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Apple may invest in SoftBank's $100 billion tech fund

Apple has reportedly held talks with the Japanese telecommunications giant about investing in what may be one of the world's biggest tech funds.


Apple is said to have discussed investing up to a $1 billion in a new tech fund.

Chesnot, Getty Images

Apple may be considering an investment in a tech fund from Japan's SoftBank Group, which is hoping to raise $100 billion. That would make it one of the world's biggest tech funds.

If Apple signs on, the fund would count the world's most valuable company among its investors.

Apple is said to have talked about contributing up to $1 billion, according to a Wall Street Journal report Monday citing unnamed sources. The report said "nothing has been finalized."

The Japanese telecommunications giant, which owns Sprint, hopes to launch the fund next year. The SoftBank Vision Fund will focus on emerging technologies, the Journal said. Earlier this year, the company bought chip designer ARM for about $32 billion. The deal was part of SoftBank's further push into the so-called internet of things, the idea of connecting more devices and objects to the web.

In May, Apple invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-sharing company Didi Chuxing.

Neither Apple nor Softbank immediately responded to a request for comment.

Last week, President-elect Donald Trump took credit for an announcement by SoftBank that it plans to invest $50 billion in the US. After meeting with CEO Masayoshi "Masa" Son, Trump tweeted "Masa said he would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!" The CEO didn't confirm the claim, saying he only met with Trump to congratulate him on winning the election, according to CBS News. Son told the Journal that the money would come from the $100 billion fund, which was announced in October.

First published December 12, 1:49 p.m. PT.
Update, 2:25 p.m. PT: Added details about Trump meeting with SoftBank's CEO last week.