In a strategic move to strengthen its presence in the Chinese market, Samsung is taking a notable step with its latest smartphone, the Galaxy S24. The tech giant, which saw its market share in China dwindling to a mere 2% in 2023, is now focusing on a localization strategy.

TM Roh, the head of Samsung’s mobile division, revealed that the Galaxy S24 for the Chinese market will feature AI technology powered by a local heavyweight – Baidu, a shift away from Google. While speaking to reporters earlier this week, Roh said: “We are making efforts to reach Chinese consumers with products that fit the China market, through software optimisation that fits the China market, and I think the results are coming out little by little.”

This decision marks a significant departure from Samsung’s global approach. In other regions, the company relies on Google’s Gemini Pro for key AI-driven functions such as translation, summarization, and content generation. However, for the Chinese variant of the Galaxy S24, Samsung has opted for Baidu’s “Ernie” AI model. This move not only highlights Samsung’s adaptive strategy in different markets but also underscores the growing importance of regional partnerships in the tech industry.

In China’s Android market, it’s a common practice for smartphones to launch without the standard array of Google services. Yet, Samsung’s latest foray into AI with its flagship smartphone series has caught the industry’s attention, signaling an intriguing shift from its typical strategy.

According to the latest information, it seems that the AI features in the Chinese versions of Samsung’s smartphones mirror the capabilities of their global counterparts. A prime example of this is the ‘Circle to Search’ function, a feature that allows users to conduct web searches directly from their screen by simply circling an image or highlighting text.

This feature, which Google proudly introduced, is also available in the Chinese models, despite the absence of Google’s direct involvement. This development suggests a nuanced approach by Samsung to maintain feature parity across different markets while navigating the unique technological landscape of China.

Samsung shared a statement on the matter with CNBC: “Now featuring Ernie’s understanding and generation capabilities, the upgraded Samsung Note Assistant can translate content and also summarize lengthy content into clear, intelligently organized formats at the click of a button, streamlining the organization of extensive text.”