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Foxconn or Foxgone? Tariffs, Wisconsin and iPhone fires

First some notes on SoftBank’s rumored expansion into China and its weird fund math, then Foxconn, and then quick notes on tech depression, Huawei, and more.
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SoftBank has fund visions (and a Vision Fund) for China? That, and more money


Kane Wu at Reuters reported over night that SoftBank is looking to open an office and hire an investment team in China, which Wu says will be based in Shanghai. That’s following the fund’s recent global expansion with new targeted offices in Saudi Arabia and India.
When I saw this, I sort of did a double-take: SoftBank doesn’t have a presence in China? The fund has reportedly been seeking investments in some of China’s leading unicorn stars, including controversial face recognition startup SenseTime, and leading edtech startup Zuoyebang (???, which literally translates as “school assignment help”). (Hat tips to Selina Wang at Bloomberg, who seems to just be sitting in Vision Fund partner meetings). And of course, it dumped a pretty penny into WeWork China, where it was part of a $500 million syndicate, and is a huge investor in Didi.
It’s sort of obvious that SoftBank would expand to China. What will be interesting though is to see how the fund structures itself long-term. As far as I know, the Vision Fund is a singular “fund” that invests worldwide (send me an email if I am wrong on this count). China has a thicket of regulations on funds and companies, which is one of several reasons we see specifically China-focused vehicles (such as Lightspeed and Lightspeed China or Sequoia and Sequoia China). If the Vision Fund continues to be a unified fund, that would be a notable strategy shift that might be cloned by other trans-Pacific funds.

Aside: SoftBank Vision Fund math is complicated


Foxconn or Foxgone? Tariffs, Wisconsin and iPhone fires
Rajeev Misra, board director of SoftBank Group and CEO of SoftBank Investment Advisors. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
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