Alibaba to launch product similar to Amazon Echo in China, to function only in Mandarin: Report

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd would launch a product mimicking Amazon.com Inc's "Echo" next week, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd would launch a product mimicking Amazon.com Inc's "Echo" next week, according to a source familiar with the matter.

"Amazon Echo", launched in 2014, is a speaker which one can leave on all day and give voice commands to, similar to Siri on an Apple Inc iPhone. Alibaba's new product would be made available only in China and speak only Mandarin, the source told Reuters.

Apple and Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, have unveiled products similar to Echo with the HomePod and Google Home. The Information, a technology website, was the first to report the news on Thursday.

Alibaba did not immediately respond to a request for comment, outside business hours.

According to sources, Amazon is also planning to get its voice-assistant called Alexa online for its customers in India. With the introduction of Alexa Voice Service (AVS) here, launching its smart home speakers like its tiny Echo Dot and the more powerful Echo is a given.

The sources also added that AVS will down the line support more and more regional languages as well. While India awaits the introduction of smart speakers in the market, Amazon will look to price the speakers aggressively.

With inputs from Reuters

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