Reuters this evening reports that Apple is investing $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing. In a statement, CEO Tim Cook explained that the investment will give Apple a chance to learn more about certain segments of the Chinese market, while it will also deliver a strong return.
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“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.”
Additionally, Cook noted that this is simply what Apple is doing currently in the car market, teasing that “we will have to wait to see what the future holds.” Cook has long touted the potential of China’s economy and did so again while speaking on Apple’s investment in Didi Chuxing. The Apple CEO noted that the investment “reflects our excitement about their growing business … and also our continued confidence in the long term in China’s economy.”
For those unfamiliar with the service, Didi Chuxing is referred to as “China’s Uber” by many. It allows users to request vehicles and taxis via their smartphone, much like Uber, which is its largest competitor in China.
Regarding the Apple investment, Didi Chuxing said that the investment by Apple is the single largest investment it has ever received. The company also noted that it now completes more than 11 million rides a day and holds more than 87 percent of the private ride-hailing market in China.
Apple is rumored to be working on developing an electric car under its Project Titan initiative, so an investment in Didi Chuxing allows Apple to work more closely in the motor industry. Apple is also working to revitalize itself in China. Recently, the company saw its books and movies stores go offline in the country due to strict government control of online services.