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China limits online ads; Viu, Singtel partner on video service

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China limits online ads; Viu, Singtel partner on video service

TOPNEWS

* Chinaissued new online advertising regulations requiring search engine firms tolimit the amount of paid ad results to 30% and to clearly identify paid ads inthe results page, The Wall Street Journalreports.Ads for prescription drugs are also now prohibited, while ads for medicalsupplies and other health products must have government approval. Therules apply to social networking sites and all other online platforms, with theregulations taking effect in September.

* Viu, theOTT video service operated by Hong Kong-based , launched a premiumsubscription service in Singapore withSingtel, AdvancedTelevision reports.The service, which offers subscribers unlimited downloads, provides Koreandramas, variety shows from Korean broadcasters, and Japanese dramas withlimited advertisements. Singtel is a unit of Temasek Holdings (Pvt) Ltd.

* Japan'sNintendo saw itsshares soar after its mobile game "Pokémon Go" launched in the U.S.,Australia and New Zealand, Reuters reports.The augmented reality game was co-developed with Niantic Labs. Nintendo sharesended at 9% at the time of the report, which places the firm's market value atabout US$23 billion.

* Japanesenews app SmartNews Inc. announcedthat it has raised US$38 million in a series D round of funding to supportfurther business expansions. The investment was led by the Development Bank ofJapan Inc.; also participating are SMBC Venture Capital Co. Ltd. and JapanCo-Invest L.P., bringing the total funding to about US$90 million.

* The Bankof Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. will invest US$10.5 million in the U.S.-basedBitcoin venture Coinbase, Tokyo's TheNikkei reports.The companies are looking to co-develop a low-cost foreign remittance systemusing blockchain technology. The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ is a unit ofMitsubishi UFJ Financial GroupInc.

* Japan'sNTT DoCoMo Inc. formeda consortium with Japanese mobile internet company , Kyushu University and thecity of Fukuoka to co-develop autonomous driving technology. The companies planto conduct experiments this year with an aim of marketing the product toautomakers. DeNA also announcedit will start a transportation service in Japan in August that uses aself-driving electric shuttle produced by EasyMile, a French driverlesstechnology venture.

*NTT CommunicationsCorp. announcedthat it has reached a three-year technology partnership with the McLaren-HondaFormula 1 Team. The Japanese company will provide network, cloud, IoT and dataconnectivity to support the F1 team. NTT Communications is a unit of

* TheKorean Fair Trade Commission rejected a request from IPTV providerSK Broadband andcable TV operator CJHelloVision to extend the period for submitting an opinion on therejection of their merger plan, Financial News reports. The FTCreportedly said it had given them enough chances to have discussions with theregulator during the merger review period. SK Broadband and CJ HelloVision areunits of SK Telecom Co.Ltd. and CJ OShopping, respectively.

*KT Corp. launched aTV mobile-connected shopping service called Shopping Now on the South Koreantelco's IPTV platform Olleh TV, Yonhap News Agency reports.The service enables users to browse and purchase products seen on TV shows byclicking a button on their remote control.

*LG Electronics Inc.'smobile communications business recorded operating losses of 120 billion Koreanwon to 130 billion Korean won for the second quarter, Financial News reports. The loss isreportedly due to the failure of its new G5 smartphone against 's GalaxyS7, as well as manufacturing cost increases.  

* South KoreanIPTV provider LG UplusCorp. launched an educational program for preschool children calledNuri Homeschool, offered on its smart-home device Homeboy, Newsis reports.The program provides language learning and mathematics courses, along with ateaching guide for parents.

, HONG KONG ANDTAIWAN

* A box officeslowdown in China during the summer has prompted the country's regulators to release moreHollywood films. Films such as "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of theShadows," from ViacomInc.'s ParamountPictures Corp., are opening during what is usually a blackoutperiod for foreign releases. "The Legend of Tarzan," from 's ,will be screened nationwide starting July 19.

* Spanish telecommunications companyTelefonica has soldmore than half of its shares in China Unicom, CNFOL.com reports.The two companies have had a partnership since 2009. Accordingto a separate reportby Reuters, Telefonica raised about US$364 million from selling off part of its2.5% stake in the Chinese telco.

*Huawei Technologies Co.Ltd. and ZTECorp., two of China's biggest telecoms equipment manufacturers, areforecasting that the wide deployment of 5G infrastructure in 2020 will usher ina rise in the global virtual and augmented reality market, the South China Morning Post reports.

* Chinesemobile phone company Coolpad announceda loss of more than HK$2 billion in its semi-quarterly earnings report. Thecompany said it was due to a drop in sales against new competitors and a lossin the JV between Tech Time Development and Coolpad E-commerce that amounted toHK$1.89 billion.

SOUTHEASTASIA

* 's Ministry of Trade's partnership with China'sAlibaba Group HoldingLtd. has resulted in the launch of Inamall, a business-to-consumeronline portal to trade Indonesian products in China, industry websiteIndotelko reports.At this stage, the products offered will mainly be food and beverage productssuch as coffee and snacks.

*Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commissionis in discussions on a plan to move telecom cables underground, the newspaper Krungthep Turakij reports. The twomain concerns reportedly are companies illegally using electricitypoles for their cables, and preventing state-owned telco TOT from runningan underground cabling monopoly.

*Indonesian telco operators Telkomsel, Indosat Ooredoo, Tri Indonesia and XL Axiata reported amajor shift in customer demand from voice and SMS services to data over thelast four years, accordingto Indotelko. The profit margin from data service is not as high as that oftraditional services such as voice and SMS.

* Thai TVservice provider GMM B Co. Ltd. may lack the funds to pay for its rights tobroadcast the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament in Thailand, the Bangkok Post reports.GMM Grammy PLC, GMM B's former parent company, filed a lawsuit asking theCentral Bankruptcy Court to intervene, so that GMM B can have sufficient cashflow for the event.

*Indonesian telco company Telkom, through its business service division, has achieved66% of its target to make 3 million SME companies go digital in 2016,Indotelko reports.In the first half of this year, about 1.98 million SME companies that utilizedthe company's online service Smartbisnis, which provides solutions for limitedinternet connectivity.

*Thailand's National e-Payment Master Plan is being divided into three phases, accordingto the newspaper Khaosod. InPhase 1, money transfers will require a phone or ID number instead of a bankaccount number; in Phase 2, all registered stores will have to accept debit andcredit cards; and in Phase 3, e-tax invoices and e-receipts will be implemented.

AND NEW ZEALAND

* isending its Igloo discount pay TV service in New Zealand, saying the service isnot making enough money to cover costs, Stuff reports.Sky said Igloo set-top boxes would continue to work as FreeviewHD boxesafter its shutdown in March 2017.

*Vodafone's Australianunit is putting its 4G network to a public test by partnering with radiostation Nova Entertainment, TheAustralian Financial Review reports.For the next six weeks, Vodafone's 4G network will be responsible for takingthe station's signal from the studio to the radio tower for an FM broadcast.

*Telstra Corp. Ltd.'s venturecapital arm Telstra Ventures invested an undisclosed amount in Cloopen, aChinese communications application programming interface provider, ZDNet reports.The Beijing-based company enables developers to integrate messaging, videocalling and voice calling into their applications, along with securityfunctions. About 150,000 developers including and areusing the platform for app development.

* MotorolaInc. announced the debut of its Moto online store in Australia, which will golive July 15, ZDNet reports.The store will allow customers to buy directly from the catalog of Motorolaproducts available in the country, with product warranty and support to beprovided by the company.

AND SOUTH ASIA

* FacebookInc. will test a video download option for offline viewingin India to address issues of limited mobile data and connectivity.The scheme reportedly begins today with a small percentage of Facebook users inthe country. While connected to Wi-Fi, users can sync videos to their gadgets forlater viewing.

* India's telecoms department will be sending six servicecarriers demand notices for 124.88 billion Indian rupees, The Economic Times (India) reports.This is for underreporting their revenues worth 460 billion rupees, whichincludes the underpayment of license fees and spectrum usage charges, plus thepenalty and interest.

*Bharti Airtel Ltd.'sconsumer director for India, Srini Gopalan, has left the company and isset to join Deutsche TelekomAG on Oct. 1. Gopalan will become DT's board member forEurope, replacing Claudia Nemat, who will head the new Technology andInnovation Board.

*Reliance IndustriesLtd. has namedJuergen Hase as the company's CEO for its Internet of Things business. He waspreviously the director for IoT/M2M at Ooredoo and also Deutsche Telekom's vice president ofits M2M Competence Center. He will be based at Reliance Group's newheadquarters in Mumbai.

FEATUREDNEWS

: Comcast'sunexpected partnership with Netflix and business strategies at some othercompanies engaged in M&A drew investors' attention during the week endedJuly 8. 

: The late cancellation of its headline fightleft the UFC scrambling to reshape its card in the days before the July 9event. The impact on its pay-per-view, commercial establishment and brandappeal have yet to be determined. 

: Amazon.com andFacebook jockeyed for a fourth-place finish in a ranking of media andcommunications companies by market capitalization during the first half of theyear, while the sectors' top three leaders maintained their positions. 

: Take a look at the media and communications editor's topfive picks for the week ended July 8. 

FEATUREDRESEARCH

: Weekly domestic box office grew forthe second time in a row in week 27, a first for this summer season.

: At this year's CableCongress, speakers painted a positive picture of the European cable industry.The viability of eSports, competition with over-the-top services and LibertyGlobal's M&A plans were also hot topics. 

: The month of June ended withfour radio sales between $250,000 and $425,000. 

: Cable execs speaking on day three of the gathering in Warsaw,Poland, outlined obstacles faced by operators in the quickly changing pay TVenvironment. 

: Hulu Japan is owned by Nippon Television Network throughits subsidiary HJ Holdings, and the service leverages its parent company'scontent and influence in the Japanese broadcast market. 

: Companies, organizations and politiciansjostled to get a last word in on the FCC's contentious privacy proposal as thereply comment period came to a close this week.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Sunny Um, Grace Shao, WilHathaway and Ed Eduard contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorialdeadline of 7 a.m. Hong Kong time. Some external links may require asubscription.