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Foxconn, Softbank to open robot joint venture: report

Foxconn, Softbank to open robot joint venture: report

Tokyo, June 17 (CNA) Taiwan-based contract electronics maker Foxconn Technology Group and Japan's telecom services supplier Softbank Corp. are planning to set up a joint venture to produce robots, Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Wednesday.
Foxconn, known as Hon Hai Group in Taiwan, and Softbank have agreed on the joint venture deal and the new company is scheduled to launch commercial production by the end of this year, with an annual capacity of 10,000 units.
The report said that Foxconn and Softbank are still in talks on the joint venture project to hammer out more details, such as the paid-in capital of the new company and the stakes the two partners will take in it.
In Taipei, Hon Hai declined to comment on the report.
The Japanese newspaper said that SoftBank and Foxconn have been working with each other since June 2014, when the Japanese firm unveiled Pepper, a robot which was developed by Aldebaran, a SoftBank subsidiary in France, and made by Foxconn.
Pepper is the first robot designed to live with humans as it can respond to human emotions and requests.
The newspaper cited unnamed sources as saying that the new company will first focus on mass production and marketing of Pepper.
Several enterprises in Japan have or are planning to use Pepper in their operations, the report said. Among them, Nestle Japan is using Pepper in its coffee machines, it added.
According to the report, Pepper is expected to hit the market to cater the public this summer, carrying a price of 198,000 Japanese yen (US$1,610).
The newspaper said that Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou has planned to cooperate with Alibaba Group, the largest e-commerce operator in China, to sell Pepper worldwide. Separately, the Wall Street Journal said that Foxconn and Alibaba are planning to spend US$500 million to take a 10 percent stake in India's e-commerce firm Snapdeal.com, and the deal is pending regulatory approval from India.
The report said that Snapdeal.com has been operational for five years, selling a wide range of products such as handsets, cars and even homes. (By Yang Ming-chu, Jalen Chung and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-23 00:50 GMT+08:00