April 3, 2019
With President Trump’s trade war with China making it economically unviable for Ford to export American-made vehicles to the world’s most populous country, the Detroit icon has ramped up auto production within the People’s Republic.
As a result, Chinese online video company iQiYi April 3 announced that its streaming video platform will now be offered as part of Ford’s new in-vehicle infotainment system – dubbed SYNC+, and jointly developed by Ford China and Baidu.
Starting later this year, SYNC+ will be rolled out in a range of new Chinese-built Ford and Lincoln models in China.
Synchronized with the FordPass app and featuring a range of functions, including voice assist, customized recommendations, in-vehicle online video streaming, smart navigation and vehicle-to-smart home connectivity, SYNC+ is designed to provide Chinese car consumer with an upgraded in-vehicle entertainment experience.
Users will be able to access all copyrighted content from iQiYi’s content database. In addition, by logging into their iQIYI accounts using the car’s interface, users can access their viewing history and receive user-customized content recommendations.
“Intelligent vehicles are becoming a major part of our new way of life, as we embrace trends like connectivity, autonomy, electrification and the sharing economy,” Duan Youqiao, SVP at iQiYi, said in a statement.
Youqiao said the partnership with Ford represents iQiYi’s aim to strengthen “cooperation” with automotive industry players to better optimize in-vehicle entertainment solutions.
Indeed, the company has inked partnerships with numerous national and international companies (i.e. Google) to expand digital entertainment distribution.
“iQiYi is currently one of the largest online video sites in the world, with nearly 6 billion hours spent on its service through mobile devices each month and over 560 million monthly active users on mobile devices,” Brian Baker, senior director at Google, said in a statement last November.