Thursday April 20, 2017 12:32 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Didi Chuxing president Jean Liu has been named one of TIME's 2017 most influential people, and Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an excerpt about her for the magazine. In it, Cook calls Liu a "disrupter" for building a transportation platform that offers "convenience and flexibility" to millions of commuters. He lauds Didi Chuxing's work on algorithms that improve traffic, saying the technology could eliminate traffic jams in the future. She and her team are succeeding with innovative, big-data algorithms that aim both to improve the efficiency of Didi's service and to ease the congestion on roadways. By analyzing commuter patterns the way oceanographers track the tides, Didi may help traffic jams go the way of the flip phone. In over 400 cities across China, Jean has also built a company that is dedicated to serving the community around it. Guiding Didi to this higher purpose, and giving back to the places where it does business, she shares my belief that companies can and should measure themselves by more than just the bottom line.Apple CEO Tim Cook met Jean Liu in 2016 after Apple invested $1 billion in the ride-sharing company. Following its investment, Apple was given a Didi Chuxing board seat, held by Adrian Perica, Apple's head of mergers and acquisitions. Apple's Didi Chuxing investment provides Apple with access to data and expertise on both electric and autonomous car technology, a useful resource as Apple works to develop a self-driving car software platform.