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

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 71
    xamaxxamax Posts: 135member
    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. 
    So potentially 300 million iPhone users and then ecosystems!

    This is brilliant in so many ways that's hard to count. I guess that Tim Cook needs at least 10 reasons to invest but this one goes way beyond.

    And by the way, with the current presidential candidates and the constant attack coming from media and government, court system included, this also sends everyone a little signal:
    •  is a global company
    • Behave or  will go somewhere else.
    •  does not need the US, the US needs 

    The way it's been treated, my take is that that should already be in their planning alongside full encryption and failsafe on everything.

    This is just brilliant from Tim from all angles
    calilatifbplevi
  • Reply 22 of 71
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    If you take a step back and read the headline again, this is strange.

    it makes sense and is a smart move but still strange for Apple when you take a step back.
  • Reply 23 of 71
    levilevi Posts: 344member
    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.
    I highly doubt it. The Chinese gov't is concerned about the confluence of a slowing economy, declining power, and growing influence of the middle class. Access to outside media exacerbates the latter two. Their play is to crack down on media. Also, I doubt the Chinese gov't would view Apple taking a large stake in a large and growing startup as positive thing on a whole.
    ai46
  • Reply 24 of 71
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,362member
    Sounds like a fantastic investment, and very strategic. This is the advantage of having billions lying around, you can afford to throw them at what look like good opportunities, anytime you want.
    lolliverai46
  • Reply 25 of 71
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 4,180member
    bobschlob said:
    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.
    Anything else you'd like to pull out of your a55?

    Man, I want Apple to astound and amaze us all (and they will) as much as the next person. But you should take a chill pill.

    In the words of one of the many avatars of Soli, are you discombobschlobulated?
    patchythepiratelolliverlatifbpRayz2016ai46cornchip
  • Reply 26 of 71
    9secondkox29secondkox2 Posts: 1,469member
    What. The....






    crap. 
  • Reply 27 of 71
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    Reads like Apple wants to add ride-sharing features into iOS and having that investment in China guarantees hundreds of millions of customers integration within Maps, Mass Transit, etc.
    latifbptmaypatchythepirate
  • Reply 28 of 71
    radster360radster360 Posts: 545member
    Smart move from all respect. Apple Pay could win here all. I know Alipay is probably there already. lets see if market likes the move.
  • Reply 29 of 71
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,606member
    They should have called it Didi Ride!
     :D 
    ireland
  • Reply 30 of 71
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,527member
    irnchriz said:
    They should have called it Didi Ride!
     D 

    Or:  Oh, Didi nee ramble?




    Apologies in advance to SFBM:  Didi dada Didi?

    edited May 2016
  • Reply 31 of 71
    irelandireland Posts: 17,793member
    Reads like Apple wants to add ride-sharing features into iOS and having that investment in China guarantees hundreds of millions of customers integration within Maps, Mass Transit, etc.
    Be amazing if this was an initial investment for allowing signup of cars to a Maps mapping program. If you are a Didi car you need to stick this on your roof? Yeah I'm sure if won't happen. Just thinking aloud here.
    mdriftmeyer
  • Reply 32 of 71
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 621member
    Didi says it has 87% market share in the market for Uber-like private car-hailing in China; Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick said recently Uber commands 30% to 35% of the Chinese market. Some researchers support Didi’s claim, while others—like London-based researcher Mintel—estimate Didi’s market share of rides to be around 60%.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 33 of 71
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 621member

    Jean Liu, Didi's president, is the daughter of Liu Chuanzhi, the politically connected founder of Chinese computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd

    "There's a lot of things we can work on together," she said when asked whether Didi Chuxing would help Apple's government relations in China.


    SpamSandwichai46cornchip
  • Reply 34 of 71
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,467member
    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.
    That's exactly what it is IMHO. Google invests in Uber. GM invests in Lyft and buys Sidecar. Ford investing in their own ride-hailing service. Tesla rumored to be working with Uber. Apple invests in Didi. . .

    Hmmm, see any pattern? Sure looks to me like all these companies see autonomous electrics not as just individually owned personal vehicles but as the backbone for ride-sharing services. Eventually a large segment of the populace won't have a need to own their own vehicle anymore IMHO.
    radarthekatcornchip
  • Reply 35 of 71
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,536moderator
    These things don't happen in a vacuum, nor would Apple be likely to make such a move as a gesture to the Chinese government related to the recent shutdown of a couple Apple services, Any implication of such connection is merely people's brains trying to tie together the news stories they've read.  (No wonder conspiracy theories abound; humans are basically always seeking patterns,many often finding them where none exist.)

