Apple Inc has invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing, earlier known as Didi Kuaidi, in a deal that gives the tech giant a stake in Uber Technologies Inc’s main competitor in the world’s second-largest economy.
The deal with Apple is the single-largest investment Didi Chuxing has ever received, the Chinese company said in a statement. Apple’s investment is part of a larger round in which a group of Chinese and international institutions also took part, it added.
The development comes a few months after Didi Chuxing last year invested an undisclosed amount in a $500 million fundraising round by Ola, India’s largest cab aggregator and Uber’s main rival in the country. Both Ola and Didi Chuxing are also backed by Japan’s SoftBank.
The Chinese company also earlier invested $100 million in Lyft, a San Francisco-based ride-sharing app that competes with Uber in the US. In December last year, Ola, Didi Chuxing, Lyft and Southeast Asia-based GrabTaxi formed a global alliance to compete with Uber.
Apple joins China’s Tencent and Alibaba Group in making a strategic investment in Didi Chuxing. The development comes at a time when Apple has been striving to boost sales in China, its second-largest market after the US.
“DiDi exemplifies the innovation taking place in the iOS developer community in China,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.
Didi completes about 11 million rides a day on its platform, serving close to 300 million users across 400 Chinese cities, the statement said. It works with about 14 million Chinese car-owners and drivers, and has an 87% market share in private car-hailing and 99% market share in taxi-hailing in China, the statement said.
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