China Smart Speaker surge puts Baidu, Alibaba, Xiaomi in reach of Amazon and Google

Monday, May 20th, 2019 
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Strategy Analytics: China Smart Speaker Sales Surge Puts Baidu, Alibaba, Xiaomi In Reach of Amazon and Google

MILTON KEYNES, England — Sales of smart speakers in China in the first quarter of 2019 grew by more than 500% year-on-year, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics. This lifted global Q1 sales to 25.9 million, a 168% increase on the same period in 2018. The global market shares of Chinese brands therefore rose much closer to Amazon and Google, although the US giants remained in first and second place respectively. Chinese demand was boosted by promotional activities around the Chinese New Year, and Baidu’s Xiaodu Zaijia smart displays proved particularly popular. Strategy Analytics has now increased its forecast for full-year 2019 global shipments by 10% to 147.7 million units.

Global Smart Speaker Market by Vendor Q1 2019 - Amazon, Google, Baidu, Alibaba, Xiaomi, Apple, Others

David Watkins, Director at Strategy Analytics, commented: “For the first time China has become the world’s largest market for smart speakers. This was partly because the first quarter is traditionally a period of strong demand, but it also signals the arrival of smart speakers as one of the hottest consumer technologies in China, just as they have been in North America and parts of Europe for the past couple of years. We expect China’s love affair with smart speakers and displays to continue for some time to come.”

David Mercer, Vice President at Strategy Analytics, added, “Major Chinese tech players like Alibaba, Baidu and Xiaomi see smart speakers as a key strategic play, just as Amazon and Google have done in western markets. Building mass market voice UI platforms will support the evolution of existing and new digital services as well as driving significant new revenue opportunities. For the moment the Chinese domestic market is the focus but the time will come when these firms will look elsewhere for growth.”

Links: Strategy Analytics