The last several months have not been kind to ride sharing app Uber. In Kalamazoo, Michigan, an Uber driver went on a shooting spree, killing several people. In Austin, TX, a economic/political dispute lead to them leaving that city. For the third year in a row, Uber is one of the most hated companies in America. Now, Apple gives them a global blow.
Apple Inc announced it will invest a billion dollars in Chin’s ride sharing service?Didi Chuxing, Uber’s rival in China. Tim Cook makes this move for several reasons: to better understand the Chinese market, to put Apple in the ride sharing conversation, and to boost the company name and profits in China. Didi Chuxing leaders say this was the biggest and most important investment it ever received. Didi Chuxing already dominates China’s ride sharing industry, making up for 87% of the sales. The company arranges 11 million rides a day and is worth over $20 billion. You see, China’s economy has slowed all 2016 long, and Apple wants to help turn the tide. Apple has enjoyed a rather warm relationship with China. Look at how many Chinese workers are building our Apple products. China has the second biggest economy in the world. If you ran a multi-billion dollar mega corporation, wouldn’t you be friendly with China?
There are rumors in the Silicon Valley that Apple wants a piece of the ride sharing industry. That shouldn’t sit well with Uber at all. Apple already has an alliance with the biggest ride sharing company in China. Uber wants to expand in China. The competition there, already stiff, just got even tighter. Now Apple, one of the most popular companies in America, might compete in ride sharing against one of the most hated. Can Apple pull off a ride sharing firm? Will they take what they learn in China and apply it in the US? Should Uber be nervous?