Apple on Thursday announced that it has invested $1 billion in Chinese Uber competitor Didi Chuxing, reports Reuters. Speaking with the outlet, Tim Cook said the venture will help his company “better understand the critical Chinese market.”
The move comes amidst slumping iPhone sales, which has driven Apple’s stock price down to $90 per share, and other struggles in China. Last month, the State Administration shut down the iBooks Store and iTunes Movie sales in the country.
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.”
[…] Didi Chuxing, formerly known as Didi Kuaidi, said in a statement that the funding from Apple was the single largest investment it has ever received. The company, which previously raised several billion dollars, dominates the ride-sharing market in China. The company said it completes more than 11 million rides a day, with more than 87 percent of the market for private car-hailing in China.
Of course, this investment is also interesting because Apple is rumored to be building a self-driving car. The company is believed to have a team of over 1,000 engineers working on the top secret project, codenamed Titan, just outside of Cupertino.