Japan’s SoftBank Sinks into Investment Losses in China – The Journal



SoftBank Group claims to have sunk into the red for the July-September period, penalized by losses on its investments in China

TOKYO (AP) – SoftBank Group Corp. fell into the red for the July-September period, dragged down by losses on its investments in China, the Japanese tech conglomerate said on Monday.

SoftBank reported a loss of 397.9 billion yen ($ 3.5 billion) for the second fiscal quarter, compared to a profit of 627 billion yen recorded in the same period the previous year.

Quarterly sales increased 11% to 1.5 trillion yen ($ 13 billion).

Tokyo-based SoftBank said its investment portfolio called Vision Fund suffered losses, including the value of its stake in South Korean online retailer Coupang.

But he said he made gains on his shares in DoorDash, a San Francisco-based online food ordering service.

SoftBank said the recent Chinese crackdown on the tech sector has weighed on Chinese stock prices.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund suffered a loss of 1,000 billion yen ($ 9 billion) in the July-September quarter, according to its chief executive, Masayoshi Son.

Son, who founded the company, admitted that the latest losses contrasted sharply with the booming results reported for the previous year.

“We headed straight for a blizzard in the middle of winter,” Son told reporters, adding he would not be looking for excuses.

He said an important factor was the sharp drop in the share price of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, of which SoftBank is a shareholder.

But he stressed that SoftBank’s main business was to switch to the Vision Fund and become less dependent on Alibaba’s performance. However, Chinese investments from Vision Fund also suffered.

Son said Vision Fund’s investments as a whole are gaining in value. Its portfolio is constantly evolving. It was once owned by US mobile phone company Sprint, but Sprint merged with T-Mobile, in which SoftBank remains an investor.

SoftBank has under its wing a Japanese mobile operator which was the first to bring the iPhone to the Japanese market.

He also invested in US office-sharing company WeWork, a move critics called a mistake, but Son said his performance was recovering.

Investments in US chip company Arm and ride-sharing service Uber are examples that are doing relatively well.

“I think Vision Fund is producing results,” Son said.

He said he always sees promises, showing a video of a small green seedling growing in the snow.

“While some of the eggs our goose laid have just died, the other golden eggs are glowing with splendor,” he said.


Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

FILE – People walk in front of the SoftBank store in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district, January 20, 2020. SoftBank Group Corp. sunk in red ink for the July-September period, dragged down by losses on its investments in China, Japanese tech said the conglomerate on Monday, November 8, 2021. (AP Photo / Eugene Hoshiko, File)



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