use Alibaba’s online services, and is highly unlikely to be launched in other parts of the world.
The move comes as Alibaba is refining its identification as a massive data company, harvesting information from consumers across multiple platforms and using it to enable its merchants, advertisers, and ad manufacturers to better target their products. This will help increase the returns on advertising through the company’s platform, enhancing another revenue stream.
Alibaba has been focusing on expanding and conquering a greater market share and giving serious competition to its rivals in the tech space such as Amazon, Apple, and Samsung. On Wednesday, Alibaba announced it would raise its stake in the Singapore-based online retailer Lazada Group from 51% to 83%. Meanwhile, Alibaba’s shares furthered 32% on top of the 60% they’ve already returned since the New Year.
Alibaba is monetizing a huge chunk of data in order to keep updating and upgrading its AI technology mechanisms. With the new device, it could capture a huge chunk of the market and give Apple and Amazon a run for their money.
Megha Shah for TechFunnel.com