TL;DR
  • In an interview, Huawei CEO Richard Yu confirmed a Huawei voice assistant is coming to countries outside of China.
  • The Huawei voice assistant will go head-to-head with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.
  • It is not clear if the new Huawei voice assistant will be similar to its current Chinese-exclusive assistant, Xiaoyi.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei, recently gave an interview with CNBC. During the chat, Yu confirmed a Huawei voice assistant will launch globally at some point soon.

This upcoming voice assistant would be a direct competitor to Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri, all of which already have a global presence.

“In the beginning, we are mainly using Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa” for its smartphones and other smart products, Yu said. “We need more time to build our AI services…later, we will expand this outside of China.”

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Currently, Huawei already has an active voice assistant called Xiaoyi. However, this assistant is exclusive to China and only speaks and understands the Chinese language. It is not clear if the upcoming global assistant will be Xiaoyi with more language support, a fork of Xiaoyi, or something new entirely. We speculate it will be something altogether new.

For the time being, Yu confirmed Huawei would still work in partnership with Google and Amazon when it comes to voice assistants within Huawei products. Yu didn’t give a timeline for the rollout of this upcoming Huawei assistant, but the very fact that he mentioned it likely means it is not too far off, possibly gearing up for a 2019 launch.

Whenever this new assistant might launch, it will be entering a very crowded market. Aside from Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri, Huawei will also be competing with Microsoft’s Cortana, Samsung’s Bixby, and possibly Xiaomi’s Xiao Ai, should it decide to expand outside of China as well.

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