“Apple confirmed on Tuesday that it is investing $1 billion in a massive new technology fund from Japan’s SoftBank Group, which has recently drawn the attention of the president-elect,” Seth Fiegerman reports for CNN. “‘We’ve worked closely with SoftBank for many years and we believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple,’ Josh Rosenstock, a spokesman for Apple, said in a statement provided to CNNMoney.”

“Softbank first announced plans in October to launch a $100 billion fund dedicated to “investments in the technology sector globally.” Softbank committed $25 billion to the fund and Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund invested $45 billion,” Fiegerman reports. “The fund gained greater attention, however, when SoftBank’s billionaire founder Masayoshi Son visited Trump Tower and pledged to invest $50 billion in the U.S. with the goal of creating 50,000 new jobs.”

“The SoftBank founder framed the large U.S. investment as being spurred by optimism about the impact of Trump’s promises to ease regulations on businesses. But it could also help him curry favor with a new administration if he needs help with regulatory issues, including a merger between SoftBank’s Sprint and T-Mobile,” Fiegerman reports. “Apple declined to comment on whether its investment would specifically go toward Masayoshi’s pledge to create U.S. jobs — a move that could potentially ease Trump’s tensions with Apple over outsourcing manufacturing work to China.”

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“Apple’s participation in the fund reflects a shift in its investment strategy. Last year, Apple invested $1 billion in Didi Chuxing Technology Co., China’s homegrown ride-sharing competitor to Uber Technologies Inc.,” Tripp Mickle reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Apple and SoftBank have business ties stretching back nearly a decade. In 2008, the companies struck a deal to make SoftBank the exclusive iPhone seller in Japan. The partnership drove record sales, helping make SoftBank Japan’s third-largest cellular carrier by 2011.”

“Mr. Son is close to Terry Gou, the head of Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group, which manufactures most iPhones. During a December meeting with President-elect Donald Trump, Mr. Son was photographed carrying a paper with Foxconn’s logo,” Mickle reports. “Foxconn said after the meeting that it was in talks to expand its operations in the U.S.”

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son

 
“Apple has more than $237.6 billion in cash on hand, according to its annual report,” Mickle reports. “More than 90% of that money, $216 billion, is held abroad because ​Apple would have to pay additional tax to bring it to the U.S.”

MacDailyNews Take: Not for long.

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MacDailyNews Take: The ties between Apple and SoftBank grow even closer.

SEE ALSO:
Apple in talks to invest $1 billion in SoftBank tech fund – December 13, 2016
Softbank to invest $50 billion in the U.S., create 50,000 new tech jobs after meeting with President-elect Trump – and Apple supplier Foxconn is in on the deal – December 6, 2016
President-elect Trump invites tech leaders to roundtable in Manhattan next week – December 6, 2016
President-elect Trump meets with Apple board member Al Gore at Trump Tower in Manhattan – December 5, 2016
President-elect Trump tells Apple CEO Tim Cook that he’d like to see Apple make products in the U.S. – November 23, 2016
President-elect Trump says Apple CEO Tim Cook called him after election victory – November 22, 2016
Apple could make iPhones in the U.S.A. under President Trump, sources say – November 17, 2016
Japan’s Softbank just became one of Apple’s most important suppliers – July 18, 2016