JD.com's DingDong speaker
Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) announced on Wednesday that it's launching a home speaker called the Genie X1 nearly three years after Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) first released the Amazon Echo in November 2014.
Shares of Alibaba were trading up 1.31% to $142.82 on Wednesday early afternoon. The stock is up more than 60% year-to-date.
The Mandarin-enabled Genie X1 speaker will only be available in China and will go to the first 1,000 people who order it during a one-month trial starting August 8.
The speaker will be priced at $73, which is significantly cheaper than the $179.99 Echo and other competitors, including the $129 Google Home from Alphabet's Google (GOOGL - Get Report) unit and the recently announced $349 HomePod from Apple (AAPL - Get Report) that's due out in December. However, Amazon also offers a cheaper $49.99 Amazon Dot that is enabled by its voice assistant Alexa and can perform basic functions, such as playing music, making calls and controlling smart home devices.
Alibaba isn't the only company playing catch up to Amazon in the smart speaker market. Chinese Internet giant Tencent (TCEHY) has developed a voice assistant known as Xiaowei, with president Martin Lau telling Bloomberg recently Tencent could release a countertop assistant in a few months. Meanwhile, South Korea-based Samsung (SSNLF) is developing a smart speaker powered by its new Bixby assistant that was seen on its Galaxy S8 smartphone that came out in April, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
To give you an idea of what the current home speaker market looks like, TheStreet put together a list of the six companies that are now offering smart home speakers to consumers.
Editor's Pick: This article was originally published on July 5, 2017.
Release date: November 2016
Release date: December 2017
Release date: Spring 2017
Release date: 2015
Price: $118 for the most expensive version
Release date: August 2017