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Apple Drops $1B on Chinese Ride-Sharing Service Didi Chuxing

05/16/2016

Apple Drops $1B on Chinese Ride-Sharing Service Didi Chuxing

Chinese Uber competitor Did Chuxing (previously Didi Kuaiti) announced on Thursday that it had received its largest single investment to date – from Apple. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the company hopes to gain insight into the complex Chinese market, an area in which Apple has been focussing heavily amid slowing smart phone sales.

 

"We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market," Cook said. "Of course, we believe it will deliver a strong return for our invested capital over time as well."

 

Didi offers a wide range of transportation services in China, including taxi services, designated drivers, private car hailing and peer-to-peer products like ride-sharing. Uber is the more well-known and utilised brand in Western markets, however Didi dominates the Chinese market, accounting for more than 1 million rides a day, including more than 87% of the private car hailing market. Both Uber and Didi rely on apps as their main ways of connecting passengers and drivers.

 

Cook was, however, keeping quiet on the subject of Apple’s own automotive plans, with rumours running rife that Apple is investing into an automotive project some believe will result in a branded electric vehicle. Dubbed “Project Titan” the initiative is thought to be based in a top-secret facility in California.

 

"That is what we do today in the car business, so we will have to see what the future holds," Cook said, referring to Apple's CarPlay infotainment platform.

 

And that’s about all he had to say about that… ;)