Why Apple is really investing $1 billion in Didi, China’s version of Uber

“With sales of iPhones slowing in mainland China and Apple running into trouble with regulators there, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company may see its $1-billion investment in ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing as a source of new revenue streams and goodwill in the massive market,” Julie Makinen reports for The Los Angeles Times.

“Apple recently introduced Apple Pay in the country, but it is up against fierce domestic rivals with a big head start, including Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat Pay,” Makinen reports. “Apple’s iTunes movie and iBook services were recently suspended in China.”

Makinen reports, “A tie-up with Didi Chuxing – the biggest ride-hailing platform in China – could provide a leg up.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple is famously averse to greasing palms in order to get things done. That is laudable, but presents a problem when greasing palms is the only way out of a sticky situation. Luckily, there are respectable, legal ways to grease the required palms.

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


  1. Didi will funnel the cash to the the communists. It’s like when the head of the mafia takes your payment, he doesn’t touch it, a henchman does.

    1. You’re way oversimplifying. China is only sort of communist. Communism is a funny label because it’s both a form of government and an economic system. In a way, China’s government is classic Communism but its economics is hybrid communist and capitalist. In the same way that the US government is a Lobbyist Democracy and its economics is hybrid capitalist and socialist.

      And I think those hybrid systems are the best anyway. If your water supply is purely capitalist, profit-maximizing pricing will price high enough that some people can’t afford water. That’s basic economics. In my opinion, all necessities (food, water, basic shelter, medicine, etc) should be socialist and all discretional spending (computers, cars, entertainment, dining out), etc) should be capitalist.

      1. ‘Communism’ is a fraudulent term in any case. Every attempt to enact it as a government system has immediately FAILed and decayed into the system of desperation we call ‘Totalitarianism’. (It’s one of my favorite political themes, so yawning at me is acceptable).

        Let’s just keep this straight: China is a criminal nation. Expect crookedness there at every turn and you will NOT be disappointed. It’s how China’s oppressed citizenry create the personal incentive NOT offered by their totalitarian state. What a hell hole.

    1. … in some countries.

      In most of the world, rules against corruption are selectively enforced if at all. And in the USA, soft corruption is enshrined in political systems by just labeling the grafters as PACs and so forth.

  2. This makes perfect sense for a number of reasons.

    (1) Apple has huge overseas cash reserves that it won’t reinvest domestically until some US administration caves to pressure to give a tax holiday. It needed to invest internationally.

    (2) Apple particularly wants to invest in China and India because that’s where the biggest projected revenue growth is, going forward.

    (3) I believe Apple plans to launch Apple Car as a Vehicle-as-a-Service, rather than (or perhaps in addition to) selling cars outright. It needs a solid, vetted, already-deployed platform for scheduling and routing. It won’t be too many years before you can pull out your Apple Watch and say “Siri, drive me to a good sushi restaurant” and a car will meet you wherever you are.

    Expect Didi’s drivers to be out looking for work in about five years.

  3. Don’t pay the tax that would be due if the money was brought into the US, but do this.

    Don’t pay this money out to shareholders, but do this.

    Dude, come on. You need to give 1,000,000,000 dollars to someone or group in order to sell in China. It’s time to pack… manufacturing too.

    This is why you don’t incur debt when you don’t have to, you never know what you may have to do, like exit a market based on principles or law.

    He may as well passed out a 1,000,000,000 dollars worth of phones for free.

    1. How about the idea that China is already a huge market for Apple products, and it will very soon be the world largest market for autonomous mobility solutions that Apple wants to position itself to participate in.

      1. Interesting…

        How about setting a bad precedent? How about, India wants at least a billion? How about, the European Union, surely they deserve a few billion.

        And, how about as time marches on, they want more. They know now Apple can be rolled for a billion a throw.

        Cook should have told them to buy shares in Apple, Apple pays a dividend.

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