In the often hush-hush world of tech investing, corporate mergers, and acquisitions, it’s rare to see such a family reunion of sorts as the recent sale of Uber’s operations in China. The ride-sharing company has sold its Chinese branch of the business to competitor Didi Chuxing, which has implications for some of the biggest names in tech, retail, and even automotive manufacturing.
Here’s how the web of corporate intermarriage plays out in this single deal: Apple was a recent $1 billion investor in Didi, so with the acquisition of Uber, Apple now owns a portion of that newly merged entity. And according to a CNN Money article by Alanna Petroff and Paul R. La Monica, Apple’s previous investments in companies like Lyft and GrabTaxi means they have a stake in all of the world’s major ride-sharing companies. In theory, this investment in existing driving infrastructure could have implications for Apple’s ventures into self-driving cars and self-driving software.
Other major companies are also involved in this deal by default. The “Google of China” Baidu is a shareholder in Didi, since the ride company relies on Baidu’s mapping and search engine to power the ability to retrieve and deliver passengers. Tencent, a telecomm giant, brings its capabilities to the table as well, and is now connected to Uber through this deal. Even some stateside names like Jeff Bezos, Google, and Toyota are connected to this deal through their previous backing of Uber.
According to a report on the deal from the New York Times, this deal has been a long time coming, and it was pushed for heavily by Uber’s own investors. The battleground for ride-sharing companies in mainland China has been fiercely fought, with companies spending an estimated tens of millions of dollars every month in their efforts to attract customers. This deal will free up Uber to pursue other markets that are less hotly contested.