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HUAWEI may add to the already crowded field of voice-based digital assistants

A new report claims HUAWEI is developing its own in-house voice-based digital assistant, which would add one more such product to the already crowded field.

Published onFebruary 15, 2017

The HUAWEI logo.

Are you ready to use yet another digital assistant? If you live in China, you may get that chance. A new report claims Huawei is working on its own voice-based AI service, which would compete with other similar products, including Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana and Amazon’s Alexa.

HUAWEI CEO Richard Yu talks new partnerships, growth in interview at CES 2017

The report from Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, claims that HUAWEI is in the early stages of developing the voice assistant, but it still has over 100 people actively working on it. The assistant will only be used in China, according to the article. HUAWEI will work with other companies to add third-party AI services when it offers its phones outside the country. HUAWEI already plans to add support for Alexa to its Mate 9 phone in the US, via a software update that’s planned for release sometime in March.

Even though this report says HUAWEI’s in-house voice assistant will only be used in China, that’s still a massive market for smartphones. It may mean that Google Assistant, which currently is only used in the company’s Pixel and Pixel XL phones, won’t be available for future HUAWEI Android handsets in that country. That could be a big loss for Google, as it is reportedly trying to get Assistant pre-installed on more third-party devices.

HUAWEI is not the only Android phone maker developing its own AI outside of Google. Samsung will reportedly debut its Bixby assistant as part of the the launch of its Galaxy S8 phone in April.

What do you think of HUAWEI making its own voice-assistant service in China? Do you think it could find its way to other markets if it is successful in its home country? Are there simply way too many voice-based assistants being made? Let us know what you think of this already crowded field that’s looks like it’s about to get even more crowded in the comments!