Message from Chairman & CEO

Taking our aspiration worldwide

Masayoshi Son  SoftBank Group Representative

2016 marked another major step forward for the SoftBank Group. Our acquisition of UK-based Arm, a long-held aspiration, is an important advance in a world that is moving toward Singularity. Arm-based processors already boast the No. 1 market share for smartphones by an overwhelming margin, and I am confident chips based on value-added Arm architectures meeting next-generation needs will be utilized in devices across all industries and touch all aspects of our daily lives. Arm, with its core technologies for electronic devices, will become even more essential to the SoftBank Group's business strategy and its existence will be core to the Group.

With the full-fledged advent of IoT, we will continue to see explosive growth in the number and types of devices that connect to the Internet, and the volumes of big data generated from these devices will only increase. With the coming of Singularity, I believe we will benefit from new ideas and wisdom that people were previously incapable of thanks to big data and other analytics. At some point I am sure we will see the birth of a “Super-intelligence” that will contribute to humanity. This paradigm shift has only accelerated in recent years as both a worldwide and irreversible trend.

The SoftBank Group has many operating companies already playing important roles in this paradigm shift. Our Japan-based telecommunications carrier SoftBank and US-based telecommunications carrier Sprint have both built high-quality and resilient networks that incorporate leading-edge technologies to provide convenient communication services in Japan and the US, and they will continue to be pillars of the Group's business. In December 2016 we announced an investment in OneWeb, a company that is building a constellation of satellites to provide broadband to people around the world. Combining this communications network with our existing ones will create an unprecedented global broadband network. With this infrastructure in place, I am sure our IoT business will also develop rapidly. Around the world, other innovative businesses in the Group utilizing the latest technologies are also enjoying wide-ranging development. These include the Alibaba Group and other e-commerce businesses in Asia, our smart robotics business as exemplified by Pepper, ride-sharing businesses such as Ola in India and Grab in Southeast Asia and SoFi's FinTech business in the US. Organically connected within an IoT ecosystem, these and other group companies have the potential to create new business models and take major evolutionary steps forward in the days ahead. Also, with the planned establishment of a new investment strategy on a scale that rivals those of current venture funds, we intend to advance our investments in promising technology companies. With these companies contributing to society through their development, we intend to accelerate the Information Revolution.

The SoftBank Group's advantage is that it has outstanding management teams leading their respective businesses under a shared corporate philosophy, “Information Revolution — Happiness for everyone”. We will lead the Information Revolution by utilizing advanced technologies and innovative business models. To continue to be the corporate group needed most by people around the world, we will keep taking on bold challenges and work to transform ourselves.

Masayoshi Son
SoftBank Group Representative
January, 2017