Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chixung has successfully raised more than $5.5 billion from investors to bankroll an expansion beyond China and into driver-less technology.
Bloomberg reported Friday that Didi, which counts Apple as one of its backers, disclosed the latest round of financing in an emailed statement.
Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing is near an agreement to raise $5 billion to $6 billion for automated driving expansion, Bloomberg reported Wednesday. The financing round will lift Didi’s valuation to a cool $50 billion, up from a previous $34 billion after its acquisition of Uber’s China business. It would make the Beijing-based company the country's top startup by market valuation, even surpassing handset maker Xiaomi, and the most valuable startup in the world after Uber.
Didi Chuxing, the leading ride-hailing company in China, has opened an artificial intelligence lab near Apple's Cupertino headquarters, reports Recode. The lab is located in Mountain View, CA and it will focus on "intelligent driving systems."
Apple last May invested $1 billion in Didi, which earned it a seat on the company's board, and given that it's rumored to be working on its own self-driving system, the location of the new R&D lab—6 miles from Cupertino—is interesting.
Apple was granted a seat on the board of Didi Chuxing following its staggering $1 billion investment in the ride-hailing company, reports The Information. Citing a regulatory filing, the outlet says the appointment occurred in late June—a few weeks after the deal was finalized. Adrian Perica, Apple's mergers and acquisitions chief, represents Apple on the board. Perica also played a major roll in the company's $3 billion Beats acquisition back in 2014.
Despite not being in danger of closing down thanks to its cash cushion of $1.4 billion, the popular ride-sharing service Lyft has in recent months attempted to sell itself to Apple and a few other Silicon Valley giants like Google, Amazon and Uber, The New York Times reported yesterday. None of the mentioned companies commented on the story.
The nation's second-largest ride-hailing firm also attempted a sale to China's leading ride-sharing service, Didi Chuxing, into which Apple invested $1 billion, and to General Motors, one of its largest investors that refused to make a written offer to buy it.
Now we (probably) know why Apple poured a cool $1 billion into China's leading ride-sharing service Didi Chuxing as that company's just invested—you guessed right—$1 billion into its biggest rival, Uber China. The transaction, subject to closing conditions, will also give a 20 percent stake in the combined firm for Uber and its shareholders, said Bloomberg.
Apple CEO Tim Cook visited an Apple Store in Beijing this morning with Liu Qing, president of Didi Chuxing, the company the iPhone maker invested an astounding $1 billion in.
Also called the Chinese Uber, Didi is a ride sharing service and Apple's investment comes at a time when the Cupertino firm is widely rumored to be secretly working on an electric car project. Cook said Apple and Didi both shared concerns for the environment.
He also revealed, according to China Daily, that app developers in China have now earned over $7 billion, half of which came in the past twelve months alone.
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.