>> A billion dollar bet for Apple in its second biggest market. The U.S. tech giant announcing late on Thursday that it's plowing money into Uber's biggest Chinese rival, Didi Chuxing. It's the number one name by a longshot for taxi apps in China. Didi's 11 million rides a day, landing at almost 90% of the country's taxi app market.
Apple CEO Tim Cook says the move will help his company learn more about opportunities in China that's more important to the company than ever right now. iPhone sales there are slumping and Apples online book phone and music services were shot down by Beijing regulators last month. But this deal isn't just being viewed as a test for the Chinese market.
Investors are keenly watching Apple for any signs that it's getting closer to entering the car business. Until now, all they've really have to go on is CarPlay, a system that links iPhones to in car entertainment systems. But sources tell Reuters that the company has hired dozens of auto experts in the past year and it's looking into building self driving cars.
Cook says he's still upbeat about Apple's chances in China, hinting there could be more collaborations with Didi Chuxing to come. He's flying out for a visit later this month