With a 500 percent year-on-year growth in Q1 2019 in China, the smart speaker industry is booming in the country. During the first quarter of this year, the net shipments made stood at 10.6 million units, which helps China claim a 51 percent share of the global market. But the United States recorded just 5 million smart speaker sales within the same period, achieving a market share of 24 percent.
Baidu clinched the numero uno spot in the Chinese market owing, largely, to an exclusive deal it penned with the China Central Television (CCTV) channel. This consequently provided the company with exposure to a wider audience during the Chinese New Year holiday season. During the period, Alibaba, Xiaomi, as well as Tencent, equally achieved double-digit growth.
Commenting on the trend, Nicole Peng from Canalys said: “The lightning-fast development in China is largely driven by vendors pouring in large amounts of capital to achieve dominant share quickly. This strategy is favored by internet service providers like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent.”
Xiaomi and Alibaba sustained their growth from the fourth of 2018 as a result of similar promotions during the holiday season in China. Generally speaking, the Chinese companies are aiming for a wider reach over immediate profits that were also instrumental in boosting their sales.
Amazon and Google, on the other hand, prioritized bringing improvement to their ecosystems and included hardware components in their products, such as cameras and screens.