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Chinas Baidu says its answer to Alexa is now on 200M devices

A Chinese voice assistant has been rapidly gaining ground in recent months. DuerOS, Baidus answer to Amazons Alexa, reached over 200 million devices, Chinas top search engine announced on its Weibo official account last Friday.
To put that number into context, more than 100 million devices pre-installed with Alexa have been sold, Amazonrecently said.Google just announced it expected Assitant to be on 1 billion devices by the end of this month.
Voice interaction technology is part of Baidus strategy to reposition itself from a heavy reliance on search businesses towards artificial intelligence. The grand plan took a hit when the world-renown scientist Lu Qi stepped down as Baidus chief operating officer, though the segment appears to have scored healthy growth lately, with DuerOS more than doubling from a base of90 million installssince last June.
When it comes to how many devices actually use DuerOS regularly, the number is much less significant: 35 million machines a month at the time Baidus general manager for smart home devicesannounced the figurelast November.
Like Alexa, which has made its way into both Amazon-built Echo speakers and OEMs, DuerOS also takes a platform play to power both Baidu-built and third-party devices.
Interestingly, DuerOS has achieved all that with fewer capabilities and a narrower partnership network than its American counterpart. By the end of 2018, Alexa could performmore than 56,000 skills.Devices from over 4,500 brands can now be controlled with Alexa, says Amazon.By comparison, Baidus voice assistant had 800 different skills, its chief architect Zhong Lei revealed at the companys November event.It was compatible with 85 brands at the time.

The number of Alexa skills in the U.S. more than doubled in 2018
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