Apple has invested $1 billion in a Chinese ride–sharing service. The Cupertino company is ploughing its money into Didi Chuxing at a time when its Chinese business is facing up to some major challenges.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market. Of course, we believe it will deliver a strong return for our invested capital over time as well."
Apple’s sales in China slid by a massive 26% in the three months from January to March, with the country’s faltering economy said to be to blame for the decline.
The move by Apple has led to increased speculation about its plans for a self–driving car, which have been fuelled in recent weeks by its hiring of a number of experts from auto companies.
It is also likely to set Apple on a collision course with Uber. The dominant global player in ride–sharing plays second fiddle to Didi Chuxing in China. The latter enjoys 87% market share and handles 11 million rides a day.
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