SoftBank announced its intent to list its QR code payment app PayPay for an initial public offering (IPO). Junichi Miyakawa, the CEO of SoftBank’s wireless unit, confirmed this fact on Tuesday.
Speaking at an earnings briefing, Miyakawa said, “We want PayPay to IPO in the future so they will become independent… I don’t think that would be too far out.” Miyakawa took the position of SoftBank CEO last month.
Japanese telecommunications conglomerate SoftBank launched PayPay in October 2018. Almost 40 million users today use this app – a considerable amount given its relatively recent release. SoftBank encourages users to download and use the app through the use of aggressive rebates. In addition, many Japanese consumers no longer use cash for purchases. The launch of PayPay allowed SoftBank to capitalize on this trend.
PayPay’s gross merchandise volume, which measures transaction volume, reached a total of 3.2 trillion yen (RM121.3 billion) in the financial year which ended in March. Unlike those of most other countries, Japan’s fiscal year runs from April to March of the next year.
Miyakawa also mentioned that SoftBank may consider listing SB Payment Service for an IPO. SB Payment Service is a subsidiary of SoftBank. It also operates in the wireless market. These moves would help SoftBank convince investors of its ability to develop and grow new business lines. The emphasis on the wireless market is especially important because the market is maturing rapidly.
Another point which Miyakawa stated was that of SoftBank’s focus on autonomous driving. In 2018, SoftBank announced the development of an autonomous driving platform with Toyota. SoftBank and Toyota are currently business partners, largely due to this venture.
In addition, SoftBank owns a stake in Cruise, a US-based self-driving car company. The owner of Cruise is General Motors Co. SoftBank also provided funds for the autonomous driving business of Chinese vehicle-for-hire company Didi Chuxing Technology Co.
SoftBank also has plans to expand across Asia. It intends to do so by using the services of chat app operator Line. In March, Line completed a merger with Z Holdings. Z Holdings is SoftBank’s Internet subsidiary. It came about as the result of a joint venture between US Internet company Yahoo! and SoftBank.
SoftBank will also continue pursuing its ongoing “Beyond Japan” strategy. It announced that it will be taking a 23% stake in Axiata Group’s data analytics arm.
SoftBank is one of Japan’s three primary wireless carriers. It owns a national market share of around 25%. SoftBank’s market share in Japan ranks third behind those of NTT Docomo Inc. and KDDI Corporation.
12th May 2021 15:40
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