China takes lead in fast-growing smart speaker market - Mobile World Live

China takes lead in fast-growing smart speaker market

20 MAY 2019

China’s smart speaker market grew 500 per cent year-on-year in Q1, surpassing the US to become the largest in the world with a 51 per cent share, data from Canalys showed.

Shipments in China surged to 10.6 million units, while US shipments stood at 5 million, resulting in its global share dropping to 24 per cent from 44 per cent in the same period of 2018.

The research company said the competitive landscape in China shifted significantly, with Baidu emerging as the top vendor for the first time. An exclusive sponsorship deal with national TV channel CCTV on its Chinese New Year’s eve gala allowed Baidu to generate significant downloads of its mobile app and drive countrywide awareness around its smart speakers, Canalys said.

Nicole Peng, VP of mobility at Canalys, said the growth was largely driven by vendors spending heavily to swiftly achieve a dominant share, adding Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are used to spending billions on traffic acquisition and know how to reach a critical installed base fast.

“We expect Alibaba and Baidu will continue to spend in exchange for more users, given that scaling-up has become their top priority over monetisation. It is great for mass-market education and fast consumer adoption,” she explained.

Global shipments increased 131.4 per cent year-on-year in Q1 to 20.7 units (see chart above, click to enlarge).

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Joseph Waring

Joseph Waring joins Mobile World Live as the Asia editor for its new Asia channel. Before joining the GSMA, Joseph was group editor for Telecom Asia for more than ten years. In addition to writing features, news and blogs, he...

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