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Ford preps infotainment services with Baidu, China Unicom

Ford Motor Co has formed partnerships with Baidu — China’s largest Internet company — and China Unicom, a State-owned telecommunications company, to provide a broad lineup of infotainment services to motorists.

The alliances will allow software developers in China to create new services and features for Ford Sync, the voice-activated infotainment system available in North America and Europe.

Ford made the announcement Wednesday at the Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai.

Ford introduced nine new smart phone apps for Chinese motorists: street maps and a voice assistant app from Baidu, a social media networking app from Sina Weibo, a weather app from Sina, a navigation app from AutoNavi, a Traffic app from AutoNavi, a voice assistant app from Sogou, a music app from Douban, and a radio aggregation service from QingTing.fm.

The US automaker also introduced a Chinese-language version of its developer ford.com website, which will allow Chinese software developers to collaborate with Ford on new apps.

Baidu Inc, which is based in Beijing, has created a Chinese-language search engine for websites, articles, photos and music. It is China’s version of Google.

According to Wikipedia, the Beijing-based China Unicom is the world’s third largest mobile telecommunications provider. (Reprinted from China Daily)

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