* Megvii Technology Co. Ltd.'s planned listing in Hong Kong is back on track after the company's application was cleared by the Hong Kong stock exchange, Reuters reported, citing two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. Megvii's listing plans were delayed last year after the company did not win approval for its IPO at a hearing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange's listing committee. The company filed for a public float in Hong Kong in August 2019, aiming to raise at least US$500 million.
* Tencent Holdings Ltd. and private equity firm Sequoia Capital China led a US$80 million investment round in Dami Wangxiao, a sub-brand of Chinese online education company VIPKid, DealStreetAsia reported. Dami Wangxiao reportedly offers livestreaming English and math courses to primary students in China.
* Nasdaq-listed Baidu Inc. conducted an internal evaluation for a secondary listing in Hong Kong, TechNode reported, citing a Chinese media report. The listing could help the company grow its market capitalization and shore up funds.
* Chinese internet company Beijing ByteDance Telecommunications Co. Ltd.'s short-video app Douyin reported that its daily active users reached 400 million as of Jan. 5, according to its 2019 annual report. Douyin's number of daily active users rose to 320 million in July 2019 from 250 million in January 2019, according to the report. The report also summarized the user preferences of the type of videos posted on the app. It did not disclose specific numbers.
* Rakuten Inc.'s mobile unit Rakuten Mobile will launch as a full-fledged carrier in April, Kyodo News reported, citing Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani. The carrier had reportedly planned to launch in October last year but was forced into a limited rollout as it was unable to complete its communications network.
* The Korean government plans to invest 786.2 billion Korean won in research and development of core technology to step up its 5G and artificial intelligence competitiveness in 2020, ZDNet Korea reported. This reportedly reflects an increase of 12.7% from 2019's research and development budget for technology development.
* Korean public institutions, businesses and factories are planning to establish an independent core and edge network for a tailored "private" 5G telecommunication network, ET News reported. The private 5G network will reportedly free network users from services such as voice control and fee surcharges.
GREATER CHINA (MAINLAND CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN MARKETS)
* A court in the Jiangsu province ruled that Baidu was free from a charge of copyright violation, CS news reported. Sohu.com Ltd. sued Baidu in October 2018 for copyright infringement of the movie "Fleet of Time," which was produced and distributed by Sohu.
* HKBN Group Ltd. appointed Sam Tan in a newly created role of chief innovation officer of the company. In this role, Tan will be responsible for developing all elements of the company's IT strategy to foster innovation.
INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA
* Amazon.com Inc. expanded the Fire TV Edition program to offer more features to developers, operators and device-makers across multiple categories, including automotive, smart TVs, soundbars and streaming media players, the company said. The Fire TV Edition for operators is now available in North America, Europe, India and Japan.
* Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. rolled out voice over Wi-Fi calling service for its subscribers in multiple circles, The Economic Times (India) reported. The cities include Delhi-NCR and Chennai. The service reportedly works with all kinds of indoor Wi-Fi networks and public Wi-Fi hotspots.
* Ranjivjit Singh and Sukesh Jain, senior vice presidents at Samsung India Electronics Pvt. Ltd., left the company, The Economic Times (India) reported. Singh was reportedly heading mobile phone marketing while Jain was leading the enterprise business.
* Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd., a Malaysian entertainment and pay TV provider, signed an agreement with ViacomCBS Networks International to broadcast Comedy Central (US), C21 Media reported. Comedy Central is now available for Astro subscribers and can also be streamed on Astro's mobile service Astro Go.
* Google LLC teamed up with Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority to expand its Code in the Community program, which provides digital literacy to children, The Straits Times reported. As part of an expanded initiative, Google is expanding the curriculum and scope of the program with 6,700 more children expected to benefit from a range of free coding classes over the next three years. Google and IMDA each reportedly contributed S$1 million towards the expanded initiative.
* Thailand's Ministry of Digital Economy and Society disclosed details of the proposed merger between state-owned telecommunications companies CAT Telecom PCL and TOT PCL, Krungthep Turakij reported. The merger still needs cabinet approval, which is expected Jan. 7.
* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will continue to reorganize telecommunications cables on 4,000 kilometers of roads this year, Krungthep Turakij reported.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Nine Entertainment Co. Holdings Ltd. will drop the Macquarie Media brand for its radio division in "favor of the call signs for its stations 3AW, 2GB, 4BC and 6PR while badging the news bulletins under the 9News brand," the company said. The Australian company added that references to the group's wider radio division will be known as Nine Radio.
The US Week Ahead: 5G to take center stage at CES: While 5G is expected to be featured in presentations and product unveilings at the annual conference and expo, the role and impact of the technology will also be expected to be debated in a number of industry discussions.
Broadcast Investor: Canada TV ad projections update: Digital to offset weak core: Despite falling local and national ad revenues, offset somewhat by occasional political, high single-digit growth in digital should peg the decline in larger overall declines in larger TV advertising declines.
Joji Sakurai, Hyegyu Park, Frances Wang, Kevin Osmond and Wil Hathaway contributed to this report.
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