June 29, 2017 / 9:40 PM / 3 months ago

Alibaba to launch product similar to Amazon Echo: source

A logo of Alibaba Group is pictured at its headquarters in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China, October 14, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer/File photo

(Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd would launch a product mimicking Amazon.com Inc’s “Echo” next week, according to a source familiar with the matter.

“Amazon Echo”, launched in 2014, is a speaker which one can leave on all day and give voice commands to, similar to Siri on an Apple Inc iPhone.

Alibaba’s new product would be made available only in China and speak only Mandarin, the source told Reuters.

Apple and Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc, have unveiled products similar to Echo with the HomePod and Google Home.

The Information, a technology website, was the first to report the news on Thursday. (bit.ly/2t5bhU4)

Alibaba did not immediately respond to a request for comment, outside business hours.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru and Peter Henderson in San Francisco; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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