By Makiko Yamazaki
TOKYO (Reuters) - Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc will join Foxconn's bid for Toshiba Corp's semiconductor business, the Nikkei business daily quoted Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou as saying on Monday.
The two U.S. technology giants plan to "chip in funds", Gou said in an interview, according to the newspaper. It was not immediately clear if this would take the form of a direct investment in the semiconductor unit or would be financing for the deal.
Taiwan's Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, has also partnered with its Japanese unit Sharp Corp in its bid.
"Foxconn can confirm that we have submitted a bid for Toshiba's chip business with a number of strategic partners," the Taiwanese firm said in a statement to Reuters. It said it would discuss details "at the appropriate time".
Representatives for Apple and Amazon declined to comment.
Toshiba is depending on the sale of the unit, the world's second-largest NAND chip maker, to cover billions of dollars in cost overruns at its now bankrupt U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse.
Foxconn, which is also a major supplier to Apple, is not seen as a frontrunner for the unit, which Toshiba has valued at at least $18 billion, due to its deep ties with China. The Japanese government has said it will block any deal that would risk the transfer of key chip technology out of the country.