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Chinese robot vacuums sweep global rivals with high tech, low prices

Ecovacs taps driving AI to beat Roomba maker in worldwide sales

Ecovacs' latest vacuum cleaner robots feature lidar sensing. (Photo by Noriyuki Doi)

SHANGHAI/TOKYO -- Robot vacuum companies from China are cleaning up globally with cutting-edge features and affordable prices, as shown by the player behind Ecovacs cleaners surpassing the maker of Roombas in sales last year.

The Chinese business, formally known as Ecovacs Robotics, is hoovering up more than consumers. Investors are embracing the company's growth potential, sending its market capitalization near 44 billion yuan ($6.38 billion) -- roughly five times that of U.S.-based iRobot, the Roomba manufacturer.

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