January 12, 2018 7:55 pm JST

Asian tech companies challenge US at CES

Google shines at electronics show, followed by Samsung, Alibaba

KIM JAEWON, Nikkei staff writer

Participants experience Alibaba Group's artificial intelligence technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Jan. 11. (Photo by Kim Jaewon)

LAS VEGAS, U.S. -- Chinese tech companies are challenging their U.S. rivals in efforts to lead the latest artificial intelligence trends, aggressively showcasing their new technology at this year's CES electronics show in Las Vegas.

Alibaba Group Holding displayed a wide range of its new technology in its big booth, from cloud computing and face-recognition payment systems to a voice assistant. The Hangzhou-based company showcased its AI program called ET City Brain, which helps city officials to improve services with real-time traffic management and prediction, as well as smarter drainage systems based on its clouding technology.

"We are the world's third-largest company in cloud computing, only behind Amazon and Microsoft. We are ahead of Google," said an Alibaba staff member in the booth.

However, Google seems to be maintaining its edge and is drawing a lot of attention in the exhibition, strongly promoting its voice secretary, Assistant. People lined up for over an hour at the Silicon Valley company's outdoor booth to enjoy its AI technology, which has been applied to a wide range of products including displays and speakers made by many manufacturers, such as Lenovo Group, LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics.

Google was everywhere in the show, with the "Hey Google" slogan on the city's monorail, and promotional events in the streets. The company also surveyed people on their impressions of its voice assistant.

Samsung was perhaps the second-most popular company in the show, attracting crowds to its Galaxy Experience Zone and its SmartThings home appliance booth. The South Korean company offered virtual reality experiences to visitors, letting them enjoy virtual winter sports, such as skiing and sled-riding.

At its press conference, the company unveiled its dream of connecting all devices -- from smartphones to refrigerators to auto electronics -- through "internet of things" technology.

Chinese internet company Baidu also unveiled its ambitions for leading AI and 5G technology. Qi Lu, vice chairman at the company, said that competition between U.S. and Chinese companies will deepen this year over autonomous driving, smart devices and 5G.

Among Japanese companies, Panasonic drew attention with its VR technology. The company also showed its AI solutions offering personalized services to airline passengers. Toyota Motor's autonomous concept car Concept-i also proved popular for its futuristic design and inspirational appearance. The automaker has been taking a leading role in autonomous driving as well as hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Asia300

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

China

Market(Ticker): NYS(BABA)
Sector:
Industry:
Retail Trade
Internet Retail
Market cap(USD): 471,306.41M
Shares: 2,555.89M
Asia300

Lenovo Group Ltd.

Hong Kong

Market(Ticker): HKG(992)
Sector:
Industry:
Electronic Technology
Computer Processing Hardware
Market cap(USD): 7,008.21M
Shares: 12,014.79M
Asia300

LG Electronics, Inc.

South Korea

Market(Ticker): KRX(066570)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Durables
Electronics/Appliances
Market cap(USD): 16,432.03M
Shares: 163.64M
Asia300

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

South Korea

Market(Ticker): KRX(005930)
Sector:
Industry:
Electronic Technology
Telecommunications Equipment
Market cap(USD): 335,755.32M
Shares: 147.34M
Asia300

Baidu, Inc.

China

Market(Ticker): NAS(BIDU)
Sector:
Industry:
Technology Services
Internet Software/Services
Market cap(USD): 88,528.52M
Shares: 34.72M

Panasonic Corp.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(6752)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Durables
Electronics/Appliances
Market cap(USD): 37,507.14M
Shares: 2,453.05M

Toyota Motor Corp.

Japan

Market(Ticker): TKS(7203)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Durables
Motor Vehicles
Market cap(USD): 227,590.79M
Shares: 3,262.99M

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