Apple granted board seat at Didi Chuxing after $1B investment, report says

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in General Discussion
According to a recently released regulatory filing, Apple received a seat on Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing's board of directors shortly after investing $1 billion in the company.









Citing the filing and sources familiar with the matter, The Information reports Apple mergers and acquisitions chief Adrian Perico represents the company on Didi's board a few weeks after the $1 billion investment went through in May. The appointment is contrary to news reports at the time which said Apple had not received such an appointment.



Perico's presence on Didi's board illustrates the importance of Apple's investment in the Chinese firm. The inside position might pave the way for future strategic partnerships, the most obvious being work on self-driving vehicle technology rumored to be in development at Apple. Didi's fleet of cars would serve as an ideal test platform for integration, for example.



Apple's investment in Didi is seen as an endorsement that reaches far beyond potential internal projects. Reports earlier this year claimed Apple's investment accelerated Uber's decision to exit the Chinese market, ending a long and costly turf war with Didi. In July, Uber China agreed to be bought out by Didi for $1 billion in a deal that gives parent company Uber Technologies a one-fifth stake in its Chinese competitor.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    I'd not trust the valuation of any Chinese company not subject to US regulatory filings and reporting.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
     Sounds like this could be a potential Beats-like deal where it doesn't seem valuable at first but makes a lot of sense later. I'd like to see Didi come to the US and become the market leader. If an Apple Car exists, launching together in other markets would be genius. Imagine all the people calling for rides just to get into elegant Apple Car. 
  • Reply 3 of 13
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,471member
    I'd not trust the valuation of any Chinese company not subject to US regulatory filings and reporting.
    Apple's pretty savvy about these things. I'm not concerned. Besides, it's only a billion.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    melgross said:
    I'd not trust the valuation of any Chinese company not subject to US regulatory filings and reporting.
    Apple's pretty savvy about these things. I'm not concerned. Besides, it's only a billion.
    I am still quite puzzled by what the strategy is here. "Self-driving cars in urban China" somehow seems like a stretch for Apple. There must be something else going on, and I don't think anyone has been able to place a finger on it. 
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 5 of 13
    By Apple having access to so many cars on the road, they'll be able to use China as a test facility for the driving tech gather a TON of information and data on driving conditions. Then able to feed this into self driving software for their eventual "self driving car"
  • Reply 6 of 13
    johnhwood said:
    By Apple having access to so many cars on the road, they'll be able to use China as a test facility for the driving tech gather a TON of information and data on driving conditions. Then able to feed this into self driving software for their eventual "self driving car"
    They could buy many taxi companies in New York City for the price they paid here, and in the process, get something closer to home for a rumored product that will more readily have a market in the West. 

    The average medallion in NYC costs half a million dollars today: they could buy 2,000 medallions for $1B, which would be 15% of all yellow cabs in NYC. That would lots and lots of data and driving conditions in a very impressive test facility. 
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 7 of 13
    Seems like waste of $1B 2000 cabs? in 1 city? They don't want the Taxi Cabs, they want the DATA. 300 million users across over 400 Chinese cities 1.43 billion rides completed on DiDi's platform in 2015.
  • Reply 8 of 13
    Let's forget about what self-driving vehicle in China, it won't happen,
    does those people expect the technology of self-driving apply to China has ever visit China or even had drive there?
    Do they know how many people in China earn their living from being a driver?
    The red government won't let it happens, even if they really want it, American company (or significant share holds)?Noway! 
    Let Xiaomi, Alibaba or someone else first, someone copy or steal the technology first...

    If self-driving tech unable to handle the traffic in northern Europe or even downtown LA, 
    then if Apple put that vehicle in Shanghai or Beijing , it will stuck in the middle of the road till dawn.
     
    I belived that Apple has its own master plan behind the investment, but not self-driving, may be "man-driving" iCar for the fleet of the comapny?
  • Reply 9 of 13
    melgross said:
    I'd not trust the valuation of any Chinese company not subject to US regulatory filings and reporting.
    Apple's pretty savvy about these things. I'm not concerned. Besides, it's only a billion.
    Having seen the shell games they play over there for myself, firsthand, informed my statement. Fraud and deception are rampant in businesses there.
  • Reply 10 of 13
    melgross said:
    I'd not trust the valuation of any Chinese company not subject to US regulatory filings and reporting.
    Apple's pretty savvy about these things. I'm not concerned. Besides, it's only a billion.
    I am still quite puzzled by what the strategy is here. "Self-driving cars in urban China" somehow seems like a stretch for Apple. There must be something else going on, and I don't think anyone has been able to place a finger on it. 
    I can't imagine that driving data collected in China, especially Shenzhen, would be usable for the US.
  • Reply 11 of 13
    melgross said:
    I'd not trust the valuation of any Chinese company not subject to US regulatory filings and reporting.
    Apple's pretty savvy about these things. I'm not concerned. Besides, it's only a billion.
    I am still quite puzzled by what the strategy is here. "Self-driving cars in urban China" somehow seems like a stretch for Apple. There must be something else going on, and I don't think anyone has been able to place a finger on it. 
    I can't imagine that driving data collected in China, especially Shenzhen, would be usable for the US.
    I imagine Apple might be planning to analyze driving data to discover driving patterns throughout the day "over the arc of time" to improve the realtime capabilities of Apple Maps in China.

    As far as I know right now Apple is the only US-based company that is being allowed to have a mobile mapping product in China.

    Attempting to create as solid a foundation as can be created and maintained in China is a very smart move.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    cali said:
     Sounds like this could be a potential Beats-like deal where it doesn't seem valuable at first but makes a lot of sense later.  
    except Beats did make sense at the time -- it was a leading accessory seller in apple stores and very profitable. those are the factors businesses use to decide things.

    not the same factors some of our resident critics use. they seem to have a, shall we say...irrational dislike...for the acquisition. since its not based on business factors we can only speculate as to why they resented the Beats deal so much. I'm going to say it has something to do w/ Dr. Dre and rap.
    edited October 2016
  • Reply 13 of 13
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member

    johnhwood said:
    By Apple having access to so many cars on the road, they'll be able to use China as a test facility for the driving tech gather a TON of information and data on driving conditions. Then able to feed this into self driving software for their eventual "self driving car"
    They could buy many taxi companies in New York City for the price they paid here, and in the process, get something closer to home for a rumored product that will more readily have a market in the West. 

    The average medallion in NYC costs half a million dollars today: they could buy 2,000 medallions for $1B, which would be 15% of all yellow cabs in NYC. That would lots and lots of data and driving conditions in a very impressive test facility. 
    and then you'd have to manage those 2,000 medallions and deal with cabbies and cabbie bureaus and outfit the cars and telegraph your intentions and deal with a bunch of crap. seems easier to write a check as an investor and simply get access to the data.
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