The reasons why voice tech is trending in China and India may surprise you – and it has nothing to do with market size

Among the APAC countries, voice tech is trendy in China and India because it suits Mandarin users and is seen as cool tech.

Just by saying out loud what they want, a mobile assistant orders them order pizza, types out their messages, plays music and gets directions to wherever they want to go.

This is daily life of a nearly half the people in India and China, which are leaders in adopting voice-activated technology on smartphones in the Asia-Pacific region, accoding to a new research report from digital strategy agency iProspect.

The report surveyed almost 2,000 people across six countries – Australia, China, India Indonesia, Japan and Singapore – and found that people in China and India used voice tech the most to do tasks like set timers and make calls when on the go.

The reasons why voice tech is so popular in these markets was different between the countries. Chinese users liked voice tech because, unlike English, the accuracy of voice recognition was far higher for Mandarin.

Unlike the frustration experienced by English speakers in Singapore and Australia, especially due to local accents, Mandarin speakers were easily understood by the AI.

In addition, Mandarin is almost three times faster to speak than English, but is much harder to type, meaning Chinese users found voice tech a double win in terms of speed and convenience.

For India, researchers found that the main driver for voice tech was actually its ‘cool’ factor. Almost half the respondents said they used voice tech “because 
it makes them feel cool” and because it was the next “technological revolution”.

In comparison, Japanese people were least inclined to use voice tech, especially in public, because it was embarrassing to have to speak out loud, sometimes asking the same question repeatedly, to their phones.

The researchers noted that this led to Indians having the highest positive sentiment towards voice tech among all the countries.