Chinese technology giant Baidu has emerged as the surprise winner in the global smart speaker market. Despite serving only the China market, Baidu has managed to beat Google to take the second spot. According to Canalys, it registered a growth of 3,700 percent and shipped 4.5 milion units during the second quarter. The global market research firm Canalys said on Monday that the smart speaker market grew 55.4 percent in Q2 2019 to reach 26.1 million units.

Amazon maintained the worldwide lead with 25 percent market share at the end of second quarter. It shipped 6.6 million units of its Echo smart speakers during the quarter. Baidu became the second largest vendor and overtook Google which managed to ship only 4.3 million Home units in the second quarter. Baidu captured 17.3 per cent of the global market. Amazon remains the overall leader with more than 25 percent share of the market and 6.6 million shipments.

“Aggressive marketing and go-to-market campaigns built strong momentum for Baidu in China,” said Canalys Research analyst Cynthia Chen.

Smart speaker market is becoming the next big battleground among all the major tech companies. However, the industry is already showing signs of weakness. The report notes that the US smart speaker market showed slight weakness. It declined 2.4 percent with a total shipments of 6.1 million units during the second quarter.

Amazon, Baidu and Google were followed by Alibaba and Xiaomi in the top five list. Alibaba shipped 4.1 million units to capture a market share of 15.8 percent. Xiaomi, on the other hand, captured 10.8 percent and shipped 2.8 million units.

“Amazon and Google are focused on growing their business outside the US,” said Jason Low, Senior Analyst at Canalys. The firm notes that vendors are facing the challenge of pivoting to more complex devices in the short term. Most vendors are also said to be looking for ways to integrate displays.

(Written with IANS inputs)

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