Alibaba, the China-based e-commerce giant determined to go toe-to-toe with Amazon, is coming out with its answer to the Echo smart speaker.
The device will be powered by voice, an anonymous source familiar with the matter reportedly told the Wall Street Journal. It’s meant to compete with the growing lineup of Amazon devices powered by voice-controlled digital assistant Alexa.
Alibaba’s smart speaker is geared toward the Chinese market and it will allow customers to use voice commands to order products on the company’s e-commerce platforms.
Competition between Alibaba and Amazon is fierce. In late 2016, Amazon expanded its Prime membership program to China, directly going after Alibaba’s core customer base.
Alibaba has been operating a secretive engineering center in Amazon’s backyard since 2014. Last year, Alibaba moved the Seattle operation to Bellevue, Wash.
Alibaba’s smart speaker could also present a challenge for other American tech giants like Google-parent Alphabet and Apple as they market their own voice-controlled devices in China.