Feeds

China Mobile squares up to Siri with voice portal

How do you rate your chances in China now, Siri?

Boost IT visibility and business value

China Mobile, is set to launch its own Siri-like voice assistant service on Wednesday, a move which will provide more unwelcome local competition for Apple in the world’s biggest smartphone market.

The carrier, which is the world’s largest by subscribers, will unveil its “intelligent voice portal” at its global developers conference in Guangzhou, according to Marbridge Daily.

The portal is apparently based on the YuDian voice assistant product from Chinese firm Anhui USTC iFlytek – the country’s most successful voice recognition firm – in which China Mobile took a 15 per cent stake back in August.

It will allow users to dial numbers and send texts, and listen to incoming calls and other information, as well as access other back-end services such as China Mobile’s 12580 information hotline which includes entertainment, travel, hotel and tourist info.

Although all-but unknown outside of China, USTC iFlytek, boasts an ecosystem of over 10,000 partners and developers and user numbers for its text-to-speech and voice recognition tech in the hundreds of millions.

The firm told The Reg it has the edge on Siri thanks to its native Chinese expertise – the tonal nature of the language of Mandarin and Cantonese making them particularly difficult to recognise.

It also boasted of its underlying ‘voice cloud’ platform which has now amassed a huge database of differently accented speech which can be used to make the services offered on top, such as YuDian, more accurate.

For its part, Siri will get another chance to win hearts and minds in the ultra-competitive China smartphone market with the launch of the iPhone 5, which is slated for December 15.

However, China Mobile has still not managed to reach an agreement with Apple, allowing rivals China Telecom and China Unicom to battle it out for the hard-earned cash of the country’s fanbois.

China Mobile couldn't immediately be reached for comment. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.