Software architect discovers, thanks to Pi-hole, that his smart ovens are checking for connectivity by pinging Google, Baidu and Yandex every five minutes.
Van Rooij noticed the network traffic because he uses Pi-hole software to do DNS-based ad filtering. And others who have implemented similar network filtering report being similarly surprised by the chattiness of their kit.
I had something similar happen on my network. A device was hitting a couple of domains in China on steady, and frequent basis. One site is claims to be the most popular online shopping site, gee wonder why..., and the other appears to be a site about auto rock chip repair and Agronauts. Thanks to Pi-hole, both have been blocked on my network.