Developers say the AI avatar is able to 'learn' from live broadcasts and can read text naturally

The world's first virtual news anchor has made its debut in China.

Beijing's state news agency Xinhua unveiled the newsreader - complete with a snappy suit and an robotic voice.

Its appearance and mannerisms are based on a real-life Xinhua news reader.

The agency says the AI avatar is able to 'learn' from live broadcasts and can read text naturally.

Unveiled at the World Internet Conference in the country's Zhejiang province, the anchor was jointly developed by Xinhua and the Chinese search engine firm Sogou.com.

The news agency says it can work 24 hours a day, reducing production costs.

Long-term they say it will allow human presenters to concentrate on website and social media channels, "reducing production costs."