Benson is an all-around writer with an experience in technology and other fun topics.
The simple answer is yes. But, there is more.
IoT has become a crucial aspect of the lives of most people. Many individuals depend on IoT to perform simple or complex tasks.
IoT makes it easy for a person to call an Uber, order pizza, text people on their contact list, check emails, check bank balances, and order products online from various e-commerce sites.
For most people in the United States, several IoT home solutions are available for convenience and simplifying daily tasks. Individuals going abroad are unaware of the comfort and the simplicity that they have provided by IoT devices.
In many countries, it is difficult for people to gain access to IoT services. There are barriers like inaccessibility of the services, poor Internet infrastructure, or slow networking services. When traveling, most individuals do not have a comprehensive idea of what to do in new countries like China.
When many Expats travel to China, the technological advancements that exist in the country confuse them. The Expats also face issues like language barriers and the great firewall of China. Many individuals often have a difficult time trying to find an IoT provider to power their smart homes.
China is one of the most technologically advanced places and, there are many options for people. Individuals can choose services for daily use from several IoT providers. The providers include Apple, Amazon, JD.com, and Alibaba. Google Home by Google Inc. is unavailable in China because of the rocky relationship between the company and the Chinese government.
The climate in China can make it difficult for people to know about the available options and be skeptical of using IoT services. An individual must choose the best provider that can cater to their needs.
In exploring each IoT provider for homes, Amazon Echo powered by Alexa can work well in major cities without needing a VPN. However, one must reconfigure the device to match your current location. Apple HomePod powered by Siri also works when in China depending on the ISP.
It is easier for an individual with Amazon Echo or Apple's Siri to continue using the same devices when they get to China.
Amazon and Apple have a good relationship with the Chinese government making it is easy for people with any of the smart devices to continue using the same gadgets when they travel to China to access the various IoT services provided by the given organization.
However, access to the devices also depends on the ISP in China. Most of the places that are likely to have ISPs offering connection to IoT services provided by the large tech giants like Amazon and Apple are the major cities of China like Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai.
ISPs have to cater to the needs of the large Expat communities in the areas not only from the United States. Expats that live in Macau and Hong Kong do not have to worry about their connections but might have to reconfigure their devices when connecting to their accounts. If a person has a device in the United States, there is a likelihood when asking their gadget for the weather it gives the climate of their previous location. You have to specify your location in China for you to get the correct information.
In exploring the local options available in the country, Alibaba and JD.com are the main options for IoT devices. Alibaba Group, through Alibaba Cloud, has a Linux-based IoT platform called Ali OS used to power IoT devices for smart homes and vehicles. However, it does not have specific devices that Expats can use to access the services. Moreover, the platform acts more like a cloud service to store information instead of a smart home option.
In looking at JD.com, the organization is the greatest threat to the Alibaba group in providing online retail services in China. JD.com, in partnership with iFlytek, has a device called LingLong DingDong, or more commonly DingDong used for IoT services at home. The speaker understands Mandarin, Cantonese, and Basic English. However, its main target is the Chinese market making it unsuitable in catering to the needs of Expats.
An individual needs to consider several factors before choosing an IoT provider in China. One of the factors is security. People have to question the safety of the device that they are using for IoT services. Since IoT devices have a lot of access to personal information like bank accounts, email addresses, contacts, and other crucial information on the user, Expats must choose IoT providers they know. The providers should have a good record of ensuring the security of personal data stored in their platforms.
The other factor to consider when choosing a provider is need. People have to ask themselves whether they need an IoT device to perform simple and mundane tasks at the expense of exposing their personal information to the Chinese government. In China, the government has a lot of control over the type of information passing through its systems. It is risky using IoT devices because the government has an enormous regulation over the Internet.
Another aspect that a person should consider when choosing an IoT device is the cost. The cost of IoT services varies from provider to provider. It is crucial to look at the providers that deliver the most value for the money. However, it does not mean that the cheapest provider will give the best services and security for an individual's information.
IoT devices are popular because of the convenience they provide people daily in their lives and helping to provide a better quality of life for individuals. However, it is essential for Expats traveling and living abroad to understand the conditions in foreign countries. They should consider how secure their information is when choosing an IoT provider.
It is best to consult local individuals and other Expats in choosing the best devices and services for IoT. People that have lived in China for a long time are likely to have the best information on the kind of devices that can work in the country. In asking these individuals, a person will get the best data on overcoming the different challenges associated with using IoT devices in China as an Expat.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.