Chinese people don’t like smart speakers

Business & Technology

The South China Morning Post’s new publication, Abacus, has released its 2018 China Internet Report, and a short summary of it. Some highlights:

  • China has nearly three times the number of internet users as the United States, and there’s still plenty of room to grow. With China’s 772 million users, internet penetration is only at 55 percent, while America’s 292 million users comprise 89 percent of its population.
  • China’s internet giants are in every tech sector: “From streaming video to self-driving cars, the big three (Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent) are present…either by investing in startups or by building it themselves.”
  • Physical stores that allow customers to shop seamlessly with smartphones are a major area of development for China’s big ecommerce players.
  • The government can destroy an industry at any time: “Any trend can disappear overnight — if Chinese authorities want it to.”
  • Short videos are huge: “Nearly 600 million people in the country actively use short video apps,” almost 80 percent of all mobile internet users in China.
  • WeChat’s mini-programs “are cementing its place as China’s virtual mobile operating system.” There are now more than a million WeChat mini-programs, apps that function within the WeChat app itself.
  • China still lags behind the U.S. in artificial intelligence (AI), but there is strong government support for the sector, with the goal of making China the world leader in AI by 2030.
  • “There are now over 100 smart speaker developers in the country (including all of the tech giants), but…in 2017, only 350,000 smart speakers were sold in China, compared to 25 million in the US.”
  • China is the world’s biggest gaming market, accounting for more than a quarter of the world’s total gaming revenue.