Apple has announced that its wireless smart speaker, HomePod, will become available in China this week – despite the tech giant’s recent poor performance in the country amid a slowing economy.
HomePod will launch in Mainland China and Hong starting Friday 18 January, bringing the total number of countries where Apple has entered its device to nine including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, and Spain.
Apple hopes it can differentiate from local competitors, like Baidu, in the region by placing much of the emphasis on HomePod’s main selling of its focus on music. The Chinese version of the device will come with Airplay support for local and international music streaming apps like Tencent’s QQ Music and DeDao in Mainland China, and Spotify and JOOX in Hong Kong.
“HomePod is the perfect wireless speaker for music lovers. It delivers an unmatched music listening experience with high-fidelity sound wherever it is placed and creates a new way to discover and interact with music using Siri,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. “We’re excited to bring HomePod to our customers in mainland China and Hong Kong markets. We can’t wait for them to experience how great it sounds in their home, we think they are going to love it.”