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FirstFT: SoftBank to seek US listing for Arm after Nvidia sale collapses

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Japan’s SoftBank plans to list Arm Holdings in New York after a $66bn sale to Nvidia fell through. The collapse of the deal has sparked a political and corporate battle over the future home of one of Britain’s most successful tech companies.

“I believe that Arm is about to enter its golden age and so deep down I would rather avoid this sale as much as possible,” SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son said yesterday, despite the fact that he and his leadership team had spent 18 months working to offload the company to the US chip heavyweight.

“We think that the Nasdaq stock exchange in the United States, which is at the centre of global high-tech, would be most suitable [for a listing],” he added.

Rene Haas, the incoming chief executive of Arm, told the Financial Times that the timing of an IPO was “just right”. “We’re entering a really unique supercycle of growth for semiconductors and computers,” he said.

The decision to target the US has already sparked a furore in the UK at a time when the country is experiencing deep insecurities about its ability to retain homegrown technology champions.

Thanks for reading today’s FirstFT Asia. Do you have feedback on today’s newsletter? email me at firstft@ft.com and share your thoughts, — Emily

1. US arrests two and seizes $3.6bn in crypto from Bitfinex hack The US Department of Justice has arrested New York-based llya Lichtenstein, 34, and his wife, Heather Morgan, 31, and confiscated more than $3.6bn worth of cryptocurrency it said was stolen during the high-profile 2016 hack of the Bitfinex exchange. The move marks the DoJ’s largest financial seizure.

2. Macron says Putin promises not to ‘escalate’ Ukraine crisis French president Emmanuel Macron said he had obtained assurances from his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that there would be no “deterioration or escalation” of the crisis over Ukraine. Macron was speaking on the way to Kyiv, where he met Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky after more than five hours of talks with Putin in Moscow.

More on the Russia-Ukraine conflict: President Joe Biden said that if Russia invaded Ukraine, the US would “bring an end” to Nord Stream 2, the pipeline linking Russia with Germany.

3. Peloton chief to step down after activist campaign Peloton’s co-founder John Foley is ceding the top job at the fitness bike maker in a shake-up that will cost 2,800 jobs, after a collapse in its market value drew pressure from activist investors and potential bidders. Barry McCarthy, the former chief financial officer of Spotify and Netflix, will replace Foley as chief executive.

4. Eileen Gu’s gold at Beijing Olympics ignites celebrations in host country The American-Chinese freestyle skier has won her first gold medal, prompting celebrations across China and pushing the hosts to the top of the medals table. Gu, 18, was born in the US to a Chinese mother and an American father but chose in 2019 to represent China at the Olympics.

Eileen Gu’s gold medal in the first big air freestyle skiing event at an Olympic Games took China’s total to five © Peter Kneffel/dpa

5. Ex-BofA lawyer jailed in Hong Kong over police assault allegations Samuel Bickett, a former Bank of America lawyer in Hong Kong, has been sent back to prison for assaulting a plainclothes police officer during pro-democracy protests two years ago, in a case that analysts said highlighted the legal risks for foreigners working in the city.

Coronavirus digest

In Hong Kong, some patients at one of the city’s quarantine centres are becoming so desperate to get out that they are gargling hand sanitiser in a vain bid to neutralise test results as the government tries to maintain its zero-Covid policy.

The US has enjoyed an entrepreneurial renaissance during the pandemic, with the largest increases in new businesses coming in black communities.

A quarter of UK employers said long Covid was now a leading cause of long-term sickness absence among staff.

The Omicron variant has exposed the weakness of current vaccines and revived interest in an all-protective “super jab”. How far is it from becoming a reality?

The day ahead

Antony Blinken visits Australia The US secretary of state will meet members of the Quad alliance, which includes Australia, India, Japan and the US to reaffirm America’s commitment to Asia. (Reuters)

Earnings Japanese carmakers Toyota, Honda and Mazda report earnings today. Other companies set to release results include AstraZeneca, Coca-Cola Company, Credit Suisse, PepsiCo, Twitter and Unilever.

What else we’re reading

Inside Axel Springer’s #MeToo moment In the spring of 2021, senior employees at German publisher Axel Springer thought they had defused misconduct claims against the editor of Bild, Europe’s top-selling daily newspaper. Instead, the real trouble was yet to come. A three-month investigation by the Financial Times takes a closer look into this episode.

Beijing mixes geopolitics and the Olympics The scar on Qi Fabao’s forehead was barely discernible when he started his run in the torch relay. But China’s choice to have the People’s Liberation Army officer who was wounded in a deadly border clash with India kick off the Games ripped a gash in the atmosphere of peace and friendship, writes Kathrin Hille.

Do you think China went too far in selecting Colonel Qi for the Olympic torch relay? Tell us below in our latest poll.

Tata begins overhaul of Air India The Indian conglomerate is determined to defy critics of its deal to take over the struggling airline after prime minister Narendra Modi handed over the state carrier last month.

“It’s been years since we have seen timely payment,” said Ritesh, a second-generation Air India pilot who asked to use a pseudonym. “We are hoping that when the Tatas take over, things will be streamlined.”

Instagram doesn’t know what to do about your 13-year-old Under-13s are not allowed on Instagram, which is owned by Meta, partly to comply with US privacy laws. Nevertheless, a survey of more than 2,000 minors published last year by the children’s charity Thorn found that 65 per cent of nine- to 12-year-olds have used Instagram at least once, and 40 per cent use it at least once a day.

The BBC at 100the past and future of a British institution Part broadcasting history, part social history, David Hendy’s new work — The BBC: A People’s History — looks back at the corporation’s idealistic beginnings and traces its development to the crossroads of today.


Wordle may not appear to have much in common with Grand Theft Auto, but it draws from and subverts several key principles of game design. What can developers learn from its titanic success?

‘Wordle’ has become a shared digital experience for millions © Ted Hsu/Alamy 

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