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Sony, Wanda near film alliance; Vodafone pours $7B into Indian ops

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Sony, Wanda near film alliance; Vodafone pours $7B into Indian ops

TOPNEWS

*Sony PicturesEntertainment is reportedly in final discussionswith Dalian Wanda GroupCorp. Ltd. for an alliance spanning multiple films. Under the proposedterms of the deal, Wanda would take a minority stake in several internationalblockbuster films by Sony, according to Deadline. Meanwhile,the Sony Corp. unitwould get marketing and exhibition support from Wanda in China, where theconglomerate owns 18% of cinema screens.

*Vodafone Group Plc isinvesting US$7.2 billion in its Indian unit in anticipation of the upcomingspectrum auction in the country, Reuters reports.The multibillion-dollar fund will reportedly allow to carry on with itsinvestments in spectrum and network expansion, according to the report, citingCEO Sunil Sood.

*Sharp Corp., underits new Taiwanese owner Foxconn Technology Group, is drafting a business planto allow it to return to profitability by the end of the fiscal year ending inMarch, accordingto Jiji Press. The plan was revealed in a message to employees from newPresident Tai Jeng-wu, who is also Foxconn's No. 2 executive. Foxconn, formallyknown as Hon Hai PrecisionIndustry Co. Ltd., completed its US$3.8 billion of the struggling Japaneseelectronics maker last month.

* NTTInnovation Institute, the innovation center of Japanese tech giant NTT Group, createdan executive advisory board comprising global technology experts and businessleaders. The Silicon Valley-based institute named Cindy Padnos, Brian Spector,Stuart Evans, Wilf Russell and Gokul Rajaram to the board. NTT Group is theumbrella company of Japanese telecoms giant Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp.

*SoftBank Group Corp. choseCalifornia-based Semtech Corp.'s LoRa wireless technology to enable a newlow-power, wide-area network in Japan. The network is slated to launch in thefiscal year ending in March and service Internet of Things industry sectors.

* JapanesePrime Minister Shinzo Abe said sectors such as artificial intelligence,robotics and wireless sensors will find strong growth opportunities as thecountry's population ages and shrinks. The commentsat a Reuters Newsmaker event in New York follow official data showingthat 27.3% of Japan's population is over 65, the highest proportion in thedeveloped world.

* Uponreviewing SamsungGroup's recall plan for the Galaxy Note 7, the Korean Agency forTechnology and Standards asked the company for stricter tests of corecomponents, ET News reports.It was suggested that all batteries of 'ssmartphone should undergo an X-ray test before being released to the market.

* TheKorean BroadcastingSystem is facing criticism that it is not fulfilling its duty as adesignated breaking-news channel by delaying the HD DMB service launch, ET Newsreports. KBS'sstandard-definition DMB shows the news captions blurred on-screen due to poorresolution, the report said.   

* SouthKorean telco KT Corp.upgraded CLiP, its mobile wallet that chooses a credit card with discountbenefits for the user, to mark 10 million downloads since its launch in August,E Daily reports. Called CLiP 2.0, it has a "curation"feature that suggests stores best suited for the user's gender, age andinterests.

* TheGalaxy Note 7 Black Onyx will be launched in South Korea in October, the Korean Economic Daily reports. That color model is already on sale in India andthe U.S.

, HONG KONG ANDTAIWAN

*The Taiwanese defense ministry is asking Alphabet Inc.-owned  to blur certainGoogle Earth satellite images in the disputed South China Sea. The imagesreportedly show what appear to be military installations in Itu Aba, Taipei'sholding in the disputed territory. The structures are most likely related todefense, and any military-related construction in the area could reportedlyincrease tensions in the waterway.

* Chineseportal NetEase will invest billions of Chinese yuan to develop cloud computing,Caixin reports.The project targets three categories: products, online education andprofessional services.

*Beijing-based TV producer Shinework Media launched a film production divisionfor cross-border co-production movies with budgets ranging from US$10 millionto US$60 million, Variety reports.Shinework has already landed movie projects with several countries,including Iran and Kazakhstan.

* Comicbook icon Stan Lee's new superhero creation will be at the center ofa China-India co-production titled "Monkey Master."Lee's POW! EntertainmentInc. is partnering with China's Shinework Pictures and digitalmedia firm Graphic India, and they are starting early pre-production for theproject. India's Cinema Capital Advisory will also be a co-producer.

*Shanghai-based Twinkle Film Productions secured the rights to remake the Danish animated film"Ronal the Barbarian" and is planning a live-action version forChinese audiences.

*Tencent Holdings Ltd.introduced a newfunction in its social network app WeChat. Currently only available todevelopers, it aims to replace some smartphone apps so that users with limitedstorage can access app features without downloads.

SOUTHEASTASIA

* TheMalaysian Government Pension Fund, also known as KWAP,invested US$30 million in a tech firm which is said to be , Reuters reports.The fund intends to increase its exposure to logistics, health care, educationand the consumer goods market. KWAP is currently looking to invest in the U.K.due to the weak British pound.

