Chinese tech giant #Alibaba is reportedly planning a digital personal assistant to compete with the widely popular #Amazon Echo device. The upcoming device might come as early as next week, according to the sources familiar with the matter. Just like Amazon Echo, the Alibaba device will also allow consumers to use voice commands to buy products from Alibaba sites and other e-commerce sites.

The much-talked Alibaba device, which was first reported by the technology website The Information, will likely intensify the competition for Amazon, Apple, and Google when it finally launches in the market. Alibaba currently competes with Amazon in the e-commerce and cloud computing space.

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The planned Amazon Echo-like device is the latest step in the company's not-so-secret ambition to get big in the global playing stage.

Alibaba to finally enter the digital personal assistant battle

According to Business Insider, Alibaba could likely launch a voice-activated smart speaker similar to what Amazon and Google currently offering in the market. The upcoming Alibaba device, which will be powered by voice-recognition technology, will be targeted at #The Chinese market and then the US market.

Some of the reported features, the device will allow users to use voice commands to buy products from Alibaba’s sites such as Taobao and Tmall. For now, the new product would be made available only in the Chinese market and speak only Mandarin. Reports said that Alibaba is planning an assault on the US market.

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However, Alibaba is yet to announce official statement about plans for international rollout.

Unfortunately, Alibaba is not the only Chinese companies that working on a smart home speaker. Alibaba’s e-commerce rival JD.com also sells a smart home speaker in the market. JD.com is also busy working on an upgrade that will allow Chinese consumers to use the smart home device to practice their English language.

In addition to JD.com, Alibaba has also a much bigger competitor, the Chinese search-engine giant Baidu. The search giant has already launched its own voice-controlled home robot, which they called Little Fish. The home robot reportedly includes a tablet screen that allows users to perform common tasks such as searches and playing movies.

Founded in 1999 and based in Hangzhou, China, Alibaba is an e-commerce and technology giant that provides e-commerce business, business sales services, electronic payment services, shopping search engine and cloud computing services.

Alibaba is currently the world’s largest retailer, surpassing the American retail giant WalMart, with operation and presence in over 200 countries. Alibaba is said to be generating more gross merchandise volume than US-based Amazon and eBay combined.

In 2017, the company’s market cap hits a staggering $305 billion, and the same time the company also became one of the world’s top most valuable companies.