Apple invests $1 billion in Chinese Uber rival, Didi

Apple sinks $1 billion in Uber competitor Didi
(Image credit: Str/AFP/Getty Images)

Late Thursday, Apple announced that it has invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing startup Didi Chuxing, an unusual investment for the technology giant. Analysts suggested that Apple is trying to make up for declining iPhone sales in China, providing a market for its rumored self-driving car project, or trying to boost Apple Pay in China, but CEO Tim Cook said simply that Didi demonstrates the innovation coming out of iOS developers in China. He said Apple is "extremely impressed by the business they've built and their excellent leadership team, and we look forward to supporting them as they grow." It's Apple's largest investment since purchasing Beats Electronics for $3 billion in 2014.

Didi is larger than its main competitor, UberChina, but both ride-hailing companies are aggressively expanding in China. Didi, currently operating in 400 Chinese cities, is valued at more than $25 billion, and while Apple's investment is the largest to date, other investors include Chinese internet giants Alibaba and Tencent. Apple can afford the deal, certainly: On March 26, Apple reported having $233 billion in cash and marketable securities.

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