(Yicai Global) Jan. 19 -- Chinese internet stalwart Tencent Holdings Ltd. has rolled out its first voice assistant and pledged to make it openly compatible with almost all devices.
The only product that won't be able to connect with the Qinjian M10 is the Tmall Genie, a speaker developed by domestic rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which has its own operating system. Tencent's smart services division Xiaowei designed the speaker with Beijing Shuzijiaoyuan Technology Co., and unveiled it in Shenzhen on Jan. 17.
A critical entry point for smart home systems, artificially intelligent voice assistants have become the target of an array of internet firms. The market saw explosive growth last year. Between April and August, Ainemo Inc. released Little Fish with Baidu Inc., and JD.Com Inc., Lenovo Group Ltd., Movoi Inc., Ximalaya and Rokid and all brought in similar products.
Xiaowei is an open operating system, Mao Hua, division head, told Yicai Global. It will even be able to sync with Amazon Inc.'s Echo speaker as the unit does not make its own products, so has no direct competition with the Seattle-based e-tailer, he added. This is also how Tencent's product differs from those made by Alibaba and Baidu Inc., which makes the Raven H.
The Qinjian M10 already connects with more than half of the smart speakers on the market.
Tencent started Xiaowei in June. The division builds open hardware, an open Skills and intelligent service platforms. The three areas provide technology and content to hardware partners to develop a "smart cloud ecosystem," said Wang Long, vice president of Tencent Cloud.