Earlier this year, Apple invested $1 billion in Chinese Uber competitor Didi Chuxing, and at the time, there was some discrepancy as to whether or not Apple got a board seat with that investment. Didi Chuxing itself said that Apple didn’t have a seat, but now The Information reports otherwise…
In a new report, The Information claims that Apple did in fact take a board seat a few weeks after its initial $1 billion investment. According to a regulatory filings made in China, Apple secured the board appointment in late June.
Apple’s seat on Didi Chuxing’s board reinforces the magnitude of Apple’s investment. Following Apple’s $1 billion investment, Uber sold its China operations to Didi Chuxing, which was partly due to the fact that Didi had backing of one of the largest technology companies in the world with Apple.
Apple got a seat on the board of Didi Chuxing a few weeks after investing $1 billion in the company, which is known as the ‘Uber of China,’ according to a person briefed on the move. At the time, news reports about the investment quoted Didi as saying Apple hadn’t received such a seat.
At the time, it was unclear what Apple’s reasoning was for investing in Didi Chuxing was. Tim Cook stated originally that the investment was the extent of Apple’s efforts in the car market at the time, but Cook also teased that “we will have to see what the future holds.”
It’s been widely speculated that Apple is using the Didi Chuxing investment as a way to learn more about the Chinese market, as well as to learn more about the overall ride sharing market as it prepares its own electric efforts.
Apple’s seat on Didi’s board also gives it a direct route to have connection to some of the top executives in the car industry.
Didi Chuxing is widely referred to as “China’s Uber” and allows users to request vehicles and taxis via a mobile application. Did currently holds more than an 87 percent share of the ride-hailing market in China.
As for the future, it’s unclear what Apple’s end goal is with Didi Chuxing and its board seat, but it clearly has a vested interest in the company