Interesting news coming from China where Apple has invested no less than $1 billion in Didi Chuxing, a ride-hailing company.

With more than 11 million rides each day and serving around 300 million users, Didi Chuxing has control of more than 87 percent of the market for private car-hailing in China. The company is worth more than $20 billion if we were to believe a person close to the matter, but it is hemorrhaging money while it fights Uber for market share.

The iPhone manufacturer believes the company has great potential which is why it has already invested a cool $1 billion in Didi Chuxing. According to Apple CEO, Tim Cook, the huge investment will help Apple better understand the local market and also because he believes with time the major capital invested will provide a strong return.

It’s too soon to say whether the deal has anything to do with the long-rumored Apple car, but it is a sign the Cupertino-based company is taking an interest in cars. In addition, it was just last week when heard from a landlord in the San Francisco Bay Area that Apple is looking to buy around 800,000 square feet of land to serve for a potential car-related R&D facility.

Sources cited by Reuters are indicating Apple has already hired a number of automotive experts, so these could all be pieces of a puzzle that once completed will put Apple on the car industry map.

With sales of iPhones winding down, Apple wants to branch out and the car industry could be a solution to bring back those profits from the company’s glory iPhone days.


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