US President-elect Donald Trump has revealed that SoftBank Group plans to invest $50bn (£39.48) in the country and create 50,000 new jobs. The Japanese telecom and internet giant's plans were revealed by Trump on Tuesday (6 December) in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan.
Following a 45 minute meeting between the incoming president and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, Trump said, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is Masa [Son] from SoftBank of Japan, and he's just agreed to invest $50 billion in the United States and [create] 50,000 jobs."
Son confirmed the same and added that the plan was to "invest into new startup companies in the United States".
While both Trump and the Japanese billionaire did not provide a timeline for the planned investment, the former went onto take credit for SoftBank's decision. "He would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!" the president-elect tweeted later in the day.
The SoftBank CEO was cited by the Wall Street Journal as saying that this $50bn would come from a new $100bn fund that it was in the process of setting up. The CEO was referring to the new tech fund it was setting up with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF).
The Japanese company had in October announced that it would invest at least $25bn over the next five years into this fund. On the other hand, it had also said that the PIF would invest up to $45bn over the same period, with the remaining amount expected to come from a few large global investors.
According to Reuters, the investment news has revived speculation that SoftBank would give another try at merging US telecommunications giant Sprint, in which it holds a majority stake with peer T-Mobile. SoftBank had earlier failed in its attempt to merge the two companies amid pressure from US regulators. However, the speculation gained strength after Son said that he expected a lot of "deregulation" under Trump's presidency.
This is not the first time that the SoftBank CEO has approached a national leader directly to talk business. He had earlier met South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss similar investment plans in their respective countries. During the meetings, Son had pledged to invest billions in companies operating in those nations.