"This [partnership] is still in a very preliminary stage. We got to know the Apple team, they got to know us not too long ago, but we clicked very quickly," laughed Jean Liu.
The surprise partnership, announced early this week, made sense for both parties given the amount of shared common ground, she said.
"We are both in the mobile internet space. So how do we serve our passengers, our drivers better? How do they [Apple] serve their users better? This is already a common ground...We also share a huge overlap in customer base. Our driver and passengers use iPhones and iPads a lot so I think it's very intuitive."
While Liu refused to comment on specific areas of collaboration, such as car technology or Apple Pay, she said "there are a lot of things that can happen.
Born from a strategic merger between taxi-hailing apps Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache in 2015, Didi Chuxing's name translates to "Beep-beep! Mobility." Aside from private ride-sharing and taxis, Didi also offers services for carpooling, chauffeurs, buses as well as transport options for corporates, known as Didi Enterprise Solutions.
The company refers to its employees as "oranges" since the company's registered name—Xiaoju—means "little orange." When meeting Apple CEO Tim Cook in California last month, Liu reportedly said that a company named after a fruit could achieve something big.