Apple invests $1-B to Chinese version of Uber transport service
Tech-giant Apple has once again dealt with a hefty investment, as the company reportedly shelled out $1 billion to China’s premiere ride-hailing service, Didi Chuxing.
In a report by the Los Angeles Times, the decision to bankroll the country’s version of the world renowned ‘Uber’ service was made in order to help the company better understand the critical Chinese market.
The bid also aims to reinvigorate Apple sales in China, after reports of iPhone sales decreasing in the area in recent years.
“We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market,” the report quoted Apple Chief Executive, Tim Cook saying. “Of course, we believe it will deliver a strong return for our invested capital over time as well.”
Meanwhile, Didi Chuxing, formerly known as Didi Kuaidi, confirmed in a statement that Apple’s funding was the single largest investment it has ever received.
The company still dominates China’s ride-sharing market, as it reportedly completes more than 11 million rides per day while serving close to 300 million users across over 400 Chinese cities.
Much like its regional competitors, the company also offers a wide range of mobile technology-based transportation options.
Meanwhile, other investors are eagerly watching to see whether Apple will enter the automotive business, after reportedly hiring a wide range of automotive experts in recent years.
Cook, however, refused to confirm the claims and said that Apple remains focused on the in-car experience with its CarPlay system, which links smartphones to vehicle systems.
“That is what we do today in the car business, so we will have to see what the future holds,” he added.
Although Apple’s sales in China have slumped amid slowing economic growth there, Cook stressed he remains confident in the market.
“The deal reflects our excitement about their growing business and also our continued confidence in the long term in China’s economy,” the Chief Executive explained.
China is still the second largest market for Apple, despite dropping11 percent in market revenue in the last quarter. Khristian Ibarrola
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