Briefing: Tencent bets on smart speakers with screens

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Tencent Enters Cut-Throat Market for Smart Speakers With Screens-Yicai Global

What happened: Chinese internet giant Tencent debuted its first screened smart speaker to strengthen its foray into the voice assistant industry. Featuring an 8 inch high-definition screen and 2500mAh battery, the speaker is priced at RMB899 ($130). Tencent Video, QQ Music, Tencent News, and other Tencent content resources are accessible on the device. The speaker went on sale on Monday.

Why it’s important: China’s smart speaker industry is experiencing explosive growth despite its relatively late start compared to overseas markets. Internet vendors including Xiaomi, Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent all entered the market to seize a new entry point for the internet of things, which is expected to bring huge traffic to the smart home market. There are around 50 smart speaker manufacturers in China, according to data from integrated circuit news portal Jiwei.com. After releasing a screenless speaker in April, Tencent is keeping up with the latest trend in the industry to release a screened version, facilitating more complicated functions such as travel route checking, watching videos, and playing games.