Apple is not a friend of major investments and major purchases. We were surprised for instance to pay 3,000 million dollars for Beats, but more surprising still was the investment of 1,000 million dollars that you have made a firm as Didi Chuxing (formerly Didi Kuaidi), the rival of über which is absolute reference in China.
The implications of this move are many, especially taking into account that it seems clear that Apple is working on some type of movement in the automobile sector – there electric or autonomous car?-, but many point to another reasoning. Apple has not invested in Didi Chuxing: It has invested in China.
Apple almost never reversed, usually buy
In Cupertino aren’t very of investing in companies to participate in its results. The list of acquisitions of the company shows that their movements were almost always purchase, and except in the case of Beats such operations they have never been particularly striking and almost always they came down from the 1,000 million dollars.
In the history of Apple in fact only have revealed three movements in which the company now run by Tim Cook has invested in other companies without absorbing them. They did it with Akamai in 1999. Almost a decade later would come the second movement: bought one small participation in Imagination Technologies, the company responsible for PowerVR graphics chips that accompany their SoC, although recently have heard rumors that would indicate that Apple could buy that company.
The last of these investments has been the Didi Chuxing, the company that provides a service similar to the über but which focuses on China, where according to its makers completes more than 11 million journeys a day and where it has made with more than one of 87% of the share in this segment that continues to grow around the world.
The Chinese bid
Many analysts see this investment not as a particular bet by Didi Chuxing, but one global commitment to China as a country with which the U.S. company wants to maintain the best possible relations.
Its results tax in the last quarter were expected but nonetheless have been less disappointing for many. In those Chinese results it has had a significant impact: sales there have fallen 11% with respect to the same period of last year, and in fact is not the only news that conditioned the position of Apple in this market.
ITunes movies and the iBook Store services were blocked by the Chinese Government just six months to start, and it is clear that the Asian giant would not encourage others When selling all kinds of products and services.
Will Didi help with Apple’s government relations in China? Didi’s Liu: “We can help each other.” https://t.co/iskcTYBm48
— Amir Efrati (@amir) may 13, 2016
That could change in view of an investment that shows the interest of Apple for being good with a country that can become a huge motor for sale both for their products as – and this is more important for the future – its services. “Amir Efrati commented on Twitter how to talk with the President of Didi Chuxing, Jean Liu – or Liu Qing, daughter of Liu Chuanzhi, founder of Lenovo – to comment on the issue, this Executive said that”We can help each other”. Apple Pay could for example be method of payment at Didi and would boost the use of a service that is clearly behind Alipay in that country.
This analyst noted in The Information recently how Uber, Travis Kalanick, CEO was about to meet with Apple officials this week to discuss potential agreements, and although it is not known if these talks have been cancelled, what is clear is that Didi Chuxing has been moved forward the company that operates in United States.
This agreement could actually be very beneficial to both parties: Apple would strengthen its position in China and the potential integration of its services to this company vehicles, but Didi could also give the final step to expand your business to United States with the help of Apple, something that would put him somewhat more difficult to count things a Uber that so far appeared to be safe from competitors even with the presence of Lyft.
Is the future of Didi a self-employed/Electric Apple Car?
In that equation also come into play the movements that Apple is doing in the the automotive sector. There are many signings who has made in this regard, and obviously something cooking in the labs of Apple, but the company has never confirmed anything officially and at the moment we only speak of CarPlay.
Things could of course change. Autonomous car boom seems inevitable, and although there is still much that such vehicles dominate our roads there are companies that are already clear that this would be the mainstay of its business. Own über CEO said it two years ago, and in Lyft seem to be also preparing for the future.
Although all are assumptions, if Apple is really working in an autonomous car (and [electric](“No es ningún secreto, Apple está fabricando un coche eléctrico”: Elon Musk)?) this could begin to be used by firms such as Didi exclusively thanks to agreements which have both just signed. And while, as we say, Apple and China as friends. That is what really matters.