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Want to get $1bn from Apple? Step 1: Move to China. Step 2: Copy Uber

Rich uncle Cook makes it rain for Didi Chuxing

Apple says it has invested $1bn in a Chinese ride-sharing company called Didi Chuxing.

The Cupertino Mac-maker said that it would be pouring the cash into the China-based Uber competitor as part of an effort to expand its financial reach in the mainland.

In breaking word of the investment to Reuters, Apple CEO Tim Cook that among the reasoning for the move was "a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market."

The deal is also believed to be connected to Apple's ongoing efforts to muscle into the car market. The iOS maker already sits in many dashboards with its CarPlay service, and multiple reports suggest that Apple is, in one form or another, looking to move into the self-driving car service.

Having direct connections to a large-scale ride ordering service could help Apple's developmental efforts in those areas.

Success in China has proven to be something of a puzzle for Apple recently. Once it's fastest-growing market, revenues in China fell 26 per cent last quarter as the mainland seems to have cooled on the iPhone and other Apple goods.

Apple has also run into trouble with the Chinese government. In April, state officials decided to ban all Apple books and movies from the Chinese iTunes services.

Like most other major electronics manufacturers, Apple relies on Chinese manufacturers such as Foxconn for much of its manufacturing and assembly operations, particularly on its flagship product, the iPhone.

While the investment is the largest ever for Didi Chuxing, the company is well beyond establishing itself in China. Reports indicate that, even before the Apple cash infusion, the company serves up nearly all of China's taxi ordering calls, and more than 85 per cent of private car hirings. ®

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