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Min Jeong Lee
SoftBank is regaining its footing just as founder Masayoshi Son readies sizable investments in artificial intelligence and semiconductors.
BUSINESS / Companies
May 13, 2024
SoftBank to get more aggressive on AI after profit and asset sales
The company earned a better-than-expected net income in the March quarter, helped by investment gains.
SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son in 2019. Son is said to be selling off assets from the Vision Fund’s portfolio as he prepares for possible forays into AI and related hardware.
BUSINESS / Companies
May 10, 2024
SoftBank's Vision Fund lightens asset load as Son pivots to AI and chips
Son has moved on to new obsessions, inspired in part by the success of Arm — which has soared in value to around $106 billion since its market debut.
Japanese startup Turing plans to unveil a self-driving car with at least 30 minutes’ driving range next year and develop a fully autonomous car by 2030.
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 22, 2024
An AI star seeks to bring self-driving cars to Japan by 2030
The mind behind an AI algorithm that beat a shogi master now has his sights set on a fully self-driving vehicle by 2030.
OpenAI Japan’s president Tadao Nagasaki speaks at a news conference about the opening of its first Asia office in Tokyo on Monday.
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 16, 2024
OpenAI taps ex-Amazon executive to head enterprise push in Japan
The artificial intelligence darling is opening an office in Tokyo as it releases a custom GPT-4 model catering to Japanese language users.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida addresses a meeting on AI strategy held at the Prime Minister's Office in December. Japan is beginning to draw global attention for its potential as an AI market.
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 12, 2024
Google alums go big in Japan with months-old startup Sakana AI
Sakana is setting out to train low-cost generative AI models using small datasets, unveiling three AI models for Japanese speakers last month.
The New York Stock Exchange in New York. Japanese startups have been turning to the United States where institutional investors are more willing to bet on innovative technologies.
BUSINESS / Companies
Apr 10, 2024
New York Stock Exchange trying to get Japanese companies to list in the U.S.
South Korean, Indonesian and Singaporean companies from across various sectors are also looking to list in the U.S..
Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group, speaks during the SoftBank World event in Tokyo in October.
BUSINESS / Tech
Feb 17, 2024
Masayoshi Son aims to launch a $100 billion AI chip venture
The SoftBank Group founder is looking to create a chip venture to compete with Nvidia and supply semiconductors essential for AI.
SoftBank Group booked a profit for the December quarter after four straight quarters of losses.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 8, 2024
SoftBank swings to profit lifted by T-Mobile windfall
SoftBank recorded its first profit after four straight quarters of losses, backed by a rebound of the Vision Fund and gains from T-Mobile shares.
Fujitsu apologized for its role in the wrongful conviction of more than 900 subpostmasters in the U.K. who used its accounting software.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 1, 2024
Fujitsu promises better quality control after U.K. scandal
The Tokyo-based technology company is the subject of an inquiry into a glitch in its Horizon accounting software used by the U.K. Post Office.
Keisuke Honda is joining an inflow of investment in Japan’s long-neglected startup scene.
BUSINESS
Jan 20, 2024
Retired soccer star Honda sets up $100 million Japan startup fund
In a country where celebrities shy away from speaking about their money or investments, the former AC Milan midfielder faces little competition from other sports stars.
As Kura has grown, so has the hype, with diners sometimes enduring seven-hour waits to try its automated sushi-serving machines and dishes under plastic domes brought to the table on a revolving belt.
BUSINESS / Companies
Jan 13, 2024
Kura Sushi must live up to high hopes after wowing Wall Street
Kura shares have surged more than sixfold since their 2019 debut, climbing from an initial public offering price of $14 to $88.55.
Takahito Tokita, chief executive officer at Fujitsu, speaks during an interview at the company's headquarters in Tokyo on Wednesday.
BUSINESS / Companies
Dec 22, 2023
Fujitsu speeds aircon deal as it aims for ¥700 billion boost from AI
The urgency to close the deal rises amid growing geopolitical and economic uncertainty.
Christian Sinding, chief executive officer of EQT, in Tokyo in September
BUSINESS / Companies
Nov 28, 2023
Private equity giant EQT buys stake in Japanese startup HRBrain
The purchase marks a rare attempt by a global private equity giant to boost returns through young enterprises in the Asian country.
SoftBank Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son. Son's trust in his own intuition may have made him unwilling to heed red flags and opposition from his advisers regarding investments in WeWork.
BUSINESS / Companies
Nov 8, 2023
WeWork saga cost Masayoshi Son $11.5 billion and his credibility
WeWork's bankruptcy filing caps a yearslong saga that revealed breathtaking flaws in the Japanese billionaire's investment style.
Kioxia Holdings has approached Japan Investment Corp. about making a capital infusion to support its merger with Western Digital and strengthen the combined company’s financial base, according to people familiar with the matter.
BUSINESS
Oct 20, 2023
Kioxia has approached JIC to back Western Digital deal: sources
Kioxia’s lenders are working toward submitting a commitment letter as soon as possible to help facilitate the agreement.
The PayPay app now seeks to keep its pace of double-digit growth with help from other SoftBank portfolio companies.
BUSINESS / Tech
Oct 5, 2023
SoftBank’s PayPay app showcases Masayoshi Son’s clout in Japan
Seen to be next in SoftBank’s initial public offering pipeline, the startup now holds two-thirds’ share in QR-code payments in Japan.
Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group, speaks during the SoftBank World event in Tokyo on Wednesday.
BUSINESS / Companies
Oct 4, 2023
SoftBank’s Son tells Japan: Adopt AI or get left behind again
Japan, which largely missed the initial wave of growth from the internet, can’t afford to lose another three decades, SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said.
A year of restraint in investments has helped SoftBank regain its financial footing, accumulating a cash pile of almost ¥6 trillion.
BUSINESS / Companies
Aug 9, 2023
SoftBank begins making investments again but ‘timidly with fear’
A year of restraint in investments has helped SoftBank regain its financial footing, accumulating a cash pile of almost ¥6 trillion.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / Companies
Jun 22, 2023
Elevator-maker showcases growing shareholder activism in Japan
Fujitec shareholders rejected a raft of proposals from ousted chairman Takakazu Uchiyama to overhaul the board during Wednesday's annual shareholders meeting, a Fujitec spokesperson said.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Jun 21, 2023
SoftBank’s Son goes back on offense to cement his tech legacy
The billionaire is ending years of relative dormancy after his Vision Fund, the world’s largest pool of tech capital, racked up billions of dollars of losses.

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