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The Wall Street Journal: China’s Baidu unveils smart-home device, personal robot

November 17
07:05 2017

BEIJING — In its push into artificial-intelligence technologies, Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc. is entering the market for “smart home” products with an intelligent speaker and a personal robot.

The company, which is best known as China’s leading search engine, announced at its annual Baidu World conference on Thursday that it will begin selling two home assistants — similar to Amazon.com Inc.’s AMZN, +0.94%   Echo — that can execute commands such as playing songs or videos using voice recognition.

With its core search business reaching maturity, Baidu BIDU, +2.18%   is looking to use its AI capabilities in new enterprises. Last year, a medical scandal cut into its advertising revenue and led to a management shuffle.

The company’s Raven line of smart-home products, which will be sold in the Chinese market to start, is seen as a way to generate short-term revenue gains while more ambitious ventures such as driverless cars are being developed.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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