Mention softbank and most Japanese people, understandably, think of telecoms—it is Japan's third-largest wireless carrier.
The company hopes to weaken that association.
SoftBank is listing its telecoms arm; shares in the unit were due to begin trading on December 19th, after The Economist had gone to press.
SoftBank Group was expected to raise 2.6trn yen ($23.4bn) by selling off just over a third of the company.
It is selling 1.76bn shares for 1,500 yen each, making it Japan's biggest-ever initial public offering
and only just shy of the record set by Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce titan in which SoftBank Group owns a stake of about 29%, in 2014.
That is good going for a firm whose earnings have been lacklustre and which faces big challenges.
Providing mobile services is a lucrative affair in Japan—prices are far higher than in other developed countries.
在日本提供移动服务是一件有利可图的事 — 其价格高于其他发达国家 。
But it is also a mature business and the population is shrinking. SoftBank has a quarter of the market, trailing NTT DoCoMo and au.
但是这也是一个成熟的业务且人口在下降 。软银占有四分之一的市场份额，紧随NTT DoCoMo和au其后 。
NTT DoCoMo has already said it will slash prices after pressure from the government to lower costs;
the other two are likely to have to follow suit. Next year the trio will face new competition from Rakuten,
a Japanese e-commerce giant that is about to become the nation's fourth mobile-network operator.
Other problems are more particular to SoftBank. A service outage lasting over four hours,
affecting 34m customers mainly in Tokyo and Osaka, sent its shares down by as much as 6% in trading on December 6th.
And the firm has said it may have to spend money replacing all the hardware in its 4g and 5g networks that it gets from Huawei, one of its main suppliers,
after Japan became the latest country to air security concerns about the Chinese firm.
1.initial public offering 首次公募
Initial public offering is the most important way to raise capital for joint-stock companies.
They do a lot of business in lucrative overseas markets.
3.follow suit 学样
You can convince others to follow suit.
They raised the money to buy the house and two hundred acres of grounds.