The chairman of Hon Hai Precision, the largest contract electronics maker in the world, confirmed Apple and Amazon provided financial backing for its bid to buy the memory business of troubled Toshiba, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

Sources told Nikkei Hon Hai Precision, better known as Foxconn, submitted the highest bid among five buyers, reportedly offering more than JPY2 trillion ($18.2 billion).

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou told Nikkei Apple and Amazon are both offering money, “but I cannot comment on how much funds each company is putting on the table”.

Gou spoke to the newspaper following meetings with executives at Sharp. Foxconn acquired a 66 per cent stake in the Japan-based electronics company for JPY389 billion ($3.5 billion) in March 2016.

In April Foxconn, which is a major supplier for Apple, Amazon and other smartphone makers, reportedly approached Apple and SoftBank to join it in the bidding for the Toshiba unit.

Foxconn’s interest in Toshiba’s chip business apparently raised concerns about Japanese technology moving to China or Taiwan, which prompted the company to involve Sharp in the bidding to aid negotiations.

Struggling Toshiba, the world’s second-largest maker of NAND flash memory chips, plans to sell up to 100 per cent of its memory business as it deals with a more than $1 billion write-down from its nuclear power business in the US. Toshiba is a major supplier of memory chips to Apple.