Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s biggest contract manufacturer of electronics, invested $119.9 million in Chinese ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing, in a deal that values the startup at about $34 billion.
Foxconn’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. took a 0.355% stake in the company, according to a filing. The main assembler of devices for Apple Inc. said the transaction is part of a broader effort to build products and services for the Internet of Things, a growing array of small, connected objects and devices.
“Didi and Foxconn are focused on innovation and execution. We are exploring possibilities, but there are no concrete plans for cooperation yet,” Didi said in a statement.
Didi started as a service for hailing taxis, but has since offered ride-sharing, bus hiring, chauffeur services, auto financing and test-driving services. It has secured dominance in its home market and last month agreed to buy Uber Technologies Inc.’s China unit after a costly battle for market share.
Didi’s lead was further bolstered by Apple’s $1 billion investment in May, which was the smartphone maker’s first public investment in the transportation market. Foxconn and Apple are both eyeing the automobile industry for expansion as they battle a global smartphone slowdown.