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A SoftBank mobile shop in Tokyo's Ginza district. The company's initial public offering is the largest in the country's history. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)
Company in focus

SoftBank: A disruptive force on the defensive

New headwinds swirl around mobile unit ahead of $23bn initial public offering

WATARU SUZUKI, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- In early December, shoppers clutching order slips for iPads, refrigerators and other costly goods queued up at Bic Camera's flagship electronics store in Tokyo's bustling Shinjuku district. They were there to take advantage of a jaw-dropping offer.

Anyone making purchases using PayPay, a new smartphone payment app launched by SoftBank and its affiliate Yahoo Japan would be entitled to rebates of 20%. But to add a dash more excitement, one in 40 customers would receive a 100% refund of up to 100,000 yen ($880).

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