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October 7, 2020 34 min

This week's episode is a deep dive on a company that's transforming not just Asia, but arguably the entire global tech sector - Japan's Softbank. 

Even if you've never heard of Softbank, you'll have heard of the companies it's invested in - from Alibaba to Uber to Tiktok owner Bytedance - and more recently, and disastrously, US property firm WeWork. 

Phred Dvorak, a special correspondent with the Wall Street Journal in Tokyo, joins us to discuss the rise of the company and its charismatic founder, Masayoshi Son. Then we step back and look at Softbank's impact on the world with Steve Kaplan, professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. 

Like so many other companies Softbank has suffered big losses as the global economy reels from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. But with its $100 billion Vision Fund, set up three years ago with the backing of the Saudi Arabian government, Softbank looks set to remain a major force for years to come. 

As ever, let us know what you think - leave a review, or get in touch with us directly at feedback@asiamatterspod.com. And there's plenty more details and content on our website at asiamatterspod.com.

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