Apple Invests $1B To China's Uber; Takes a Board Seat

October 13
6:00 AM 2016

On the board of Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing, Apple penetrated a slot having a seat on the boar. It took a seat weeks after iPhone maker invested $1 billion in the company.

Spotted by The Information, it notes that the board appointment in late June was not disclosed at the time of investment, the regulatory findings announced. Apple, in its investment to Didi and its interest to the auto industry was serious about it, as observed in the news. Valued at around $35 billion, Didi famously beat Uber out of China, urging the American company to sell its local business.

Utilizing investors' money to fund cheap rides for customers, the two companies had been in a war attrition. Didi will definitely have helped the Chinese company's cause with Apple throwing its weight behind.

Recently, Bloomberg report shows that Didi is working on developing its own self-driving cars just like Uber.

Given its own much-talked car project, this could be of particular interest for Apple. It is absolutely possible Apple's $1 billion investment and new board seat could develop into a more involved partnership.

 Adrian Perica, the Apple mergers and acquisition chief will take the company's seat on Didi's board. Together with Martin Lau, Tencent president, Lucy Peng, Alibaba's executive, and Jean Liu, Didi's president and Cheng Wei, CEO of same company. Travis Kalanick, Uber CEO is the board's observer after the company sold its Chinese operations to Didi, but has no voting power unlike others.

Apple's mergers and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica will be taking the company's seat on Didi's board, alongside Martin Lau (president of Tencent), Lucy Peng (an executive at Alibaba), and Didi president Jean Liu and CEO Cheng Wei. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is an "observer" of the board after the company sold its Chinese operations to Didi yet has not voting power compared to others.

The Apple's effort on "Project Titan" is labelled as "open secret" by Elon Musk, Tesla CEO. It is sad to be Apple's car-building project. In Sunnyvale, Apple is said to have a secret facility where it is developing car prototypes. Recent rumors suggest Apple is focused on autonomous driving software which is part of a two-prong approach that permit to both develop its own car and create software that could potentially be utilized in third party vehicles.

With Didi Chuxing, the partnership will surely employ thousands of drivers Apple could have a resource for testing future software products.

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