A member of staff from Alibaba Group introduces the company's newly released cut-price voice assistant speaker Tmall Genie during a press conference in Beijing. Reuters
China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Tuesday said its voice-controlled assistant will feature in local vehicles from Audi AG, Renault SA and Honda Motor Co Ltd, as the tech giant expands in artificial intelligence.
The Tmall Genie Auto smart speaker will allow drivers to use voice commands to, for instance, place orders on Alibaba’s online retail platform and buy movie tickets, Alibaba said at the CES Asia 2019 technology trade show in Shanghai.
In the near future, the speaker will also allow drivers to monitor and control smart devices at houses equipped with a Tmall Genie-compatible device, Alibaba said in a joint statement with the three automakers, without specifying vehicle models.
“We are thrilled to partner with global, distinguished auto brands such as Audi, Renault and Honda,” said Miffy Chen, general manager at Alibaba AI Labs. “Together, we can greatly enhance our in-car services and make driving experiences more intelligent and interconnected.”
The Tmall Genie is akin to Amazon.com Inc’s Echo. Alibaba launched the device in 2017 and released an auto version in April last year. Other automakers that have said they will install the device in their vehicles include BMW and Volvo Cars.
Amazon also has a vehicle version of its Echo, dubbed the Echo Auto, which it announced in September.
Amazon.com said it would shut its China online store by July 18, as the US e-commerce giant focuses on the lucrative businesses of selling overseas goods and cloud services in the world’s most populous nation. The move underscores how entrenched, home-grown e-commerce rivals have made it difficult for Amazon’s marketplace
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding beat fourth-quarter revenue forecasts on Wednesday, thanks to growth in its core business and its diversification into cloud computing and other services. Alibaba has invested in new business lines such as cloud computing as a boom in its core e-commerce has peaked and its top line growth is slowing.
Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd said on Wednesday it has developed a new chip that specialises in machine-learning tasks and which will be used in services provided by its cloud computing division.
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China’s third-quarter economic growth slowed more than expected and to its weakest pace in almost three decades as the bruising US trade war hit factory production, boosting the agenda for Beijing to roll out a fresh fiscal support shortly.
Indian markets gained during the early trade on Friday as investors bought company shares with significant business in Britain after EU and Britain reached a new Brexit.
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