The initial public offering of Arm shares was anticipated by a discussion of the risks associated with the company’s business in China, which accounts for nearly a quarter of its revenue. At the same time, the Arm division created to work in China is almost not controlled by the British holding, but the head of the parent company SoftBank said that Arm China is doing well.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son made these statements in an interview with the broadcaster CNBC, dedicated to the entry of Arm shares into the American stock market. Let’s remember that SoftBank still controls about 90% of Arm shares. At the same time, the British holding Arm itself only owns 5% of Arm China’s shares. In 2018, a controlling stake in Arm’s Chinese arm was sold to a group of local investors, some of which were directly or indirectly controlled by Arm China’s rebellious former CEO, who was difficult to remove from his post. Last year, 47.33% of Arm China’s shares were supposed to come under the control of a SoftBank subsidiary in preparation for the British holding’s initial public offering, but Chinese authorities refused to register this transaction until spring 2023.
All of this background, it must be said, does not prevent the head of SoftBank from declaring that, despite all the geopolitical difficulties of the last few years, Arm China “feels good” and has good potential in both the server and automotive sectors. On the other hand, SoftBank is generally trying to reduce its dependence on China, which has been expressed, among other things, by reducing the number of shares of the Chinese giant Alibaba owned by this Japanese group. As Masayoshi Son admitted this week, the majority of Alibaba shares have now been sold by SoftBank. However, according to CNBC representatives, the decline in SoftBank’s share of Alibaba’s capital was due not so much to the desire to reduce geopolitical risks, but to a general change in the structure of the Japanese concern’s assets.