Apple has invested USD one billion in Didi Chuxing, China’s largest ride-hailing app, Didi announced on Friday. This is the single largest investment Didi has ever received, and will be part of its latest financing round, which is still in progress.
“The endorsement from Apple is an enormous encouragement and inspiration for our four-year-old company,” said Cheng Wei, founder and CEO of Didi. “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.”
Service options that Didi offers include taxi hailing, private car hailing, Hitch, Chauffeur, Didi Bus, and Didi Enterprise Solutions. It is also exploring intelligent travel, using big data and cloud computing to reduce travel time and relieve pressure on urban traffic.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said that Apple looks forward to supporting Didi as it grows. “Didi exemplifies the innovation taking place in the iOS developer community in China,” said Cook in a press release issued by Didi.
Positioning itself as a technology-driven company, Didi is now backed by Tencent, Alibaba, Apple and other supporters. These big names will help build upon the rideshare platform, which completes 11 million rides per day, serving about 300 million users across 400 Chinese cities.
Additionally, Didi, which holds over 87% of the market share in private car-hailing in China, has partnered with Lyft in the US, Ola in India, and Grab in Southeast Asia to achieve its global vision.
After it landed USD three billion in financing in September, Didi’s latest round is expected to push its valuation from USD 24 billion to over USD 25 billion.
Having burned money for a while, Didi broke even in over 100 cities by the end of 2015.
(Top photo from Baidu Images)