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China tech

China, U.S. voice AI firms battle in world's largest car market

iFlytek expects growth as U.S.-based Cerence flexes global track record

A mock up of a vehicle equipped with an AI voice recognition system at iFlytek headquarters. (Photo by Shin Watanbe)

DALIAN, China -- The race for supremacy in AI-powered automotive voice recognition is heating up in China, as the world's biggest auto market increasingly becomes a standard-bearer for technology.

Homegrown player iFlytek expects to install its voice technology in 30% more vehicles in 2022 from last year, while U.S.-based Cerence looks to woo Chinese automakers with its ample experience with global customers. The two are neck-and-neck in the Chinese market, each controlling a share of about 40% in 2020.

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