    What we have here is a piece of a bigger puzzle, and this is how I laid it out here on AI many, many months ago.  

    From my previous comments, copy... and PASTE:

    Apple might be looking to disrupt the nascent car-as-a-service segment, which has the potential to become a very large slice of the future of personal transportation. This would imply Apple would build functional vehicles with stylish but durable interiors, keeping costs down. The cars would represent a recurring revenue service rather than a one-time sale, and the market is represented by every dense population center around the world. Apple needs only create a few centralized charging depots at strategic locations near a population center, then unleash a swarm of Apple cars to serve that geographic area. Tight integration with an iPhone and Watch app would allow users to request a car, indicating their destination, either for immediate pickup or future pickup, calculated to ensure arrival at a specified time. Toss in regularly scheduled pickups, like taking the kids to school daily, and Apple could optimize the utilization, driving revenues and profits.  The possibilities to create a seemless car service are coming into focus, as is the technology. This is where I think Apple is going.

    First generation vehicles, as they age, could be shifted to overseas markets, replaced in premium markets with the latest models.  This would extend the usable life of each vehicle, maximizing revenues.  Also, swarms (fleets) dedicated to specific dense population centers would imply that Apple could concentrate its mapping initiatives to just those areas where it intends to roll out its self-driving service, and that means they could do a very good job mapping each area, which would assist the cars' self-driving systems and help to optimize routing of the cars, making the whole fleet more efficient and maximizing utilization.

    ---

    China would be a great place to begin, as the labor costs of having a human driver should be much lower than in U.S. or other large western cities (and remember, it's large urban centers where this will be rolled out).  So in the early iterations, where the cars are not fully automated or where laws require a human to be behind the wheel (laws that will gradually change, but will remain in effect for the first several years), cities in a country like China, where personal vehicle ownership is relatively low compared to other large cities around the world, and where the population density is high, and the cost of human drivers is relatively low, would be where the service might be most viable to roll out.
    edited May 2016 tmayai46mdriftmeyerfastasleepcornchip
  • Reply 36 of 71
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,536moderator
    The information Didi might share with Apple as a condition of Apple's investment will be invaluable in designing the features of a future autonomous car-as-a-service business, and potentially also in determining some aspects of the design of the vehicles.  

    Ride volumes throughout the day
    Distance of each ride
    Number of passengers per ride
    Ride sharing along a route by multiple disassociated passengers (should this be an option, the way trike rides work throughout SE Asia)
    Actual routes requested (valuable for optimization of stationing, and ideal placement of recharging depots)

    All of this information might have implications for the optimal size of battery packs, how the vehicle interior compartments are laid out, even the ideal size of the vehicles (passenger and cargo capacity and organization) and might even imply multiple different vehicle types to optimize the service for all needs.  so there's good reason Apple would want to get in bed with a company like Didi.

    tmayai46mdriftmeyercornchip
  • Reply 37 of 71
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    These things don't happen in a vacuum, nor would Apple be likely to make such a move as a gesture to the Chinese government related to the recent shutdown of a couple Apple services, Any implication of such connection is merely people's brains trying to tie together the news stories they've read.  (No wonder conspiracy theories abound; humans are basically always seeking patterns,many often finding them where none exist.)

    What we have here is a piece of a bigger puzzle, and this is how I laid it out here on AI many, many months ago.  

    From my previous comments, copy... and PASTE:

    Apple might be looking to disrupt the nascent car-as-a-service segment, which has the potential to become a very large slice of the future of personal transportation. This would imply Apple would build functional vehicles with stylish but durable interiors, keeping costs down. The cars would represent a recurring revenue service rather than a one-time sale, and the market is represented by every dense population center around the world. Apple needs only create a few centralized charging depots at strategic locations near a population center, then unleash a swarm of Apple cars to serve that geographic area. Tight integration with an iPhone and Watch app would allow users to request a car, indicating their destination, either for immediate pickup or future pickup, calculated to ensure arrival at a specified time. Toss in regularly scheduled pickups, like taking the kids to school daily, and Apple could optimize the utilization, driving revenues and profits.  The possibilities to create a seemless car service are coming into focus, as is the technology. This is where I think Apple is going.

