Son of SoftBank to Invest $4.6 Bil. in Korea for Next 10 Years

Son Jeong-ui (or Masayoshi Son), chairman of SoftBank in Japan, will invest up to 5 trillion won (US$4.55 billion) in Korea for the next ten years. He is reportedly interested in making a large-scale investment in non-memory semiconductor chips so that he could propose a partnership model between Korea and Japan in the Internet-of-Things area.

Mr. Son discussed his plans with President Park Geun-hye at Cheongwadae (Presidential Palace) on September 30. In the meeting, the President said, “Given Korea is the world’s No. 1 country in information technology and sophisticated manufacturing prowess, there would be a lot of synergies if SoftBank invests in new areas such as artificial intelligence, smart robot, and Internet-of-Things.” To this, Mr. Son responded, “Within ten years from now, my company plans to spend 5 trillion won in Korea in those areas.”

President Park also remarked ARM Holdings, the Britain-based semiconductor and software design company, for which SoftBank acquired a controlling stake, “A semiconductor fund of 200 billion won is being formed in Korea” and proposed a possible tie-up with SoftBank. I will look into a possibility of investing in firms to which the Korean semiconductor fund invests.”

He also promised that his company would expand internship programs for Korea’s young men and women by taking advantage of its global network.