World’s largest tech behemoth Apple had invested $1 billion in Chinese Uber rival Didi Chuxing, to give the company a monetary and technical boost for its ongoing war with the American ride-hailing giant. But, at that moment of time, it was unclear whether Apple is only making an investment into the company or will it be joining the board as well.
However, according to a regulatory filing spotted by The Information, Cupertino has been given a seat at the board of the largest ride-hailing giant in China. Though previously there has been speculation that a board seat wasn’t part of the deal, but the regulatory filings suggest otherwise.
Apple’s merger and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica was appointed to the board in late June, according to the regulatory filing. He joined the board about the same time as Stephen Zhu, Didi’s head of strategy. They both filled in the board seats that were left vacant by Wang Gang, a Didi co-founder and Lu Chuanwei, former CEO of ride-hailing service Kuaidi Dache that merged with Didi in 2015.
The billion dollar investment by Apple was one of the single largest investments received by the Chinese ride-hailing giant to fight against Uber in the country. Uber was lagging behind Didi in the Chinese ride-hailing market, but the humongous investments into its own business was keeping the hopes of taking out the local rival alive.
It had hoped that Didi would be a out of funds soon, and it would steer past its gargantuan ride numbers easily. But right that instant, Apple surprisingly swooped in to aid the Chinese ride-hailing giant. This capital infusion most likely made Uber realize the gravity of the situation, and it went forth with the decision to merge its China operations with Didi itself.
Didi had a large lead in market share but Uber hoped Didi wouldn’t be able to keep raising capital. The Apple investment, while not the deciding factor, was personally disappointing to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick,
say people aware of the matter, according to The Information.
If you come of think about it, Apple’s investment into the Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi wasn’t single-faceted. It was Tim Cook’s attempt to help the firm maintain its goodwill and better understand the local Chinese market.
This partnership also provides the company access to an unimaginable amount of data being collected via millions of rides being completed each day. The two companies are also rumored to be working on the development of a self-driving software or maybe an autonomous ride-hailing cab(very much like Nutonomy or Uber).