Regulator issues warning about companion robot, citing quality, privacy risks

China's companion robot market is at an incipient stage, marked by a proliferation of players occasionally with dubious credibility and substandard quality protocol.

China’s market watchdog issued a warning yesterday about the safety risks posed by companion robot, food warmer tray and portable outdoor power bank, state broadcaster China Central Television reported.

The State Administration for Market Regulation said in a notice that companion robots in the home scenario carry quality risks in terms of product function and information security.

After performing spot checks, the regulator said many such robot models in the market contain loopholes, incapable of detecting children’s dangerous behavior or mitigating stumble risks of children and senior citizens.

Defects also include the inability of some products to conduct real-time monitoring, remote custodianship and telecare.

Meanwhile, some products pose risks such as personal information and privacy leakage, as they have weak password security or require no verification codes when changing passwords.

Somehow the watchdog did not release a list of the businesses involved in manufacturing flawed products.

China’s companion robot market is at an incipient stage, marked by a proliferation of players occasionally with dubious credibility and substandard quality protocol.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

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