If you live in the US or the EU you probably never heard of Tmall Genie but are quite familiar with Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home. Well, Tmall Genie functions in a similar way but restricted solely to China, so it’s an artificial intelligence personal assistant created by the people over at the Alibaba A.I. Labs. Starting this July, BMW and MINI owners using the Connected apps will be able to sync them with Tmall Genie just like it is the case with Alexa or Google Home.

Users will be able to monitor their BMW’s fuel level or even use functions via Remote Services with the help of Tmall Genie. It will also be possible to check appointments in the BMW Connected mobility agenda or inquire about a planned route and when best to leave in order to arrive on time. Users can activate the voice control functionality by saying the wake word “Tmall Genie” followed by the keyword “BMW”, and ask specific questions such as: “Tmall Genie, ask BMW when I need to set off to arrive at my next appointment on time.” Or: “Tmall Genie, ask BMW if my car doors are locked.”

“BMW Group customers in Europe and the USA already have the ability to check their cars’ status and functions from the comfort of their home via Alexa and Google Assistant,” says Dieter May, Senior Vice President Digital Products and Services at the BMW Group. “And now we’re extending our digital ecosystem into China as well with the integration of BMW Connected into Alibaba’s Tmall Genie. This move sees us incorporating another important customer touchpoint and, in so doing, giving customers greater flexibility.”

Lijuan Chen, Head of Alibaba A.I. Labs, says: “It is our great pleasure to partner with a distinguished brand like BMW to drive smart mobility in China. By offering Tmall Genie’s AI solution for BMW, we hope to provide personalized services for car drivers through our smart voice assistant, making users’ mobility journeys more intelligent and engaging.”