“When Apple announced recently that it had invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing, it was seen as a competitive blow to Uber, which is investing heavily in China,” Daniel Roberts reports for Yahoo Finance. “It was also a big score for Didi, which was formerly called Didi Kuaidi and was the result of a $6 billion mega-merger last year of Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache. Didi is bigger in China than Uber is there.”

“But Apple’s investment was also notable for a reason having nothing to do with Didi or Uber: It represented extremely unusual business behavior by Apple,” Roberts reports. “‘Does Apple do this frequently? No, they do not,’ says Anand Sanwal, CEO of CB Insights, which tracks venture capital funding and tech unicorns. That’s an understatement—Apple almost never does this. Apple disclosed just four full acquisitions of private companies so far this year, and no investments other than Didi. Last year, it made 11 acquisitions, and zero minority investments.”

“Apple is clearly up to something in cars,” Roberts reports. “Of course, Apple doesn’t have to end up making a car to get into the car business. It could choose to offer its own ride-sharing service. It’s also possible that Apple simply sees a bright financial future for one fast-growing taxi app in China.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s how we saw it from the first minute:

“Don’t be surprised when this $1 billion donation, er… investment in this convenient cover story, er… Chinese ride hailing company results in sales of Apple’s iTunes movies and iBooks being turned back on in China.” – MacDailyNews, May 12, 2016

Why Apple is really investing $1 billion in Didi, China’s version of Uber – May 13, 2016
Uber CEO responds to Apple’s $1 billion investment in Didi Chuxing – May 13, 2016
Things to know about China’s Didi, Apple’s latest $1 billion investment – May 13, 2016
Apple invests $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing – May 12, 2016
Apple’s battle with China offers a stark reminder of geopolitical risks – May 11, 2016
Apple’s Tim Cook to visit China for high-level government meetings later this month – May 6, 2016
Apple CEO Cook ‘pretty confident’ of soon resuming movie and book sales in China – May 3, 2016
The New Yorker: What Apple has to fear from China – April 30, 2016
China’s increasing censorship hits Apple, but Apple might punch back – April 22, 2016
China shutters Apple’s online book and movie services – April 22, 2016