Why Apple plunked $1 billion into Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing

“Apple new $1 billion investment in the Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing is as much about currying favor with regulators as directly expanding its own business, analysts said,” Ryan Nakashima reports for The Associated Press. “Apple might need the help; it faces slowing iPhone sales and tougher restrictions on its services in the country.”

“The investment — one of Apple’s largest to date — could serve other purposes as well. It helps the company put some of its giant overseas cash hoard to work without incurring taxes by bringing it back to the U.S. It might also inform Apple’s own interest in the automotive business; several reports suggest it has begun work on its own self-driving car,” Nakashima reports. “‘It kills two or three birds with one stone,’ said Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy.”

“Just last month, Apple was forced to shutter its iTunes Movies and iBooks Store in China, a company spokesperson confirmed,” Nakashima reports. “‘The Chinese government knows what they have is access to this massive market,’ Moorhead said. ‘What they would like is for you to take China more seriously’ by making major investments in the country, he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

“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 Take, May 12, 2016

$1 billion Didi investment marks a major turning point for Apple – May 13, 2016
Tim Cook to visit Beijing with $1 billion in goodwill – May 13, 2015
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


  1. How does becoming an investor help Apple to develop a (driverless) car? It’s not as if as investors they get free access to all driving data the company may have to use for their own purposes. Just because they both involve cars doesn’t mean they’re automatically linked.

    1. China could become the first country where the government could require all ride-sharing to be an autonomous vehicle industry, or in fact in the long run to require that ALL vehicles be autonomous. It could have huge benefits in a country where pollution is a huge threat to their infrastructure and ecology. In the long game, this could be very large for Apple. No one ever said that all of Apple’s products had to be focused on the western markets or western ways of thinking.

  2. Why don’t they just tell China, if we can live test our products in your country we will have to move production to Korea or Mexico. (heaven forbid they move it to the U.S.)

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