According to foreign media reports, Masayoshi Son, CEO of the SoftBank, has disclosed at GSM Mobile Communications (Asia) Conference 2007 that SoftBank is negotiating with Alibaba and the two sides may set up a joint venture company in Japan next year to explore the Japanese market.

Sun says that SoftBank will hold the majority part of the stakes in the new JV, which is believed to be an important part of Alibaba's strategy in entering the Japanese market. However, he does not disclose the detailed amount of investment to be involved in the new company.

At present, the Japanese mobile communication operator holds 33% of the stake of Alibaba. Sun says that the company will actively invest in some Internet and private technology companies throughout the world.

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