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Huawei plans voice assistant for phones

China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-17 07:59

Huawei plans voice assistant for phones

Visitors take photos of Huawei Technologies Co's exhibits at a software fair in Nanjing, Jiangsu province. AN XIN/CHINA DAILY

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

A team of more than 100 engineers is in the early stages of developing the technology at its Shenzhen offices, one of the sources 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 source added.

Huawei's assistant would communicate in Chinese and target domestic users while the company continued to work with Google and Amazon outside China, one of the sources said.

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.

Having a major Android device manufacturer choose to build a voice assistant in-house may throw another wrench in Google's plans. Huawei last month announced it would use Alexa on its Mate 9 smartphones in the United States.


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