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Apple Still Seeking AI Partner to Bring Apple Intelligence to China

Apple Still Seeking AI Partner to Bring Apple Intelligence to China

iOS 18 brings several Artificial Intelligence-based features to the iPhone. Apple is working with OpenAI to integrate ChatGPT into the iPhone, where it will work alongside Siri to handle requests for AI-generated content. This poses a problem for Apple when it comes to China though, as ChatGPT and similar AI services are not available in the communist country, meaning Apple is in search of a China-approved AI partner to serve the country.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Apple is actively looking for a Chinese company to partner with for its AI features inside of China. Apple has held talks with Baidu, Alibaba Group, and Beijing startup Baichuan AI, but no deal has emerged.

Apple has already said that certain Apple Intelligence features won’t be available to users in the European Union, and if Apple fails to make a deal with a Chinese AI firm, China could also be left out.

China requires developers to get government approval before rolling out chatbots powered by large language models. So far, the government there has failed to approve any AI products developed outside of China. Once Apple discovered that it was unlikely to receive approval for its own large language model, it started looking for a Chinese AI company to partner with.

Even if Apple does find a Chinese AI company to partner with, it may not have things ready by the time iOS 18 is released to the public. Apple has already announced that Apple Intelligence will only be available in U.S. English at launch, with support for additional languages coming in 2025.

Apple is trailing behind Chinese smartphone companies in the AI department. AI features are already available on devices from several Chinese brands, including Vivo, Huawei, Xiaomi, and Honor. Even Samsung can offer a smartphone with AI integrations in China, as it has partnered with Baidu and Meitu.