The Amazon Echo was a surprising success, especially in a market with already-established voice assistant platforms like Siri, Google Now/Google Assistant, and Cortana. But yet for some reason many flocked to the Echo, resulting in spin-offs like the Amazon Tap and the Echo Dot, a smaller, cheaper, and simplified version of the Echo.
It seems that the Echo’s success has been felt over in China because local company LingLong has debuted their own take on the Echo in the form of the Linglong DingDong. Admittedly the name of the device does sound a bit funny, but given China’s populous nature, it has the potential to introduce millions of users to a voice-activated, cloud-based smart home speaker.
For the most part it seems that the DingDong does what the Echo can do, which is providing news, weather and stock market updates, manages the user’s schedule, plays music and reads audiobooks, and more. According to LingLong, the DingDong has no problems interacting with 95% of China’s population, despite the fact that in China the Mandarin and Cantonese languages are spoken in different tones and accents.
The company also admits that the Echo was what inspired them to create such a device, although its design symbolizes the tiānyuán dìfāng, a concept that is meant to convey that “heaven is round, Earth is square”. Priced at $118, it is cheaper than the Amazon Echo, although it seems unlikely that the device will be finding its way out of China for now.