SoftBank’s Z Holdings to invest $4.7 billion in technology over five years


SoftBank’s internet subsidiary Z Holdings has outlined plans to invest $4.7 billion in technology over five years with a focus on artificial intelligence.

The announcement sequels the merger of its internet business Yahoo Japan with chat app operator Line, creating a $30 billion internet heavyweight.

Z Holdings is targeting sales of 2 trillion yen and operating income of 225 billion yen in three years, the firm revealed in a statement.

Following a complex transaction, two thirds of Z Holdings shares will be owned by a new holding company, A Holdings, owned 50:50 by SoftBank Corp and South Korea’s Naver Corp.

Z Holdings said it was looking to integrate Line’s QR code payment service Line Pay into peer PayPay, which SoftBank has promoted aggressively to attract consumers away from cash, in April 2022.

Z Holdings retains its listed status, one of a number of such firms among SoftBank’s domestic holdings, despite calls for Japanese firms to unwind such structures.

Z Holdings also controls online fashion retailer Zozo Inc and office supplies firm Askul Corp.