    First generation vehicles, as they age, could be shifted to overseas markets, replaced in premium markets with the latest models.  This would extend the usable life of each vehicle, maximizing revenues.  Also, swarms (fleets) dedicated to specific dense population centers would imply that Apple could concentrate its mapping initiatives to just those areas where it intends to roll out its self-driving service, and that means they could do a very good job mapping each area, which would assist the cars' self-driving systems and help to optimize routing of the cars, making the whole fleet more efficient and maximizing utilization.

    ---

    China would be a great place to begin, as the labor costs of having a human driver should be much lower than in U.S. or other large western cities (and remember, it's large urban centers where this will be rolled out).  So in the early iterations, where the cars are not fully automated or where laws require a human to be behind the wheel (laws that will gradually change, but will remain in effect for the first several years), cities in a country like China, where personal vehicle ownership is relatively low compared to other large cities around the world, and where the population density is high, and the cost of human drivers is relatively low, would be where the service might be most viable to roll out.
    China can be used as test bed for car development tech as regulations there are much more centralized than in the US, which is a mess of state and federal regulations.

    While Google tinkers around with a few cars on US roads, Apple could have millions driving around collecting data.
    tmayradarthekatcornchip
  • Reply 38 of 71
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,467member
    These things don't happen in a vacuum, nor would Apple be likely to make such a move as a gesture to the Chinese government related to the recent shutdown of a couple Apple services, Any implication of such connection is merely people's brains trying to tie together the news stories they've read.  (No wonder conspiracy theories abound; humans are basically always seeking patterns,many often finding them where none exist.)

    What we have here is a piece of a bigger puzzle, and this is how I laid it out here on AI many, many months ago.  

    From my previous comments, copy... and PASTE:

    Apple might be looking to disrupt the nascent car-as-a-service segment, which has the potential to become a very large slice of the future of personal transportation. This would imply Apple would build functional vehicles with stylish but durable interiors, keeping costs down. The cars would represent a recurring revenue service rather than a one-time sale, and the market is represented by every dense population center around the world. Apple needs only create a few centralized charging depots at strategic locations near a population center, then unleash a swarm of Apple cars to serve that geographic area. Tight integration with an iPhone and Watch app would allow users to request a car, indicating their destination, either for immediate pickup or future pickup, calculated to ensure arrival at a specified time. Toss in regularly scheduled pickups, like taking the kids to school daily, and Apple could optimize the utilization, driving revenues and profits.  The possibilities to create a seemless car service are coming into focus, as is the technology. This is where I think Apple is going.
    I agree with you, we're on the same track. But Apple "disrupting" the segment in the way they disrupted mobile phones isn't very likely IMHO. They are but one of a dozen or more companies with the same idea to design and build for recurring-revenue fleet work and actually is a late arriver as this has been in the works for a few years now. That's not saying of course that Apple won't put their traditional care and detail into it perhaps unlike some of the other entrants.

    Apple's big advantage of course is they have nearly unlimited resources to throw at it depending of course on how important they view the potential to be. A $B invested in a Chinese company tells me they see a big potential. Two different Chinese billionaires setting up two different car companies and investing their money in the same electrified playground, along with most major carmakers and a couple of tech companies is further support that everyone who supposedly should "know" sees it too. 
    radarthekat
  • Reply 39 of 71
    Slap to uber's face... Living in Shanghai I thought all these companies are just burning money away... Let's see how didi improves with apples touch 
  • Reply 40 of 71
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,467member
    Just wanted to mention another observation that some might have missed. 

    How are these (semi) autonomous vehicles supposed to know where they're going, the best way to get there and the specific roadway logistics on each segment to be traveled? That would be job one wouldn't it?

    Well highly detailed and constantly updated mapping would be the most straightforward way, and maps ain't easy. So what have companies done about it?  

    With Apple and Google it's obvious, we all know about Apple Maps and Google Maps. The car companies aren't dummies tho. Mercedes, Audi, BMW bought Nokia's Here (Navteq). Uber bought DeCarta and a big 'ol chunk of Microsoft's Bing maps. GM has plans to use their own OnStar service to create"MobileEye" maps. Fiat/Chrysler appears to be planning a tie-in with Google and their maps and Ford is rumored to be doing the same. Even China's Alibaba got in the game with their purchase of China's biggest (and officially sanctioned...That's important) map provider AutoNavi. 

    Are all these map plans from different car companies and ride-sharing services just coincidental? Pretty unlikely.  Autonomous ride-sharing services will be here before you know  
    edited May 2016 cornchip
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