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Arm China Thriving, CEO Affirms, Despite SoftBank's Masa Son Decreasing China Presence

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Arm China Thriving Despite SoftBank's Reduced China Exposure

Arm Holdings CEO Rene Haas stated in an interview with CNBC that Arm's China subsidiary is "doing well" and has strong potential in data center and automotive applications, despite the geopolitical challenges of recent years. However, SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, who has made significant investments in China through Alibaba, revealed that SoftBank has decreased its exposure in China. This poses a complex situation for Arm, as the company relies on Chinese customers who currently have access to their semiconductor technology and designs.

Arm and SoftBank's Relationship with Arm China

Arm and SoftBank do not directly control their China subsidiaries. In 2018, SoftBank sold a controlling stake in Arm China to a group of Chinese investors. While Arm now only owns around 5% of Arm China, the subsidiary still contributes a significant portion of Arm's fiscal 2023 revenue.

Challenges and Pressures

The relationship between Arm and its China subsidiary may face further pressures in the coming months due to the stringent export controls on high-powered semiconductors implemented by the Biden administration. These restrictions have already impacted companies like Intel and Nvidia. Although Arm does not manufacture its own chips, it sells designs to various chip companies, making it susceptible to the impact of these export controls.

SoftBank's Reduced Exposure and Risks

SoftBank's reduced exposure in China may be attributed more to its own portfolio management rather than concerns specific to China. The company has experienced significant losses with its Vision Fund I and II, although Vision Fund I has since recovered. Additionally, SoftBank's non-public portfolio includes TikTok owner ByteDance, which has faced scrutiny from the U.S. government regarding data collection practices. In conclusion, Arm's China subsidiary continues to thrive despite SoftBank's reduced exposure in China. However, challenges lie ahead due to export controls and the complex relationship between Arm and its China customers. SoftBank's reduced exposure may be driven by internal portfolio considerations rather than solely concerns about China. The evolving landscape of geopolitical and technological factors will shape the future dynamics of Arm and its operations in China.

Conclusion: The Impact of Geopolitical Factors on New Businesses

The situation involving Arm's China subsidiary and SoftBank's reduced exposure in China provides valuable insights for new businesses navigating the global market.

Understanding Geopolitical Risks

Firstly, it underscores the importance of understanding and managing geopolitical risks. As seen in Arm's case, geopolitical tensions can impact a company's operations and relationships with its subsidiaries and customers. New businesses must be prepared to navigate these complexities and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Managing Portfolio Risks

Secondly, SoftBank's experience highlights the need for effective portfolio management. While geopolitical factors may influence investment decisions, internal portfolio considerations can also drive changes in exposure. New businesses must balance these factors when managing their investments and risks.

Adapting to Regulatory Changes

Lastly, the export controls implemented by the Biden administration illustrate how regulatory changes can impact businesses, even those not directly involved in manufacturing, like Arm. New businesses must stay informed about such changes and be prepared to adapt their operations and strategies. In conclusion, the evolving dynamics involving Arm and SoftBank in China offer important lessons for new businesses about managing geopolitical and portfolio risks and adapting to regulatory changes. These considerations are crucial for navigating the global business landscape and achieving long-term success.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/14/arm-china-doing-well-ceo-says-even-as-softbanks-masa-son-reduces-china-exposure.html
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