Apple Gives Up Board Seat at Chinese Ride-Hailing Company Didi

Apple Gives Up Board Seat at Chinese Ride-Hailing Company Didi

Apple has given up its board seat at Didi Global as the Chinese ride-hailing company struggles to return to growth following crushing fines and restrictions imposed by Beijing’s cyberspace regulator, reports Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.

Apple CEO Tim Cook with Didi Chuxing president Jean Liu in 2016
Adrian Perica, Apple’s vice president of corporate development, resigned from the board earlier this month, according to a notice posted on Didi’s website.

Perica, who heads Apple’s mergers and acquisitions strategy, joined Didi’s board in 2016 after Apple made a $1 billion investment in the the ride hailing app. The move was described by CEO ‌‌Tim Cook‌‌ at the time as a “strategic investment” that would help Apple better understand the Chinese market.

The problems started for Didi last year, when Apple was informed by China’s internet regulator that it must remove the Didi Chuxing ride hailing app from the Chinese App Store, after Beijing raised concerns about the Uber rival’s possible misuse of personal data.

Didi’s removal from China’s mobile app stores effectively hamstrung the company and the action erased more than 80% of its market value. Then last month, following a year-long investigation, Didi was fined $1.2 billion by the Chinese government for infractions that Beijing said compromised national security.

The decision followed broader moves by Beijing to curb the influence of China’s largest internet corporations and tighten the ownership of the personal data of hundreds of millions of users held by the likes of Alibaba, Tencent, and others.

Apple’s investments and acquisitions have dramatically slowed over the past two years, with the tech giant being more selective in the face of a shaky economy and heightened government scrutiny.

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