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Sberbank becomes Sber and starts building home electronics

Sberbank becomes Sber and starts building home electronics

Russian state lender Sberbank is dropping the bank from its name as it makes an aggressive push into technology, launching a TV streaming box, smart speaker and virtual assistant.

Big tech has spent recent years muscling in on the financial services scene, with the likes of Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Tencent and Alibaba making various plays to take on banks in everything from payments to lending.

Just this week, Yandex, often called Russia's Google, made a $5.5 billion move to buy Sberbank rival Tinkoff.

Now Sberbank is taking the fight to the tech firms, rebranding as Sber and entering the home electronics market.

The Sber Box turns any television into a smart TV, providing access movies, television, music, and games. Meanwhile, the Sber Portal is a multimedia smart display with a speaker, sensor and voice control, and gesture recognition.

Both have a family of virtual assistants, called Sber Salut, built in. The assistants also work with iOS and Android devices.

Meanwhile, the company is launching its own equivalent of Apple's App Store and Google's Play. Called SmartMarket, it will enable developers to build their own apps.

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