• An illustration relating to virtual assistants.

An illustration relating to virtual assistants. (Photo : Getty Images)

Huawei Technologies Co., the third-largest smartphone vendor globally, is preparing to enter the competitive world of digital assistants as it is developing its own voice-powered service.

A team that consists more than a hundred engineers is currently in the early stages of the development of this technology at its Shenzhen, China offices. The efforts are aimed at the voice-powered service of different companies such as the Siri of Apple Inc., Alexa of Amazon.com Inc. and Google Assistant of Alphabet Inc.

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Huawei's voice-powered service would communicate in Chinese languages and will target domestic users. The company will continue to work with Google and Amazon outside China while working on this digital assistant.

Building its own assistant that will be an answer to Siri may help Huawei devices stand out in a crowded Chinese market, wherein a lot of Google service are blocked in the dominant Android smartphone operating system.

The Google Assistant only currently runs on Google's Pixel smartphone, smartwatches and home speakers.

Google is trying to get third-party device makers to pre-install its Google Assistant to their devices. Having a major Android smartphone manufacturer to build an in-house voice assistant may cause an issue on Google's plans.

Spokespeople from either Huawei or Google declined to comment on this.

Huawei is not the first Android smartphone manufacturer to develop its own voice-powered service. Last year, Samsung has acquired Viv Labs, a startup that is formed by some Siri founders, to serve as the basis for its own voice assistant.

Samsung is planning to release the first batch of devices with this new technology later this year.

Baidu Unc., China's search giant, also has announced its own service in 2015.

Huawei is targeting a $33 billion profit in sales from its consumer business this year as it pushes upmarket with premium features. The company trails Apple and Samsung Electronics Co. in global smartphone shipments.