Tmall Genie

Last updated
Tmall Genie
Tmall Genie logo.png
Developer Alibaba Group
Type Smart speaker
Release dateJuly 2017 (limited beta)
August 8, 2017 (China)
Introductory price¥499
Input Voice commands
Connectivity Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth 4.0
Dimensions83 mm (3.27 in) diameter, 126 mm (4.96 in) high
Mass400 g (0.88 lb)

The Tmall Genie is a smart speaker developed by Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group, using the intelligent personal assistant service AliGenie. [1] Introduced in July 2017, the device consists of a cylindrical body with omni-directional speakers and an LED light ring at the bottom of the device. [2] As with other smart speakers, the Genie supports web searches, music streaming, home automation devices, and placing orders for products from Tmall. [3] Voice interaction with the device is currently limited to Mandarin, [4] but plans to extend voice recognition to include Sichuanese, Cantonese, and eventually all major Chinese dialects were announced in March 2019 when Alibaba allocated 100 million yuan (US$15 million) for research and development. [5] [6]

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  1. Gartenberg, Chaim (5 July 2017). "Alibaba made an Echo competitor called the Tmall Genie". The Verge . Vox Media . Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  2. Ricky (6 July 2017). "The Tmall Genie is Alibaba's answer to the Amazon Echo in China". GSM Arena. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  3. Georgopoulos, Stergios (5 July 2017). "Alibaba unveils its smart speaker; The Tmall Genie will soon be available for $73". Neowin . Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  4. "Alibaba launches low-cost voice assistant amid AI drive". Reuters . Thomson Reuters. 5 July 2017. Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  5. Lee, Emma (21 March 2019). "Briefing: Alibaba's AI Labs to invest $15 million in Chinese dialect project". (one minute read) TechNode Chinese. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
  6. Yang (a.k.a. Chaguan), withheld (anonymous columnist) (7 November 2019). "In China, capitalism breeds new respect for dialects" (weekly newspaper (magazine format) with website (free registration or subscription to read full article)) (9 November 2019). The Economist. p. 40, paragraph # 8. Retrieved 10 December 2019. Consumers in smaller cities, especially older ones [read: those who are older (not older cities)], are not always ‘savvy with keyboards’, says an Alibaba representative, and are more likely to treat smart speakers as a companion, calling up traditional operas or health information, or audio-books for grandchildren left in their charge. Younger consumers may be more comfortable in putonghua [Chinese for Mandarin (meaning: "common speech")], but that does not mean that dialects will disappear, because speaking a dialect feels like ‘home’, she adds.