U.S. OKs SoftBank’s $2.3 Billion in Cruise Automation

A U.S. panel has ruled there is no national security threat in the planned $2.3 billion investment in General Motors Co.’s Cruise Automation unit by Japan’s SoftBank Corp., Reuters reports.

SoftBank announced the investment in May 2018. The outlay drew the attention of the U.S. Dept. of Treasury because SoftBank also has been funding other advanced mobility efforts, including some in China.

The U.S. has grown increasingly suspicious of Chinese investments that could tap American know-how. Sources tell Reuters the SoftBank investment was intensively reviewed, especially because of the fund’s investment in China’s DiDi Chuxing Technology Co., a ride-hailing service which is developing its own autonomous vehicles.

Reuters’ sources say the Cruise investment was approved after new assurances that SoftBank would have no access to Cruise’s self-driving-vehicle technology.