Investment aims to keep Didi ahead of Uber in world’s largest country
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With sales of the iPhone slowing, Apple is looking to diversify its investments. The computer and smartphone company is investing $1 billion into Chinese-based Didi, Bloomberg reports. The ride sharing app is likely Uber’s biggest competitor.
Didi materialized last year when two separate apps from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd. merged to become China’s largest ride sharing app. Additional services provided by Didi include taxi and private car services and even test drives.
“Didi exemplifies the innovation taking place in the iOS developer community in China,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in Didi’s statement. “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.”
Currently, Didi provides more than 11 million rides a day to 300 million people across China in 400 cities with 14 million drivers. The company, which is valued at $26 billion, has now raised $3 billion thanks to Apple’s investment that will help it expand its business and stay ahead of Uber. Other investors include the aforementioned Alibaba and Tencent.
Uber is also raising money and investing millions of dollars to compete with Didi in the world’s most populous country. The San Francisco-based startup’s ride-sharing app aims to be in 100 Chinese cities by the end of 2016. Currently, Uber operates in 30 global markets contributing to $1 billion per year in profits.
Didi has also aligned itself with Lyft in the U.S., Ola in India, and Grab in Southeast Asia to compete with Uber.
We wonder if the rumored Apple car could be part of the future of Didi’s expanding ride sharing business.