Apple has launched a hiring program to bring on software engineers in China, helping more automakers use CarPlay software. 

Why it matters: The tech giant sees potential in the country’s burgeoning transition to intelligent and electric vehicles (EVs). The move could improve Apple’s ability to target local business customers, provide software solutions tailored to Chinese consumer tastes, and add a major player to the Chinese connected car market.

Details: Apple is looking for an unspecified number of “Car Experience Partner Engineers” who can help advance Apple’s CarPlay software and services for auto partners as they look to integrate the mobile technology into their cars more easily, according to a job post on the company’s website.

  • The company is looking for candidates with technical project experience in automotive systems development who can facilitate communication between Apple and the global automotive industry, the post added.
  • The job will also involve technical support and guidance to developers in creating apps and services, particularly for Apple’s auto-related projects in China.
  • The post did not reveal how many engineers Apple planned to hire but said that the roles will be located in its Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen offices.

Context: News of the hiring comes as Apple unveiled a forthcoming version of its CarPlay software on June 6, which the US tech giant said can be deeply integrated into car dashboards and provide a familiar but auto-specific interface for drivers, according to Reuters.

  • Apple said that the current version of CarPlay is available in more than 98% of new cars in the US and it’s also talking to a list of big auto names including Audi, Ford, and Mercedes-Benz about adopting the upcoming version. Apple and automakers will reveal in late 2023 which new car models will come with built-in CarPlay software. 
  • Chinese automakers Great Wall Motor and Chery are also said to be participating in the project, local media outlet Jiemian reported on June 20, without revealing further details.
  • State-owned automakers BAIC and Changan have partnered with Huawei for in-car software, while BYD and Dongfeng work with Baidu to offer automated driving functions.

Jill Shen

Jill Shen is Shanghai-based technology reporter. She covers Chinese mobility, autonomous vehicles, and electric cars. Connect with her via e-mail: jill.shen@technode.com or Twitter: @yushan_shen