​Pizza Hut Asia to trial SoftBank’s Pepper for MasterCard payments

JapanZDNet — MasterCard has unveiled the first commerce application for Softbank’s Pepper, with the humanoid robot to be trialled by Pizza Hut Restaurants Asia for order taking and payments processing. To use Pepper, a customer will need to pair their MasterPass account either by tapping the Pepper icon within the wallet or by scanning a QR code on the tablet that the robot holds.


Cloud computing offer targets Japan with branded Alibaba Cloud

JapanRC Wireless — SoftBank and Chinese online and mobile commerce company Alibaba Group formed a joint venture dubbed SB Cloud Corporation to provide cloud computing services in Japan. The company said it will use technologies and solutions from Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group.


Softbank, Alibaba Group form cloud JV

JapanTelecom Asia — Alibaba Group has teamed up with its largest shareholder Softbank Group to provide public cloud computing services in Japan. The two announced on Friday that they have formed a joint venture, called SB Cloud Corp, to deliver Alibaba Cloud’s technology and services for Japanese enterprises, ranging from startups to multinational companies.


Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) Teams Up With Softbank for A Cloud Venture in Japan

JapanMarket Exclusive — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) is expanding its cloud-computing footprint into Japan as it continues to pursue new opportunities for growth. The e-commerce giant has teamed up with its largest shareholder Softbank for the formation of a joint venture that will pursue new cloud clients in the country.


Alibaba and SoftBank form SB Cloud, a cloud-computing joint venture in Japan

JapanVenture Beat — Chinese Internet behemoth Alibaba has teamed up with Japanese telecom giant SoftBank to form a cloud-computing joint venture (JV) in Japan. SoftBank’s parent company, SoftBank Group, is an existing shareholder in Alibaba, so the deal isn’t exactly a bolt out of the blue. SB Cloud Corporation, or “SB Cloud,” as it will be known, will combine the collective smarts from the two technology titans, and the joint venture will lead to a new data center that provides “competitive and enhanced public cloud computing services” from Alibaba Cloud, according to a press release.


Softbank’s annual profit drops 27% on Sprint woes

JapanJapan Today — Japanese Internet company SoftBank Group Corp, which is struggling to turn around Sprint in the U.S., reported Tuesday a 49% plunge in profit for the January-March quarter to 45.2 billion yen ($415 million), compared to the same period the previous year.


Alibaba and SoftBank launch joint-venture cloud company in Japan

JapanZDNet — Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba and Japanese telecommunications provider SoftBank have formed a joint-venture cloud services company called SB Cloud to bring Alibaba Cloud’s technology and solutions to Japanese businesses. SB Cloud will be headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo, and will open a datacentre to offer Alibaba’s cloud security services, data storage, processing solutions, and middleware offerings.


Alibaba, SoftBank Team Up for Cloud Computing Service in Japan

JapanBloomberg — Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. teamed with its largest shareholder SoftBank Group Corp. to form a cloud computing service venture targeting Japanese customers, as the Chinese e-commerce giant expands one of its fastest growing businesses.


SoftBank backs a mobile utility app made by a Korean expat in India

IndiaTech in Asia — Mobile utility apps have flooded India over the past couple of years, in tandem with the boom in smartphone usage. These are mostly from Chinese firms like APUS and Cheetah. There’s also the caller ID app Truecaller made in Sweden but hugely popular in India. Now there’s an app made in India in the mix – True Balance, which today announced series A investment from SoftBank Ventures Korea.


Japan telecom Softbank to reorganize into 2 subsidiaries

JapanTimes of India — TOKYO: Japanese telecommunications and internet company SoftBank Group says it is reorganizing into two new 100%-owned subsidiaries, with its global investment business separated from its domestic operations. The company said Monday that the move is aimed at making its two key business areas “future growth drivers,” with the transfer to be completed by December. The move needs shareholders’ approval.


