SoftBank will cut investments in Chinese startups as it awaits more regulatory clarity

Masayoshi Son, chairman and chief executive officer of SoftBank Group Corp., speaks during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, on Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2019.

SoftBank Group will cut investments in Chinese startups pending further regulatory clarity, company founder Masayoshi Son on Tuesday.

“Until the situation is clearer we want to wait and see,” Son said at a news conference, as reported by Reuters. “In a year or two, I believe new rules will create a new situation.”

Chinese startups currently up around 23% of its Vision Fund’s portfolio, SoftBank’s tech-focused venture capital fund that was founded in 2017. But since April, only 11% of new investments have been directed into China, reflecting the firm’s decision to pare back.

Still, SoftBank is quite exposed to China at large. Alibaba, the online shopping behemoth, comprises 39% of its asset value, according to the Financial Times. Son did note that Softbank’s overall investment portfolio in China is still profitable.

Despite Beijing’s ongoing regulatory crackdown on private companies from technology to education, Son said he remains bullish on China’s long-term growth prospects.

The Japanese conglomerate reported a 39% year-over-year drop in net income on Tuesday.

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