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Apple CEO Tim Cook and the president of taxi/ridesharing service Didi Chuxing, Jean Liu, visited an Apple Store in Beijing on Monday morning, just days after Apple's confirmation of a $1 billion investment into Didi.
The main purpose of Cook's visit to Beijing was for an App Store "developer activity," reported the state-controlled China Daily. The heads of several app-related firms were said to be at the gathering, and Cook later told the Daily that Chinese app developers have so far reaped over $7 billion, half of that in the last 12 months.
On the Didi Chuxing deal, Cook reportedly said that Apple made its investment because Didi "has a very great management team," and "its objective is also environmental, hoping to help reduce pollutions [sic] by making more efficient use of cars."
That could further fuel speculation that the deal is connected to Apple's electric car project, particularly if and when a self-driving model rolls off assembly lines. Apple could be hoping to sell vehicles into Didi's fleet, and ridesharing services in general are expected to make the shift to self-driving cars since they cut down on human labor costs.
Previously Cook claimed that the Didi investment happened "for a number of strategic reasons," including "a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market."