NEW YORK – Apple Inc. and SoftBank Group have held talks about Apple investing up to $1 billion in a $100 billion fund being raised by SoftBank, U.S. media reported Monday.
By investing in potentially the world’s largest technology fund, Apple hopes to gain insight into emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.
Apple and the Japanese telecommunications and internet services giant have formed business ties in the past. SoftBank was the first iPhone seller in the Japanese market, and the envisioned investment would further strengthen ties.
SoftBank is investing at least $25 billion in the SoftBank Vision Fund, to be launched next year, and is finalizing an investment of up to $45 billion from Saudi Arabia’s government fund, according to the paper.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son told reporters last week after meeting with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that he plans to invest $50 billion of the fund in the United States and create 50,000 new jobs.