Apple invests $1B in Chinese ride sharing service Didi Chuxing

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2016
Chinese Uber competitor Didi Chuxing, formerly Didi Kuaiti, on Thursday announced that Apple recently invested $1 billion to become the transportation network's latest big-name strategic partner.




Apple's massive funding contribution is the largest single investment Didi has received, reports Reuters. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, the company hopes to gain insight on the sometimes complex Chinese market, an area of great importance to future growth.

"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."

The announcement was also reported by The Information's Amir Efrati, who disclosed the development in a tweet earlier today.

Didi currently offers a variety of transportation services in China, including taxi and private car hailing, designated drivers and peer-to-peer products like ride-sharing. In February, The Wall Street Journal reported the Chinese firm was looking to raise a total of $1 billion from investors in a bid to compete against global ride sharing technology powerhouse Uber.

Whereas Uber dominates in established Western markets, Didi controls China, facilitating more than 11 million rides each day. That includes a more than 87 percent share of the private car hailing market. Both companies rely on apps as a main mode of connecting passengers with drivers.

Despite the vote of confidence for an obvious automotive industry player, Cook kept mum on his own company's ambitions in the segment.

"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.

Apple is widely rumored to be developing an ambitious automotive product some believe will result in a branded electric vehicle. Dubbed "Project Titan," the initiative is thought to be a significant undertaking based out of a top-secret facility in California. The most recent rumors claim Apple is looking for real estate in the San Francisco Bay Area suitable for an autonomous car lab and production plant.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,576member
    That's a good investment as part of project Titan.
    Go DiDi Go, Go, Go...


    ksecmagman1979xamaxlongpathtmay
  • Reply 2 of 71
    macseekermacseeker Posts: 401member
    Something interesting here. Wonder if it will help Apple's position in China.
    calimagman1979wmforkxamaxpalomine
  • Reply 3 of 71
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 256member
    This is one way for Apple to put foreign cash to work, and perhaps a reason for the US to offer a cash repatriation tax holiday.
    baconstangxamaxlatifbpmike1tmaypalominenetmagecornchip
  • Reply 4 of 71
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,750member
    Seems to me this is less about cars and more about political patronage. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple will be able to sell books and media in China again very soon.
    repressthisxamaxwonkothesanelkrupplongpath
  • Reply 5 of 71
    kpomkpom Posts: 615member
    Sounds like a shakedown here. China bans 2 of Apple's key services. Apple invests $1 billion in a Chinese company. If China reverses the ban it will reek of a quid pro quo. 
    repressthisxamaxlongpathcnocbuianton zuykovcornchip
  • Reply 6 of 71
    bsimpsenbsimpsen Posts: 256member
    kpom said:
    Sounds like a shakedown here. China bans 2 of Apple's key services. Apple invests $1 billion in a Chinese company. If China reverses the ban it will reek of a quid pro quo. 
    There may well be aspects of a "shakedown" here, but if Apple can profit from the investment, both directly and indirectly, you can't blame them for playing the game. Few other American companies have the Chinese cash reserves to do it. I suspect Apple is considering similar things in India, including helping Foxconn in their bid to open a factory.
    edited May 2016 calirepressthisbaconstangxamaxlolliverlatifbplongpathpalominenetmageai46
  • Reply 7 of 71
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member
    The Chinese Authoritarian Communists in charge had better get busy and allow Apple to sell ALL of their services again in China, and make it snappy, like yesterday.
    cornchip
  • Reply 8 of 71
    mubailimubaili Posts: 385member
    Only iPhone can hail Didi from now on. Cool.
    longpathcornchip
  • Reply 9 of 71
    Brilliant. Even just purely as an investment of trapped overseas capital, it's a great idea. 

    I'm personally proud to say that I've never seriously doubted Tim. This is just continued evidence that my confidence is not misplaced. 
    baconstangmorecklolliverlatifbpradarthekat
  • Reply 10 of 71
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Most likely Apple will install sensors in the cars and use the data for research. Also cameras.

    do you think?
    radarthekatlongpathnolamacguy
  • Reply 11 of 71
    zoffdinozoffdino Posts: 192member
    Hmmm... This could be an Alibaba moment for Apple. It's not easy for the likes of Uber to come to China. If Didi has the right connections, it can be the only ride sharing service allowed in China
    xamaxcalidiplicationlolliverradarthekatlongpath
  • Reply 12 of 71
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,576member
    kpom said:
    Sounds like a shakedown here. China bans 2 of Apple's key services. Apple invests $1 billion in a Chinese company. If China reverses the ban it will reek of a quid pro quo. 
    There is no shakedown, Tim said the iBook stoppage was temporary and would resume after reviewing with the Chinese authorities.
    China offers tremendous growth and Tim knows just how to penetrate China.

