* Google LLC rolled out a new feature on three of its services to show the locations of food shelters and night shelters across India. The Alphabet Inc. unit said that it is working with the Indian government to mark the shelters' locations on Google Maps, Search and Google Assistant. The initiative aims to help migrant workers and affected people in India, which announced a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
* An organization representing music publishing companies, including Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group Inc., threatened to sue TikTok Inc. for alleged copyright infringement, London's Financial Times reports. Sources said some holders of music rights claimed the Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd.-owned video app does not have sufficient licenses for the songs used in TikTok videos.
* Tencent Holdings Ltd. is considering launching its subscription music app Joox in more African markets, Bloomberg News reports. Joox, a Spotify AB-like service, is already available in South Africa, and the company is now eyeing Nigeria as its next market due to the country's musical talent and big potential user base, according to Poshu Yeung, vice president of Tencent's international business group.
* Toshiba Corp. launched "Toshiba OPEN INNOVATION PROGRAM 2020" in partnership with eiicon Co., a Tokyo-based open innovation platform operator. The program is aimed at creating new businesses from participating companies' technologies and business models.
* Rakuten Inc.'s advertising arm Rakuten Advertising appointed Stuart McLennan as senior vice president of the Asia-Pacific region, AdNews reports.
* Sony Corp.'s PS5 is expected to be released as planned during the holiday season in 2020 despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, TheDealExperts reports.
* SK hynix Inc. is set to carry out its planned investments in China despite the coronavirus pandemic, The Korea Times reports. The South Korean memory chip supplier is planning to spend 3.2 trillion South Korean won on the company's Wuxi plant as per the schedule.
* Studio Dragon Corp.-produced drama series "100 Days My Prince," originally aired on South Korean cable network tvN in 2018, will now air on Japanese terrestrial network NHK General TV from May 10, ZDNet Korea reports. This will be the first time a Korean series is being released on the Japanese terrestrial channel.
* KT Corp. teamed up with the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Information Society Agency for a competition called Post Corona AI Challenge, with a total of 100 million won in awards, Financial News reports. Pursuant to the competition, participants will try to find ways to prevent the spread of infectious diseases using artificial intelligence technologies in the fields of predictive algorithm modeling and app service development.
GREATER CHINA (MAINLAND CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN MARKETS)
* Tencent has increased its stake in video-sharing platform Bilibili Inc. by 1.4% to 13.3% in total, Tencent News reports, quoting a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Bilibili CEO Rui Chen is the largest shareholder of the site with a 15.1% stake, while president Yi Xu holds an 8.8% stake in the company.
* Xiaomi Corp. signed a deal with China Unicom to launch its new generation AX3600 AIOT router through the latter's distribution channels, Techweb reports. The router supports dual-band concurrency with a transmission rate of 2,976 Mbps.
* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has quietly donated more than 1 million masks to Canada to tackle the coronavirus outbreak in the country, The Globe and Mail reports, citing a source familiar with the development. The Chinese company also delivered 30,000 goggles and 50,000 pairs of gloves to Canadian authorities.
INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA
* Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd. pledged 100 million Indian rupees for daily wage workers in the Indian media and entertainment industry, Television Post reports. The company is reaching out to daily wage earners recognized by their respective trade associations with free coupons, which can be exchanged for food and essential items at select retail stores.
* Smartphone brands operating in India are expected to further raise prices in the country following the lockdown period, The Economic Times (India) reports, citing a report from market research agency IDC. The report said that brands will be under pressure to register growth this year and to achieve that, price hikes may be expected.
* India's IT services industry body, National Association of Software and Services Companies, or Nasscom, named UB Pravin Rao as its chairman for the fiscal year 2020-21. Rao currently is Infosys Ltd.'s COO.
* Philippines-based technology company Voyager Innovations Inc. secured approximately US$120 million in commitments from Tencent Holdings Ltd., KKR & Co. Inc., International Finance Corp., IFC Emerging Asia Fund and PLDT Inc.
* Thai telecom conglomerate True Corp. helped develop a delivery robot, a telepresence system, and a remote cart to minimize frontline health workers' exposure to COVID-19, Prachachat reports. The innovations operate on True's recently launched 5G network.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* COVID-19 is expected to cut technology spending of up to US$536 million by Australian organizations in 2020, The Australian Financial Review reports, citing projections compiled by the local office of U.S.-based research firm Forrester Research Inc. The decline in spending is expected to add more pressure on struggling local companies, according to the report.
* Zoom Video Communications Inc. stated that the video conferencing platform is subject to rigorous security testing amid concerns raised against the U.S.-based company and is suitable to use for companies and agencies in Australia, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Michael Chetner, Zoom's head of Asia-Pacific, said the company is working to deal with the recent 20-times increase in demand amid the coronavirus pandemic that has forced people to work from home.
COVID-19 drives golf's Open Championship into cancellation hole: The latest cancellation adds to the list of sports events that have been postponed or canceled. Meanwhile, President Trump expresses hope the NFL season can kick off on time, with fans returning to venues in August and September.
Technology: Video games recession resistant at the right price: Nintendo Co. Ltd. and Sony Corp. saw gaming revenue rise 97% and 45%, respectively, in 2007 on the strength of new consoles even as the Great Recession began. In 2020, console vendors will again see the intersection of new hardware and macroeconomic uncertainty.
Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai and Wil Hathaway contributed to this report.
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