Apple's Bet On This Chinese Company Cost It $800M, But There's A Lesson To Learn, Gene Munster Says

Zinger Key Points
  • Apple's investment in DiDi has been almost wiped out, as the regulatory clampdown has left the Chinese company in dire straits.
  • Gene Munster said the investment was an unattractive outcome, but he sees a silver lining.

An Apple Inc. AAPL executive who was part of the board of embattled Chinese ride-hailing service DiDi Global Inc - ADR DIDIY has relinquished the board seat, the Chinese company said in a statement.

What Happened: In a very terse communication in early August, DiDi said Adrian Perica has resigned from the board. Perica works for Apple as vice president of corporate development and reports directly to CEO Tim Cook.

When Bloomberg picked up the news on Wednesday, it said in the report that Apple made a $1 billion investment in Didi in 2016, and shortly after Perica joined the board of the Chinese company.

See also: Will iPhone 14 Feature Satellite Connectivity? Analyst Says This Will Be The Determining Factor

Apple Learns The Hard Way: The $1 billion investment Apple made then is now worth around $200 million — an $800 million paper loss — Loup Funds’ Gene Munster pointed out. 

For the unversed, DiDi found itself in the crosshairs of Chinese regulators, who took exception to what was claimed as “illegal collection of user data” by the company. After a high-profile public debut in the U.S. market, DiDi was forced to make a retreat and delist its shares from the NYSE as domestic regulators continued to haunt the company.

DiDi’s shares were subsequently delisted and are currently traded over the counter.

Apple’s negative returns on the initial investment was not an “attractive financial outcome,” Munster said. The venture capitalist, however, said the information Apple learned in the world’s largest ride-hailing market may ultimately be a golden key to its mobility ambitions.

The tech giant was long rumored to be working on a self-driving car, although there hasn’t been official word on this yet from Cook and his team, yet.

APPL Price Action: Apple shares are down 0.93% at $155.84 Thursday at publication.

Photo: Andrey Bayda via Shutterstock

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