Softbank cuts deals amid China clamp

Finance | Bloomberg 23 Sep 2021

SoftBank, one of the biggest foreign investors in China, plans to take a more cautious approach to back the country's startups and will continue to cut deals, according to chief operating officer Marcelo Claure.

The Japanese conglomerate's stock came under pressure in recent weeks as a widening crackdown by Beijing regulators on China's tech sector battered the value of some of its biggest investments, including Alibaba (9988).

Now the debt crisis at troubled developer China Evergrande (3333) is threatening broader fallout in China.

Claure said in an interview: "By no means are we going to abandon China or anything like that. We're just going to be more cautious."

Alibaba, SoftBank's most valuable investment, is down more than 35 percent this year.

Ride-hailing giant Didi Global has plunged 46 percent since its listing in the United States in late June. SoftBank owned roughly 20 percent of Didi, the single biggest investment in its Vision Fund portfolio. And Chinese online property platform KE Holdings has lost more than 70 percent this year.

SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son in August, added that China has accounted for 23 percent of its portfolio in total, but only about 11 percent of new investments.

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