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SoftBank in talks to buy majority stake in WeWork; China pulls Douyu

TOP NEWS

* SoftBank Group Corp. is in talks to acquire a majority stake in WeWork Cos., The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. SoftBank's venture arm, SoftBank Vision Fund, which committed US$4.4 billion to WeWork in 2017, already owns close to 20% of the New York-based commercial office space startup.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed livestreaming platform Wuhan Douyu Network Technology Co. Ltd. has been pulled from certain smartphone app stores amid China's intensifying content crackdown, the South China Morning Post reported. New users will not be able to download Douyu, but the removal will not affect existing users.

JAPAN

* Tokyo-based JCB Co. Ltd. partnered with French augmented identity solutions company Idemia France SAS to launch Google LLC's payment system in Japan. Users will be able to make contactless mobile payments in stores using JCB-branded credit, debit and prepaid cards.

* KDDI Corp. partnered with amusement facilities company KCJ Group Inc. to offer children learning experiences using 5G and internet of things technologies.

* Sony Corp. President Kenichiro Yoshida confirmed that the company is developing a new video game console, The Nikkei reports.

SOUTH KOREA

* KT Corp. will establish a blockchain-based platform to create electronic local currencies in cooperation with the county office of Hadong, South Korea, Yonhap News Agency reports. The telco plans to complete the establishment by the end of the year.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. partnered with Hancom Inc. to apply the software company's automatic translation solution, Genie Talk on its artificial intelligence platform NUGU. The deal will allow the telco to provide language translation services in Korean, English, Chinese and Japanese.

* Naver Corp. will change the mobile version of its search engine to include only a search bar on the homepage, ZDNet Korea reports.

* South Korea's Minister of Science and ICT Yoo Young-min said at the parliamentary audit that the ministry will consider conducting a joint government investigation to look into the ongoing tax and network usage fee issues of foreign ICT companies in the country, Yonhap News Agency reports.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Airbnb Inc.'s Chinese rival Xiaozhu raised approximately US$300 million from multiple investors, 36kr reports. The money raised will be used for improvements in security and the company ecosystem.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. unveiled two new AI chips, which will be used in internet-connected consumer devices, CNBC reports. The smart chips will pit the Shenzhen-based tech giant against the likes of QUALCOMM Inc., NVIDIA Corp., Intel Corp. and Samsung Group.

* Ant Financial Services Group's payment platform Alipay suspended its password-free feature for small payments after many Apple Inc. App Store user IDs, which were linked to its platform, were stolen in China, STCN reports. Ant Financial is an affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

* JD.com Inc. will open a company-owned convenience store business, Beijing Business reports. The e-commerce giant has established a management team for the new business, including senior managers from 7-Eleven Inc.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Facebook Inc.-owned messaging service WhatsApp Inc. built a system that stores data related to payments locally in India, Mint reports. The Reserve Bank of India has set Oct. 15 as the deadline for payment system operators to store data within the country.

* The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has invited public views on the calculation of spectrum charges for satellite-based services using systems installed in India under a special license category, The Economic Times (India) reports. The regulator has sought written comments on the consultation paper by Oct. 31 and counter comments by Nov. 8 on the issues raised.

* Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. appointed Abraham Thomas as CEO of Big FM, Television Post reports.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Singaporean telco Singtel announced that its subsidiary Optus Cyber Security Pty Ltd. has signed an agreement to fully acquire Australian cybersecurity consulting company Hivint.

* In other Singtel news, the telco launched a configuration platform called "Liquid Infrastructure," which enables companies to configure their networks to support their requirements with greater control and agility.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said it has been informed by telco Total Access Communication PCL that it will submit bid documents for the 900 MHz auction on Oct. 16, Thairath reports.

* Thai telco Advanced Info Service PCL will broadcast "Folklore," HBO Asia's new horror series, live and on-demand via its AIS Play and AIS Playbox platforms, Manager reports.

* Google will bring the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL smartphones to Singapore for the first time from Nov. 1, Channel News Asia reports. The products will be sold through Singtel and StarHub Ltd., and via Google's own online store.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australian pay television operator Foxtel launched the first 4K Ultra HD offering in the country using a Harmonic Inc. software-based Ultra HD solution. Foxtel provides cable, direct broadcast satellite and IPTV streaming services in the local market.

* Brisbane-based data center outsourcing solutions company NEXTDC Ltd. will partner with Alibaba Cloud to provide its customers connectivity for businesses in China's e-commerce market, Channel Life reports. Alibaba Cloud ANZ General Manager Raymond Ma said his company was "excited to partner with NEXTDC to engage with local businesses."

* Emma Rossi, manager of media and communications at the Australian Communications and Media Authority, has departed and will join the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as its media manager on Nov. 1, Mumbrella reports.

FEATURED NEWS

Q&A: Charter ad sales chief: New data tools making 'advertising even more powerful': Charter Executive Vice President and Spectrum Reach President David Kline in a recent interview talked about data's impact on the distributor's ad sales, the strength of the political category and the debut of an addressable offering in Los Angeles.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Cable and fiber gain subscriber share in LatAm fixed-broadband market in 2017: Adoption of cable and FTTP broadband continues to erode xDSL dominance. America Móvil is firmly on the top spot of LatAm's fixed-broadband market, followed by Telefónica. AT&T's DIRECTV is testing fixed wireless technology.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Nicole Kim, Frances Wang, Patrick Tibke and Ed Eduardo contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. Hong Kong time. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.