Six years ago. Apple invested $1 billion in China’s Uber-like Didi Global company, scoring a seat on the ride-sharing firm’s board of directors. Now, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reports Apple has given up its seat on the board as Didi struggles to return to growth, following its fines and restrictions imposed by Beijing’s cyberspace regulator.
Adrian Perica, Apple’s vice president of corporate development, resigned from the board earlier this month, says a notice posted on Didi’s website.
Perica, who leads Apple’s mergers and acquisitions strategy, joined the Didi board in 2016. Apple had invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing. Apple CEO Tim Cook at the time told Reuters the investment is a move by Apple to help it better understand the Chinese market.
Last year, Apple was told by China’s internet regulatory agency that it must remove Didi Chuxing’s ride-hailing app from the Chinese App Store, following concerns about the ride-hailing company’s possible misuse of personal data.
The removal of the app from the Chinese App Store harmed the company’s finances, seeing over 80% of its market value erased. Last month, Didi was fined $1.2 billion by the Chinese government for infractions that Beijing said compromised national security.
Beijing also made wider moves 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 Chinese tech firms.