Weeks ago, Apple invested $1 billion into China-based ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing. Now, according to a recent regulatory filing reported by The Information, Apple received a seat on the board of the Chinese company, though the appointment in late June was not disclosed at the time of investment.
Apple’s investment and board appointment are both indicators of how serious it is in its investment in Didi and its interest in the automotive industry. Didi Chuxing beat Uber out of China, forcing the American ride-hailing service to sell its local business.
Before Didi acquired Uber, the two companies had been in a war of attrition of sorts, subsidizing cheap rides for their customers. Apple investing such a large sum of money behind Didi will no doubt bolster the Chinese company’s future in the country.
Tim Cook said earlier this year that he hopes his company’s investment will help Apple more thoroughly understand the local Chinese market. Many have also speculated that such an investment could form the necessary bonds for Apple’s long-rumored car project.
Apple’s mergers and acquisitions chief Adrian Perica is reportedly going to be representing Apple on Didi’s board, alongside Martin Lau (president of Tencent), Lucy Peng (an executive at Alibaba), and Didi’s president Jean Liu and CEO Cheng Wei. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick will also be present as an “observer” of the board after the company sold its Chinese business to Didi, but unlike the other, will have no voting power.