* -based telcos TOT and Advanced Info Service-owned Advanced WirelessNetwork Co. Ltd. entered into a six-month contract that allows AWN to conducttrial roaming on TOT's 2.1 GHz spectrum, TheNation reports,citing a TOT source. Under the deal, AWN will offer a wireless broadbandservice using state-owned TOT's spectrum and pay a monthly roaming fee of 325million Thai baht.

*Time WarnerInc.-owned CartoonNetwork Inc.'s "We Bare Bears" and "The PowerpuffGirls" will soon be airing on Philippinechannel TV5, World Screen reports.The animated series will be available to watch on the free-to-air channel onSaturdays starting Oct. 15.

*Facebook Inc.'sdirector of its Indonesian unit, Sri Widowati, said the company isaiming to increase its mobile marketing business in the country, Liputan6 News reports.Facebook Indonesia plans to utilize a low-cost and targeted mobile marketingstrategy towards local users.

*U.S.-based e-payment platform Stripe officially in . The company said its platform is nowavailable to all businesses in the city-state and enables them to accept ApplePay and Android Pay.

* PaySecure Online Ltd., or Paysec, a Philippines-based fintech company, expandedits business to Indonesia by establishing PT Pay Secured Online Indonesia,Harian Nasional reports.Paysec also partnered with Indonesian commerce provider KinerjaPay andremittance provider Intrajasa to support its payment services in the country.

* The Bank of Thailand is setting up a fintech regulatory"sandbox" for the country, TheNation reports.The country's central bank is conducting an online public hearing until Oct. 15about the plan to allow fintech product experimentation. Commercial banks wouldbe allowed to join in the first quarter of 2017, with non-bank financialinstitutions and tech companies set for the following quarter.

*Limelight NetworksInc., a U.S. digital content delivery company, addeda new point of presence (PoP) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This development is apart of Limelight's expansion of its global content delivery network.

AND NEW ZEALAND

* TheAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission has given itsapproval for Vocus Communications to acquire Nextgen Networks Group following areview. The acquisition deal also includes two development projects, theAustralian Singapore Cable and the North West Cable System.

*Australian mobile operator Telstra Corp. Ltd. announced that its national publicsafety mobile broadband capacity, LANES, will be open for law-enforcement andemergency services to use in December. Accordingto The Sydney Morning Herald, LANESwill give first responders a clear path on a congested network.

* NewZealand operator Spark introducedSpark Jump, a program to bring subsidized broadband to families who cannotafford commercial home broadband services. Spark Jump will offer selectedfamilies entry-level home broadband for NZ$15. The service is prepaid, has nofixed-term contract and includes a modem.

AND SOUTH ASIA

* India'sBharat Sanchar NigamLtd. plans to offer free voice calling and plans at prices slightlycheaper than new rival Reliance Jio's 149-Indian-rupee plan, The Economic Times (India) reports.The state-owned telco will offer the new packages to 2G and 3G users, with thezero-voice-tariff plans launching in January 2017, the report said.

*Chinese smartphone maker Nubia is planning a return to the Indian marketwith Amazon.comInc. as its partner. Nubia is set to launch an array ofmid-range, camera-focused smartphones in India, with the first VoLTE modelrolling out the first week of October, according to the report.

* The NewsBroadcasters Association of India elected Ashok Venkatramani, CEO of Indiannews channel ABP News Network, as its president for 2016-2017. Accordingto Television Post, India Today group CEO Ashish Bagga was also elected vicepresident of the association.

FEATUREDNEWS

: ColumbiaPictures hopes that two superstars and a classic tale can provide some balancein a challenging box office season. 

: With a pair ofstation groups having withdrawn their guidance for the year and spending fromthe Trump campaign yet to materialize in a significant way, projections callingfor stations to realize $3.3 billion in advertising from the political arena in2016 are being revised downward. 

: S&PGlobal Market Intelligence presents a biweekly rundown of executive and boardchanges in the European media and communications industries. 

:S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of executivechanges in the media and communications industries. 

: Sidoti is breaking industry norms andis looking to charge some companies a fee for research coverage. 

: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents aroundup of recent programming announcements from various networks and online videoplatforms, including the return of Comedy Central's "The Meltdown withJonah and Kumail" on Sept. 27 and the cancellation of "Roadies"on Showtime after its first season. 

: The nation's largestbrick-and-mortar retailers are looking to e-commerce to help prop up in-storesales, but competing with Amazon.com at its own game has proven a challenge. 

FEATUREDRESEARCH

: Pay TV operators are finally coming to grips withdisruptive digital services as a critical testing ground for more engagingcontent experiences. 

: We begin ourscouting report series on RSNs with YES Network in the nation's largest mediamarket, New York. 

: Due to theOlympics' typical "sucking out" effect, investors will be payingclose attention to the Q3 results of the publicly traded cable network owners. 

Joji Sakurai, SunnyUm, Frances Wang and Kevin Osmond contributed to this report. The Daily Dosehas an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. Hong Kong time. Some external links mayrequire a subscription.