Apple invests $1B in ride-hailing service Didi, bet to penetrate into China
Apple has startled the tech world by investing $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing. Seen as Apple’s one sincere effort to gain footing and penetrate into the Chinese market – something Apple did with record iPhone sales over the years, but the ranks have changed and iPhone is no longer selling in China like it used to. This is largely because of China’s strict regulations and booming mobile market in the Middle Kingdom. Apple wouldn’t accept this, and it’s understood; ‘Apple CEO Tim Cook modestly says, ‘the investment would help the company better understand the critical Chinese market.’
For the already prosperous car hailing service, Didi Chuxing, one billion dollar investment is the single largest investment ever received. The company that is the largest car-hailing service in China with 87 percent of the market share (followed by Uber China) believes Apple will have a lot to contribute in Didi’s battle with Uber in China.
Speaking about company’s alignment with Didi Chuxing, Cook said,
We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market.
Of course, we believe it will deliver a strong return for our invested capital over time as well.
Alright, the investment is strategic, but Apple’s alignment with Uber’s chief competitor in China reflects Cupertino tech giant’s desire to tap in the Automobile Industry. How eager Apple is to move into the Automotive industry may not be anything to understand from this investment, but it shows in the company’s efforts to hire a wide range of automobile experts and its desire to explore the driver-less car market.
From what it boils down to, Apple in collaboration with Didi is eyeing to give boost to its services in China. Experts believe there is not much Apple can do to elevate Didi, but will use the association as a platform to promote its software and services including Apple Pay mobile payment, Apple Music and App Store.
Besides anything, this deal actually gives a glimpse of how Apple with try and spread its business as iPhone sales reach maturity in most countries including China.