Vivo is hyping its new smart home assistant, saying it’s already able to control devices from more than 60 home appliance brands.

Except that claim was immediately questioned by a Chinese state-run newspaper, which said it’s not realistic.

China’s smart home space is a little more complicated than in the West. There are plenty of people making IoT and smart home devices in China, but little cooperation.

In the West, most people use Alexa or Google Home to control smart home devices. But China doesn’t have any clear winners among voice assistants, with most smart home makers content to build their own systems that only work with their own devices -- increasing fragmentation.

At its new smartphone X23 launch event last week, Vivo promoted a solution: A new product named Jovi IoT, which lets users control smart home devices of different brands by talking to their Vivo phone’s voice assistant, Jovi.

Vivo claims that users can use Jovi IoT to control multiple devices across brands. (Picture: Vivo/iQiyi)

An executive at Vivo reportedly said that Jovi IoT is already compatible with more than 60 mainstream appliances, but state-run newspaper Securities Daily published a piece today doubting Vivo’s claim.

The newspaper quotes an anonymous executive of a “mainstream home appliance company”, who says that right now in China it’s not realistic for one platform to be compatible with multiple IoT devices from multiple brands.

(We reached out to Vivo for comment, but have yet to hear back.)

Vivo said at the event that Jovi IoT will be officially released on September 30 on the Vivo app store, but it will only be on three of their newer models: X23, X21 and Nex.