Chinese tech giants Baidu and Xiaomi announced today they have entered into a partnership that will see them “explore cooperation opportunities” in IoT and AI and a range of other areas including deep learning and voice recognition.
The partnership will leverage the companies’ strengths in IoT and AI to provide “an enhanced experience” to consumer electronics and smart device users.
Xiaomi, widely seen as China’s version of Apple, has accumulated solid experience in smart hardware, big data and established a smart devices ecosystem which attracted Baidu.
Baidu, China’s answer to Google, has strong technological fundamentals in AI with its conversational AI system DuerOS, which is already present in some Xiaomi hardware but unbranded.
The internet search giants will combine this with smartphone maker Xiaomi’s world-leading AI technologies and information ecosystems to support the development of the IoT industry.
The alliance is huge, a marriage between the third most valuable publicly traded Chinese technology company in Baidu with a market capitalization of $86 billion and one of the world’s most valuable private firms, Xiaomi, a key player in China who has made inroads in emerging markets like India thanks to its affordable phones and smart devices.
And aims to penetrate an industry ripe for major economic growth.
According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the potential economic impact of the IoT in 2025 could be anything between $3.9 and $11.1 trillion. Also, Accenture has estimated that the industrial IoT could add $14.2 trillion to the global economy by the year 2030.
The companies did not disclose details of the partnership but the two firms said they will immediately explore opportunities in voice recognition, deep learning, and computer vision.
Baidu’s tech reach also extends into robotics, AR, VR and self-driving cars, which could also be areas of joint cooperation with Xiaomi in the future.