Apple $1 Billion Investment in China’s Didi in Part to Include Driver Pants Wearing Training

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“None of the mistakes Berkshire has made ‘would have been cured’ by doing more due diligence,” Warren Buffett said at the 2016 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting.

Time will tell if Apple’s hastily negotiated $1 billion stake in Chinese ride-hailing app Didi will be a success. Today we have a case of that is too funny to not share, Didi driver detained for picking up female passenger without his pants on (Shanghaiist, Chinese report and image below from Sohu via the orignal Weibo post by the customer).

A female passenger in Tianjin was shocked to find her driver too burdened to put his legs through his pants, instead draping them.

I worked in Tianjin for several years and as fun as the brash locals can be, it is part of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei triangle of men with crew cuts who roll up their t-shirts over their bellies in summer. China is a great source for news of the bizarre. By numbers alone it should produce a good share of the world’s wackiness, and that is boosted by that population jostling in dense areas with rabid social media and traditional media pouncing on any goofy story.

While we can’t contain horrified laughter, there are real safety issues to getting into a car with a stranger whether taxi or ride-hail. I avoid taxis whenever I can because I do not like being in them and on principal support public transport or use my legs where feasible.

My big exception is in countries that have little public transport and little tourist traffic, chartering a taxi for a day can be a great option. Certain things such as never taking a taxi parked outside a hotel, instead picking one rushing on a busy street that barely notices a customer hail, help find good drivers.

I have never used an ride-hailing app because I don’t want to bother with it.

I do pay minor attention to regulatory efforts on ride-hailing. It gets tiresome, but is mildly interesting to see how it brings together self-interested wealthy urban elites and libertarians, and to see what that nexus can and can’t achieve, such as the recent action in Austin, Texas.

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