So what’s really going on with Apple’s (nasdaq: AAPL) $1 billion investment in China-based ride sharing firm – and Uber rival – Didi Chuxing? Anand Sanwal of venture capital research firm CB Insights offers his take. Plus, there’s good will such a deal will generate for Apple in China, says an analyst.

Sanwal’s analysis

First, Sanwal’s view:

We’ve been getting lots of inbound data requests about the Apple investment into China-based Didi Chuxing.

So we put together a little ‘hot-take’ of the data that might be useful in response to common questions.

  • Does Apple do this frequently?

No they do not. The tech giant’s $1B investment in Didi Chuxing is the 4th disclosed private market deal (M&A or investment) Apple has been involved in this year. But the rest were all acquisitions of private companies thus far in 2016.

Apple disclosed 11 acquisitions in 2015 (no minority investments).

  • What is Didi Chuxing’s valuation vs Uber and other unicorns?

Didi Chuxing’s most recent disclosed valuation was $20B. Their rumored raise of $2-3B is also said to be at a larger valuation ($25B) but as of their last closed financing round, it was $20B.

Uber, by comparison, was valued at $62.5B most recently.

This financing would make Didii Chuxing China’s second-highest valued unicorn, trailing only Xiaomi (valued at $46B as of its December 2014 Series E)

Only 4 other unicorns globally have achieved a valuation of $20B or more (the others being Uber, Xiaomi, Airbnb, and Palantir).

  • How do fundings between Uber and Didi Chuxing and other startups compare?

Didi Chuxing has raised $6.28B inclusive of the Apple investment ($725M to Kuaidi Dache, $818M to Didi Dache, $4.74B to merged entity)

This compares to the $8.01B raised by Uber to date (last raised $200M in a Corporate Minority round in February 2016)

Among VC-backed companies, only 2 others – and Spotify – have raised $1B+ equity financing rounds in 2016 to date (this excludes a round to JD Finance, a subsidiary of Spotify’s was a convertible note deal.

  • Did Apple invest in other ride-hailing apps too?

Apple hasn’t directly invested in other ride hailing apps. But interestingly, Didi itself has invested in other ride-sharing and on-demand unicorns, including Lyft, Grab (formerly GrabTaxi), Olacabs, and

But through their investment in Didi, Apple has some ownership of these other startups including Lyft, Uber’s main rival in the USA and Olacabs, Uber’s primary rival in India.

Seeking good will

Apple’s investment in Didi Chuxing is as much about currying favor with regulators as directly expanding its own business, analysts said. Apple might need the help; it faces slowing iPhone sales and tougher restrictions on its services in the country.

The investment could serve other purposes as well. It helps the company put some of its giant overseas cash hoard to work without incurring taxes by bringing it back to the U.S. It might also inform Apple’s own interest in the automotive business; several reports suggest it has begun work on its own self-driving car.

“It kills two or three birds with one stone,” Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, told the Associated Press.

Just last month, Apple was forced to shutter its iTunes Movies and iBooks Store in China, a company spokesperson confirmed. A few days later, the company reported that sales in mainland China — primarily of iPhones — fell 11 percent in the first quarter, a big contributor to its first quarterly revenue decline in 13 years.

“The Chinese government knows what they have is access to this massive market,” Moorhead said. “What they would like is for you to take China more seriously” by making major investments in the country, he said.

With the global market for smartphones cooling, Apple has increasingly emphasized the money it makes from services such as music streaming and media downloads.

“The investment in Didi highlights the strategic importance of China and the services segment for Apple’s future strategy,” wrote Jack Kent, an analyst with IHS Technology, in a report. “It could help Apple gain greater insight into the behavior of users beyond its own ecosystem.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement that Didi “exemplifies the innovation taking place in the iOS developer community in China.” Apple had no comment beyond Cook’s statement.

Apple will become a strategic investor alongside Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings Ltd., an online games and entertainment service, Didi Chuxing announced Friday.

China’s ride-hailing industry has grown rapidly, with competitors spending heavily to subsidize rides to capture market share.

Didi Chuxing, previously Didi Kuaidi, operates in 400 Chinese cities and provides over 11 million rides a day. It claims to account for 87 percent of the private car-hailing service in China.

Uber, meanwhile, is losing $1 billion a year in China, according to an interview its CEO, Travis Kalanick, gave to the Canadian tech startup news website Betakit.

Kalanick noted wryly in a tweet early Friday that his girlfriend owns Apple shares and is thus now invested in his chief Chinese rival.

In September, Didi and Uber’s U.S. rival Lyft agreed to link their services so that travelers can use them in each other’s markets. In December, their alliance added India’s Ola and Southeast Asia’s GrabTaxi.