Apple continues to dip its toes in the water of the transportation world. In this case, a toe is one billion dollars and the pool is Chinese ride-hailing. According to a Reuters story, Apple is buying into Didi Chuxing in an attempt to better understand the Chinese market.

Didi Chuxing dominates the private-car-hailing business in China, with more than 87 percent market share. But according to the report the company is losing money, mostly due to a price war with Uber. The investment by Apple is the largest single source of funding for Didi Chuxing, which is valued at more than $20 billion. Such a public investment is a rarity from Apple, as the company generally makes quiet acquisitions instead of buying into other companies.

From an Apple Car conspiracy perspective, it's hard to see a specific hint towards the tech giant's will-they-or-won't-they plans to get into the automotive business. This move is more like Google's purchase of Waze. Apple gets to diversify its product offerings, capture a ton of data about Chinese transportation habits, and take a stake in a company that could earn billions of dollars. Plus it could develop to be more integrated with Apple's products. A ride-hailing app that works with a car's built-in infotainment screen via CarPlay, anyone?

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