Is Apple Inc entering ride-hailing app space?

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Apple Inc recently invested US$1billion into China based Didi Chuxing, making it the fourth disclosed investment deal this year. This is the single largest investment the company  has ever received.

Didi Chuxing is a ride hailing mobile application which competes with Uber in some geographical market. Didi has strategic stakes through its previously investments in other ride-sharing and on-demand unicorns, including Lyft, Grab (formerly GrabTaxi), Olacabs, and Ele.me.

Didi has raised a total of US$6.28B since its founding four years ago.

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.

Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of DiDi, said, “The endorsement from Apple is an enormous encouragement and inspiration for our four-year-old company. DiDi will work hard with our drivers, riders and global partners, to make available to every citizen flexible and reliable mobility choices, and help cities solve transportation, environmental and employment challenges.”

“DiDi exemplifies the innovation taking place in the iOS developer community in China ,” said Tim Cook , Apple’s CEO. “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.”

Building on its data mining and analysis capabilities, DiDi now completes over 11 million rides a day on its platform, serving close to 300 million users across over 400 Chinese cities with a diverse range of mobile technology-based transportation options. DiDi works with over 14 million Chinese car-owners and drivers, holding over 87% market share in private car-hailing and over 99% market share in taxi-hailing.

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