    baconstangcalilolliverai46nolamacguy
  • Reply 13 of 71
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,576member
    I wonder what percentage of the DiDi Apple gets for the billion?
    I know that Apple is good at negotiating so...
    calilollivercornchip
  • Reply 14 of 71
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 468member
    To investors, these are the sort of "moon shots" that will drive up Apple's share price.

    To the tech-aware this seems like the perfect cross section between seeding autonomous vehicles, combating google's very public mindshare in this field, providing competition against the oft criticised uber and most importantly: buying the Chinese government's endorsement. With this investment Apple aren't just some American company trying to woo Chinese revenue, they're now part of the home-grown fabric of China's tech scene.

    It also highlights how Apple's approach to the electric car could undermine Tesla: The futuristic view that personal car ownership is a temporary concept inherited from needing understand a vehicle (or if you think even further back, a horse.) It's not unreasonable to think that in the future personal car ownership will be for enthusiasts, while most car based travel would be the domain of automation.
    edited May 2016 baconstangxamaxcaliroundaboutnowlolliverradarthekatRayz2016longpathcornchip
  • Reply 15 of 71
    dexiangdexiang Posts: 2member
    According to Sina. Didi is valued at just over $20 Billion, so   holds Just under 5%.  Didi has over 300 Million user accounts. 
    xamaxcaliirelandai46cornchip
  • Reply 16 of 71
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    This is very interesting. Perhaps project Titan is in fact an Apple branded DiDi - a subscription based taxi and private car hailing service, and peer-to-peer ride-sharing as the backbone to a fleet of all electric connected autonomous and semi autonomous Apple Vehicles. Maybe Apple should snap up a controlling share of DiDi for the bargain price of 11 Billion.
    ai46
  • Reply 17 of 71
    applesauce007applesauce007 Posts: 1,576member
    dexiang said:
    According to Sina. Didi is valued at just over $20 Billion, so   holds Just under 5%.  Didi has over 300 Million user accounts. 
    Even 5% is very good.
    Perhaps they'll get a seat on the board.

    caliirelandai46cornchip
  • Reply 18 of 71
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,521member
    Selling fleets of cars to transportation service companies is a means of bypassing the need for dealerships and service departments.  GM has a big investment in Lyft, and I think they will provide electric cars to them to overcome entrenched dealership resistance to selling electric cars.  Once the cars are used for a few years, they can be auctioned to the general public at affordable prices.  This is how the transition away from fossil burning cars might happen.
    xamaxradarthekatai46
  • Reply 19 of 71
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,558member
    zoffdino said:
    Hmmm... This could be an Alibaba moment for Apple. It's not easy for the likes of Uber to come to China. If Didi has the right connections, it can be the only ride sharing service allowed in China
    Uber is already in China:  https://www.uber.com/cities/beijing/
    https://www.uber.com/cities/shanghai/

    edited May 2016 ireland
  • Reply 20 of 71
    bobschlob said:
    Brilliant. Even just purely as an investment of trapped overseas capital, it's a great idea. 

    I'm personally proud to say that I've never seriously doubted Tim. This is just continued evidence that my confidence is not misplaced. 
    You don't know a thing about it. Pure faith.
    You just give fuel to the haters who call us blind fan boys. You're a perfect example.
    Huh? That was a weird comment. You should take a few deep breaths.

    It doesn't take much thought to realize this is a good idea. The Uber of China? As just an investment it seems like a no brainer. Not to mention building stronger ties with the Chinese, getting info about the Chinese market as Tim mentioned, possible car play tie in, possible future Apple car tie in. But thanks for your input, I'll keep it in mind. 

    And why do you care about the haters so much? They're bitter and have emotional issues: as evidenced by the resident trolls on this site. 

    I have "faith" insofar as my knowledge is of course limited. But from what I know, from what is discernible through public knowledge, I continue to have significant confidence in Tim and Apple. I'm sorry if that upsets you. 
    xamaxJanNLlolliverlatifbpwilliamlondonai46cornchip
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