Apple invests $1bn in China’s Didi transport app

One of the world’s biggest tech companies is betting big on Chinese ride hailing app company Didi Chuxing – formerly known as Didi Kuaidi – announcing a $ 1bn investment in Uber’s main competitor in the country.

It is the single biggest investment the company has received, it said in a statement on Friday.

Cheng Wei, Didi’s founder and chief executive, said the investment “is an enormous encouragement and inspiration” for the four year old company. From the statement:

Through this investment, Apple becomes a strategic investor of DiDi, and joins Tencent, Alibaba and other key supporters to help further DiDi’s mission of building a data-driven rideshare platform to serve hundreds of millions of Chinese drivers and passengers.

Didi operates in more than 400 Chinese cities, with around 11m journeys booked using its services every day. More than 14m drivers offer trips with the service. Apple chief executive Tim Cook added:

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.

US rival Uber is betting big on China and plans to double the number of cities in which it operates by the end of this year to nearly 100. But it recently admitted it is losing more than $ 1bn a year there amid fierce competition.

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