Last updated: 05:00 PM ET, Fri May 13 2016

Apple Drops $1 Billion On Chinese Ride-Hailing App DiDi Chuxing

Travel Technology | Gabe Zaldivar | May 13, 2016

Apple Drops $1 Billion On Chinese Ride-Hailing App DiDi Chuxing

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Apple is one of the few companies that has the ability to drop $1 billion on a sign of goodwill. And according to reports, that’s essentially what the tech giant did with its latest investment in China’s DiDi Chuxing.

Via a press release, the purveyor of that very smartphone you are more than likely using to read this article invested the largest lump sum investment enjoyed by the Chinese ride-sharing provider.

For the uninitiated, DiDi is doing tremendous business domestically, rivaling the likes of Uber for consumers who demand a ride-hailing solution around China.

The following graphic introduces the service rather well to American consumers.

As you can see, DiDi commands a remarkable 99 percent of the taxi-hailing market and 87 percent of the available car-hailing market throughout China.

If any transportation solution could be considered ubiquitous, this would be it.

Both Cheng Wei, DiDi’s CEO, and Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, were hopeful for the financial partnership.

Wei offered, “The endorsement from Apple is an enormous encouragement and inspiration for our four-year-old company.”

The CEO continued: “DiDi will work hard with our drivers, riders and global partners, to make available to every citizen flexible and reliable mobility choices, and help cities solve transportation, environmental and employment challenges.”

Cook, for his part, explained that Didi is a model that should be emulated by those in the industry: “DiDi exemplifies the innovation taking place in the iOS developer community in China. We are extremely impressed by the business they've built and their excellent leadership team, and we look forward to supporting them as they grow.”

Warm sentiments aside, the New York Times explained that the investment is much to do about maintaining a foothold within a tremendous albeit often elusive market.

The report states, “In recent years, Beijing has grown more aggressive in pushing an agenda aimed at growing local tech companies, forcing multinationals to play by its rules if they want access to China’s markets.”

It goes on to assert that a $1 billion infusion is precisely the kind of hat tip that will keep Apple on the right side of China’s capricious market disposition.

And for Apple, it also ties itself to a Chinese entity that invigorates and surrounds a wide swath of the country.

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