Apple invests in car hailing

The BBC reports that Apple has invested $1bn (£693m) in Didi Chuxing, the car-hailing app that has a greater marketshare than US rival Uber in China.

Didi Chuxing provide more than 11 million rides a day and claimed to have 87% of the Chinese marketshare. The company is also backed by Chinese internet giants Tencent and Alibaba.

Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, said that the move would help the technology giant ‘better understand the Chinese market’. Cook suggested he saw many opportunities for Apple and Didi Chuxing to collaborate in the future and he also emphasised how the deal offered a chance for Apple to learn more about China – its second-biggest market.

BBC’s China correspondent, Stephen McDonell, said, ‘Before Didi Chuxing’s app, pretty much the only option to catch a cab in China was to hail one in the street. Then – as with other technologies – China leapfrogged into the future.

‘Suddenly everyone had the Didi app. Now in cities like Beijing and Shanghai on a Friday night you’re struggling to hail a cab in the street because they’re all taking Didi bookings.’

US rival Uber has been struggling to break into the Chinese market, admitting it was losing more than $1bn a year in the country.