|Release date||July 2017 (limited beta)|
August 8, 2017 (China)
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth 4.0|
|Dimensions||83 mm (3.27 in) diameter, 126 mm (4.96 in) high|
|Mass||400 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.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. As with other smart speakers, the Genie supports web searches, music streaming, home automation devices, and placing orders for products from Tmall. Voice interaction with the device is currently limited to Mandarin, 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.
Amazon China, formerly known as Joyo.com is an online shopping website. Joyo.com was founded in early 2000 by Chinese entrepreneur, Lei Jun in Beijing, China. The company primarily sold books and other media goods, shipping to customers nationwide. Joyo.com was renamed to “Amazon China” when sold to Amazon Inc. in 2004 for US$75 Million. Amazon China closed its domestic business in China in June 2019, offering only products from sellers located overseas
Alibaba Group Holding Limited, also known as Alibaba Group and as Alibaba.com, is a Chinese multinational technology company specializing in e-commerce, retail, Internet, and technology. Founded on 28 June 1999, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, the company provides consumer-to-consumer (C2C), business-to-consumer (B2C), and business-to-business (B2B) sales services via web portals, as well as electronic payment services, shopping search engines and cloud computing services. It owns and operates a diverse portfolio of companies around the world in numerous business sectors.
Jack Ma, or Ma Yun, is a Chinese business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He is the cofounder and former executive chairman of Alibaba Group, a multinational technology conglomerate. Ma is a strong proponent of an open and market-driven economy.
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The Singles' Day or Double 11, originally called Bachelors' Day, is a Chinese unofficial holiday and shopping season that celebrates people who are not in relationships. The date, 11 November (11/11), was chosen because the numeral 1 resembles a bare stick, which is Chinese Internet slang for an unmarried man who does not add 'branches' to the family tree. The four '1's also abstractly refer to the demographic group of single people. Paradoxically, the holiday has become a popular date on which to celebrate relationships: more than 4,000 couples got married in Beijing on this date in 2011, far greater than the daily average of 700 marriages.
An intelligent virtual assistant (IVA) or intelligent personal assistant (IPA) is a software agent that can perform tasks or services for an individual based on commands or questions. Sometimes the term "chatbot" is used to refer to virtual assistants generally or specifically accessed by online chat. In some cases, online chat programs are exclusively for entertainment purposes. Some virtual assistants are able to interpret human speech and respond via synthesized voices. Users can ask their assistants questions, control home automation devices and media playback via voice, and manage other basic tasks such as email, to-do lists, and calendars with verbal (spoken?) commands. A similar concept, however with differences, lays under the dialogue systems.
Tmall.com, formerly Taobao Mall, is a Chinese-language website for business-to-consumer (B2C) online retail, spun off from Taobao, operated in China by Alibaba Group. It is a platform for local Chinese and international businesses to sell brand name goods to consumers in Greater China. It has over 500 million monthly active users, as of February 2018.
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A smart speaker is a type of speaker and voice command device with an integrated virtual assistant that offers interactive actions and hands-free activation with the help of one "hot word". Some smart speakers can also act as a smart device that utilizes Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other protocol standards to extend usage beyond audio playback, such as to control home automation devices. This can include, but is not limited to, features such as compatibility across a number of services and platforms, peer-to-peer connection through mesh networking, virtual assistants, and others. Each can have its own designated interface and features in-house, usually launched or controlled via application or home automation software. Some smart speakers also include a screen to show the user a visual response.
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SenseTime is currently the world's most valuable artificial intelligence (AI) company. It is established in Hong Kong with additional offices across China, Singapore, Japan, Abu Dhabi and the United States. The company has a portfolio of 700 clients and partners, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Qualcomm, Honda, Alibaba, Weibo, and more. It was the world's first Artificial intelligence unicorn and is valued at over $7.7 billion.
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.
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