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Baidu Launches Cheap Smart Speaker After Flop of Raven-H

Chinese search giant Baidu launched an inexpensive smart speaker called Xiaodu in Beijing. The speaker’s official price tag is 249 yuan ($39), but Baidu is offering a steep discount for now, selling it for just 89 yuan. As The Information reported previously, this is part of Baidu’s new strategy after it gave up on selling its 1,699 yuan high-end smart speaker, Raven-H. With the low-cost Xiaodu, Baidu hopes to compete with other mass-market smart speakers made by Xiaomi and Alibaba. But some Baidu employees told The Information they were skeptical about the company’s ability to compete in the hardware market. They believe Xiaomi is more experienced in manufacturing and supply chain management, while Alibaba has a strong e-commerce channel to sell and promote its own product.


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