SoftBank taps Brocade on new IP network

JapanTelecom Asia — Japanese telecoms operator Softbank is streamlining its data center operations by deploying Brocade VDX switches in its group-wide common service infrastructure network. Softbank said the new infrastructure will greatly reduce complexity and the cost of network operations within its data centers, giving the company greater agility to pursue new growth opportunities in OTT services.


Japanese telecom giant SoftBank plans its biggest buyback ever

JapanTimes of India — TOKYO: Japanese telecoms conglomerate SoftBank Group said on Monday it will purchase up to 500 billion yen ($4.4 billion) worth or as much as 14.2% of its own shares, in its biggest buyback to date. The shares have fallen around 28% since the start of the year.


Japan internet company SoftBank’s profit suffers over Sprint

JapanTOKYO: Japanese telecommunications and internet company SoftBank is reporting an 88% drop in fiscal third quarter profit as it struggles to turn around its US carrier Sprint. SoftBank Group reported on Wednesday a 2.3 billion yen ($20 billion) October-December profit, down from 18.7 billion yen the same period a year earlier.


SoftBank to hit the streets with US traffic analysis venture

JapanNikkei — TOKYO: SoftBank has partnered with an American startup that performs big-data analysis on city traffic, aiming to provide efficient traffic systems to Japanese bus, taxi and transportation companies.  Urban Engines, founded by Google researchers and a Stanford University professor, counts the search engine giant as an investor. Its strength is creating software and systems to analyze masses of traffic-related data.

Softbank streamlines data center operations, ups agility with Brocade switches

JapanData Center News — Japanese telco Softbank has deployed Brocade VDX switches to provide Ethernet fabrics, streamlining its data center operations and increasing business agility. The new infrastructure is designed to reduce complexity and the cost of network operations within SoftBank’s data centers, providing the company with more agility to pursue new growth opportunities with over-the-top services.


Foxconn ramps up Pepper robot output in China, say reports

TaiwanDigi Times — Japan-based Softbank has announced it will begin selling its Pepper robots at 100 physical Softbank Shops on January 28, indicating that its production partner Foxconn Electronics has ramped up production, according to Japan-based media reports.


Softbank set to invest over $10b in India

JapanTelecom Asia — Japan’s Softbank has invested over $2 billion in India over the past year and plans to accelerate its pace of investment in the burgeoning market, according to CEO Masayoshi Son. According to Son the company is on track to invest more than the $10 billion it had planned to pour into the market over the next 10 years, the Wall Street Journal reported.


Softbank to introduce low-cost mobile plan

JapanTelecom Asia — Japan’s Softbank has become the nation’s first operator to announce its plans to comply with the government’s call to reduce mobile prices for customers who do not generate significant voice or data traffic. The operator will introduce a low-cost option for light users starting in April at the earliest, the Japan Times reported.


Robot production a key of Foxconn development strategy, says chairman

TaiwanDigi Times — The production of robot products will be the major focus of the Foxconn Group’s development strategy, according to the group’s chairman Terry Gou. In addition to importing robots to China, Foxconn has also partnered with Japan’s Softbank and China’s Alibaba to push and market robot services such as Pepper worldwide.


SoftBank internal data suggests smartphone woes worse than reported

IndiaTimes of India — TOKYO: New smartphone subscriptions for SoftBank Group plunged 35% at its own stores in Japan’s most populous region in the last business year, according to internal data that paints a far gloomier picture than its published financial results. The data, from a July presentation for distributors and seen by Reuters, highlights the depth of SoftBank’s pain as intensifying competition hits its domestic mobile unit, which is responsible for the bulk of its operating profit.


KT to Run World’s Largest Submarine Cable Network

KoreaSeoul — The purpose of the NCP Project is to form a submarine cable network with a data processing capacity of about 80 Tbps and a total length of approximately 14,000 km across the Pacific Ocean. The total capacity under KT’s control is scheduled to be increased to 118.4 Tbps, including 38.4 Tbps on the side of the Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) submarine cable connecting Southeast Asia to Northeast Asia.


