Skip to main content

Huawei's Next Target? Amazon's Alexa

Huawei is working on a proprietary voice assistant that will work outside of China and could take the fight to Amazon's Alexa, the company's CEO Richard Yu has told CNBC.

Credit: Huawei

(Image credit: Huawei)

Huawei currently has a voice assistant of its own, called Xiaoyi, which powers its AI Cube smart speaker and smartphones such as the Mate 20 Pro. But it's currently only available in China, and speaks Chinese. 

In the U.S., Huawei's speaker and phones use Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, Yu said. He also noted that the company will continue to work in partnership with Amazon and Google. But a new voice assistant would, of course, put them in direct competition. 

MORE: Best Black Friday Tech Deals: Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and More

Yu has left a number of questions unanswered, such as when the assistant will be available, and what language it will speak.

That said, it's a tough market for new voice assistants. Very few voice assistants have come close to the intelligence of Google Assistant and Alexa. Apple's Siri trails behind them both, while Microsoft's Cortana and Samsung's Bixby are barely competition. And with many smart-home owners already firmly in the Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri camps, whether there's room for another major player remains to be seen.