Apple said Wednesday that it is will start selling its HomePod wireless speaker to Chinese customers in early 2019, less than one year after the smart device was launched in the United States.
The announcement appeared in a banner added to Apple's Chinese language website on Wednesday.
With the scheduled introduction of Homepod to China, Apple will become the first major U.S. smart speaker maker to tap into the world's largest Internet market, beating its homeland rivals, Amazon's Echo and Google Home.
HomePod relies on voice interaction to play music from Apple Music, perform tasks and do other daily jobs such as sending text messages to friends or making outgoing phone calls.
HomePod was originally launched in the United States, Britain and Australia in February 2018. Starting in June, customers could purchase HomePod in France, Germany and Canada, before the smart wireless speaker was made available in Mexico and Spain in late October.
However, Apple's HomePod is expected to face strong competition on the Chinese market from homegrown smart speaker makers such as Tingting made by China's tech giant Tencent, which integrates with the popular Chinese chatting app Wechat.
Other Chinese tech and Internet leaders have also rolled out their own digital assistant products - Alibaba's Tmall Genie, Baidu's Xiaodu series to Xiaomi's Mi Bluetooth speaker.