SoftBank’s Multinational conglomerate company

SoftBank’s Multinational conglomerate company: The Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company SoftBank Group Corp, focuses on investment management and has its headquarters in Minato, Tokyo. The Group primarily invests in businesses involved in the financial, energy, and technology sectors. It also manages the Vision Fund, the largest venture capital fund in the world with a technology focus, with over $100 billion in funding. Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds are among the investors in funds.

Masayoshi Son, the company’s founder and largest shareholder, is renowned for his visionary leadership.

It is active in a variety of industries, including broadband, fixed-line telecommunications, e-commerce, information technology, finance, media, and marketing. With 45.621 million subscribers as of March 2021, SoftBank Corporation, its spun-off affiliate and former flagship company, is the third-largest wireless carrier in Japan.

The flag of the Kaientai, a naval trading firm established in 1865, close to the end of the Tokugawa shogunate, by Sakamoto Ryma, served as the inspiration for SoftBank’s logo

Despite not belonging to any traditional keiretsu, SoftBank maintains close ties with Mizuho Financial Group, its main lender.

SoftBank History

In September 1981, Masayoshi Son, who was 24 at the time, established SoftBank as a SOFTBANK Corp., initially operating as a software distributor. In May 1982, the company launched the Oh! PC and Oh! MZ magazines, which were about NEC and Sharp computers, respectively. This was their entry into the publishing industry. By 1989, 140,000 copies of Oh!PC were in circulation.  It would eventually grow to be the biggest publisher of trade publications and computer and technology shows in Japan.

The business went public in 1994, valued at $3 billion.

SoftBank and US-based Ziff Davis Publishing reached a $2.1 billion deal in September 1995.

SoftBank Mobile

On March 17, 2006, Vodafone Group announced that it had reached an agreement with SoftBank to sell Vodafone Japan for about US$15.1 billion. The organization changed its name to “SoftBank Mobile Corp.” on May 18, 2006, with effect on October 1.

Later in 2008, SoftBank Mobile introduced the iPhone (3G) to Japan after announcing a partnership with Apple on June 4.

Up until the 2011 release of the iPhone 4S, au by KDDI was the only carrier authorized to sell the iPhone in Japan.

J-PHONE

Japan Telecom was founded in 1984, marking the beginning of SoftBank‘s mobile communications division. The mobile phone division of the Digital Phone Group (DPG, three local companies) was established in 1994, and the DGP/Digital TU-KA Group merger gave rise to J-PHONE Co., Ltd. (J-) in 1999. (DTG, six local companies, not to be confused with TU-KA). 45.1% of the stock was owned by Japan Telecom.

With the addition of new features and services like SkyWalker for PDC, SkyMelody ringtone download, Sha-Mail picture mail following the release of camera phones made by SHARP, the mobile multimedia data service J-Sky modeled after NTT DoCoMo’s i-mode, and advanced Java services based on JSCL that were modeled after NTT DoCoMo’s DoJa-based i-appli, J-PHONE experienced steady growth for a decade.

Vodafone

The British mobile phone company Vodafone increased its stake in Japan Telecom and J-Phone to 66.7% and 69.7%, respectively, in October 2001. The company name and service brand changed to Vodafone on October 1, 2003, and the division adopted the name Vodafone K.K. or Vodafone Japan.

However, NTT DoCoMo gained 184,400 customers in January 2005, while Au by KDDI gained 163,700, Willcom gained 35,000, and Vodafone Japan lost 58,700 and 53,200 customers, respectively. Vodafone’s 3G service only had 527,300 subscribers as of February 2005, compared to DoCoMo’s FOMA 3G service’s 10 million subscribers and KDDI’s over 17 million subscribers. Due to Vodafone’s decreased investment in 3G services in Japan in 2002–2003 and the fact that handsets did not perfectly suit Japanese customers’ needs and preferences, Vodafone 3G was unable to gain subscribers. 15.1 million people were Vodafone Japan customers as of the end of February 2005. The number of subscribers had decreased below 15 million by the end of October 2005. NTT DoCoMo added 1.65 million customers during the same time period, while KDDI/AU added 1.82 million. Only 4.8% of the 3G market in Japan was held by Vodafone-Japan.

Vodafone introduced the WAP-based Vodafone live! in other markets by changing the name of its multimedia data services from J-Sky to Vodafone live! and using J-guiding Sky’s principles, technologies, and business models. In Japan, Vodafone live! had 12.907 million subscribers as of the end of February 2005. The number of Vodafone live! subscribers had decreased by 138,000 by the end of October 2005.

The sale of Vodafone Japan to SoftBank was first brought up by Vodafone in March 2006. Vodafone failed to please its customers. Devices lacked competitive features and had user interfaces that deviated excessively from the Japanese interface.

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