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SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son stands next to a robot. Photo by Bloomberg.
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SoftBank Leads $220 Million Round Into Chinese-German Robotics Startup Amid China Worries

Photo: SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son stands next to a robot. Photo by Bloomberg.

SoftBank is leading a $220 million round into Agile Robots, a startup based in Munich and Beijing that says its systems will be deployed by Foxconn, the assembler of iPhones, to help build smartphones. The company will be worth about $1 billion after the fresh capital, according to a person familiar with the matter, as investors look to capitalize on China’s rising labor costs to drive more automation in manufacturing,

The investment comes amid a wide crackdown on Chinese tech companies that has hit SoftBank particularly hard as it was a major backer of Didi Global and Full Truck Alliance, two U.S.-listed companies whose share price has fallen under the shadow of cybersecurity reviews by Chinese authorities. The investment demonstrates that  SoftBank and other investors continue to see opportunities especially in early stages and sectors such as automation.

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