Smart TV or the smart living room isn’t a new topic. Chinese TV makers, such as Changhong and TCL, started developing software solutions and producing Smart TVs a couple of years ago. But until recently Chinese video content providers or other Internet companies got involved in TV set design and production. They’d develop custom software solutions (almost all are based on Android) and reached out to conventional TV manufacturers to have the latter produce TV sets with their solutions built in.

Their Smart TVs provide videos from their own platforms or third-party partners who own licenses for streaming online videos onto TV. They offer additional apps or Internet-enabled services — Alibaba even provides features like shopping and payments — TV makers otherwise cannot provide with. Before the TV, most of them had launched set-top boxes.

One thing they do differently from the conventional TV makers is they sell their TVs online.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com