May 13,2016: Apple has invested $1 billion in Chinese ride hailing service Didi Chuxing, formerly known as Didi Kuaidi. The move comes from the company to get a better understanding of Chinese market.
In order to invigorate sales in China, Apple has come with this investment. It recently has come under pressure from Chinese regulators, with its online book and film services shut down last month, and Cook is traveling to the country this month.
Apple acquires a sizeable stake in Uber Technologies Inc’s cheif Rival in China as it has hired dozens of automative experts over the past year. Cook said in an interview that he sees opportunities for Apple and Didi Chuxing to collaborate in the future.
“We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market,” he said. “Of course, we believe it will deliver a strong return for our invested capital over time as well.”
Didi Chuxing stated that the funding from apple was the single largest investment ever received. The company, which previously raised several billion dollars, dominates the ride-sharing market in China. The company said it completes more than 11 million rides a day, with more than 87 percent of the market for private car-hailing in China.
Investors have been eyeing on whether Apple will enter the automative business. Apple has hired a wide range of automotive experts, and the company is exploring building a self-driving car, sources have told Reuters.
Apple remains focused on the in-car experience with its CarPlay system that links smartphones to vehicle infotainment systems said Cook. He also added, “That is what we do today in the car business, so we will have to see what the future holds”.
Although Apple’s sales in China have slumped amid slowing economic growth there, Cook stressed he remains confident in the market.
The deal “reflects our excitement about their growing business and also our continued confidence in the long term in China’s economy,” Cook said.
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