Meet The Ticwatch, An Impressive Apple Watch Competitor From China

Apple may be killing it in China with the iPhone, but the U.S. firm faces a pretty impressive young competitor in the smartwatch space on Chinese soil. It isn’t running Android, but there is a Google connection.

Mobvoi, a two-year-old Chinese startup founded by ex-Googlers, is shaping up to be a very credible smartwatch rival. The company specializes in language search technology, and it is that which forms the core of its own smartwatch operating system — Ticwear — and its self-made hardware: the Ticwatch.

An investment from Google, which partnered with the company to bring Android Wear to China, put Mobvoi in the international spotlight last month, but how does its tech fare?

The answer is pretty well.

On the sidelines of our TechCrunch Beijing event last week, Mobvoi Product Manager Yili Lin showed off the watch — in gold, no less — and walked us through its features.

The sad news for most TechCrunch readers is that Ticwear and the Ticwatch are built for Chinese language users, but Lin hinted that an international version could be released in the future. We’ll keep you posted on that!