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Apple quietly gives up its Didi board seat after turmoil

An Apple Inc. executive has left the board of Didi Global Inc., as the Chinese ride-hailing company struggles to regain ground it lost during Beijing’s crackdown on the country’s internet sector.

Adrian Perica, Apple’s vice president of corporate development, has resigned from Didi’s board, according to a one-sentence release posted on Didi’s website this month. Didi didn’t respond to requests for comment. Apple declined to comment.

The departure of Perica, who also heads Apple’s mergers and acquisitions strategy, follows a tumultuous year for Didi. Since the company went ahead with a US initial public offering against Beijing’s wishes in June last year, Didi’s app has been pulled from China’s mobile stores, preventing meaningful growth and erasing more than 80% of its market value.

Didi said in May it will delist from the New York Stock Exchange. Last month, it was fined $1.2 billion by the Chinese government for infractions that Beijing said compromised national security, ending a yearlong probe.

Perica joined Didi’s board in 2016 after Apple made a $1 billion investment in the ride-hailing app, giving the smartphone maker a more secure foothold in the Chinese market amid rising US-China tensions. Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said at the time that the move was a “great financial investment.”

Perica, a former Goldman Sachs banker, joined Apple in 2009 and reports directly to Cook. The company has slowed its dealmaking in the last two years, however, as tech giants become more cautious in an uncertain economy. Bloomberg

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