SoftBank bets big on fintech with $1B for student loan refinancing startup

JapanTech In Asia — Japanese telco SoftBank just made a big bet on the booming financial tech (fintech) industry. SoftBank yesterday announced a US$1 billion round of funding for San Francisco-based SoFi, an online service that allows America’s debt-laden students to refinance their federal or private student loans.


Snapdeal raises $500 million from Alibaba, Foxconn, SoftBank

IndiaTimes of India — NEW DELHI: Online marketplace Snapdeal has raised $500 million (about Rs 3,269 crore) in a fresh round of funding from a clutch of investors led by Alibaba Group, Foxconn and SoftBank. Existing investors Temasek, BlackRock, Myriad and Premji Invest also participated in the latest funding round, Snapdeal said in a statement. The company had raised more than $1 billion, from investors including Softbank ($627 million) and iconic business leader Ratan Tata (personal investment).


Malaysia’s U Mobile teams with ZTE on 5G R&D

MalaysiaTelecom Asia — Telecom equipment vendors have taken more strides towards delivering 5G networks, with the 5GNOW project reaching completion and ZTE announcing an R&D partnership in Malaysia. ZTE has announced it has entered an R&D partnership with Malaysia’s U Mobile focused on the development of pre-5G and 5G mobile broadband technologies.


Snapdeal to raise $500 million from Alibaba, SoftBank, Foxconn: Sources

IndiaTimes of India — BEIJING: Indian online marketplace Snapdeal is set to raise $500 million from a group of foreign investors including China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, three people familiar with the matter said on Monday. One of the people said the deal could be finalized within a few days at the earliest but may also take weeks.


SoftBank CEO: the average person will have 1,000 internet-connected devices by 2040

JapanTech in Asia — SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has high hopes for the burgeoning internet-of-things movement. “Each individual, on average, will have more than 1,000 devices that are connected to the internet by 2040,” he told the audience at SoftBank World yesterday. “There will be no devices that aren’t connected.”


ZTE’s Pre5G technology catches Softbank’s eyes

JapanWant China Times — ZTE Corporation, China’s leading telecom equipment producer, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese telecom giant SoftBank to enhance their research and development based on ZTE’s Pre5G and Massive MIMO (multiple input multiple output) technology, reports Ccstock.cn, the online version of the Chinese-language Securities Daily.


Softbank director: 2017 a “turning point” for 5G

JapanTelecom Asia — In a keynote speech at the ZTE Global Analyst Conference Monday, Hidebumi Kitahara, senior director for Softbank, described 2017 as a “turning point” for 5G. In a media question-and-answer session later, Kitahara emphasized that while Softbank is moving towards 5G, it’s a process and not an exact science. “As for 2017 being a ‘turning point’, it depends on the definition,” he said. “It’s not like we have all the components. But we are doing a step-by-step migration and 2017 is when it will start to turn.”


What Interests Alibaba And Foxconn About SoftBank’s Robot Subsidiary?

JapanChina Tech News — Alibaba Group announced that the company and Taiwan-based Foxconn have made strategic investments of JPY14.5 billion, which is about CNY732 million, into SoftBank Robotics Holdings Corporation. Under the agreement signed by the three parties, Alibaba and Foxconn will hold a 20% stake in SBRH, respectively; while SoftBank will own the remaining 60%.


SoftBank, Foxconn mulls electronic manufacturing joint venture for India

IndiaNEW DELHI: Japan-based telecom and Internet major SoftBank Corp and Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group are in talks to form a joint venture for electronics manufacturing in India, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make-in-India’ push helps the country to become an attractive alternative to China as a manufacturing base.  Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer and maker of the iconic iPhones, will lead the new joint venture while SoftBank will support the former for the same, Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank told ET.