Apple has scored a seat on the board of Didi Chuxing, the Chinese Uber rival that Apple invested $1 billion in earlier this year.
Although Didi Chuxing denied it at the time, regulatory filings show that Apple took the board position in late June, one month after it made its generous investment — designed to aid Apple’s continued push into China and interest in shaking up the automotive industry.
At the time, Tim Cook said that the deal “reflects our excitement about their growing business … and also our continued confidence in the long term in China’s economy.”
By taking a seat on the Didi Chuxing board, Apple gains a direct channel with top executives in the automotive industry, if it did not have this already.
Didi Chuxing has gone from strength to strength since the Apple cash injection. In August, it put an end to a costly battle with the real Uber in China by buying it out, thereby acquiring Uber’s “brand, business and data” in China, in exchange for a 20 percent stake in the combined company for Uber and its shareholders.
Apple, of course, hasn’t directly stated what its goal is by investing in Uber. However, it seems to have been a wise investment on multiple fronts — and the new report about its board seat shows that Apple’s got a front row seat to witness whatever follows.
Source: The Information