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Huawei unveils AI chip-powered phone; SK Telecom develops Wi-Fi with 5G speeds

S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of the latest developments in technology in the Asia-Pacific region.

TOP STORIES

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. said Oct. 16 that it launched Mate 10, its smartphone series with an integrated artificial intelligence chip, the Kirin 970, to compete with Samsung Group and Apple Inc.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. developed 5G-speed Wi-Fi for the first time in South Korea. The company developed the next-generation Wi-Fi technology with the speed of 4.8Gbps and completed the demonstration Oct. 23. The company expects it to be commercialized by 2018.

* Sri Lanka's national mobile service provider Mobitel said Oct. 18 that it launched South Asia's first narrowband-internet of things technology at the recently concluded Techno 2017. The telco's deployment of the technology, interleaved on the 900MHz spectrum, was seven times stronger than the usual mobile coverage.

* Baidu Inc. introduced a plan to support AI development under which it aims to work with over 500 partners in 2018, grow over 5,000 AI talents and invest in a few startups dedicated to AI technologies, JRJ News reported Oct. 19.

* Sony Corp. is returning to robotics twelve years after ditching the business, The Nikkei reported Oct. 8. Sony, which recently returned to profitability after a prolonged period of losses, plans to launch a robot dog for home use in spring 2018.

CLOUD, 5G AND THE INTERNET OF THINGS

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s research and development center in Bengaluru, which was also responsible for developing the South Korean conglomerate's AI assistant Bixby, has begun working on 5G technology, The Economic Times of India reported Oct. 24, citing Dipesh Shah, managing director of Samsung R&D Institute.

* Kakao Corp. launched smart mobility platform Kakao T on Oct. 24 to provide transport-related services.

* Telecom operator KDDI Corp. tapped Germany-based Axiros to deliver fixed broadband and internet of things services, Telecompaper reported Oct. 23.

* LG Uplus Corp. started its first ICT convergence pilot project in Youngwol, will use various internet of things and AI technologies to improve quality of life in the farming village, IT Chosun reported Oct. 22.

* China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. signed a partnership deal with Tencent Holdings Ltd. on internet services, including the setting up of a cloud data center and providing internet safety services, Tencent News reported Oct. 20.

* LG Electronics Inc. said Oct. 19 that it joined Qualcomm Inc. to jointly develop connected car technologies for the self-driving vehicle parts industry.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. said Oct. 19 that it applied its AI network management system TANGO to its communication network.

* Baidu Inc. will launch its first batch of self-driving cars as soon as 2018, The Paper reported Oct. 18.

* KT Corp. CEO Hwang Chang-gyu met with SpaceX Chairman Elon Musk to discuss partnership opportunities in self-driving vehicles and smart energy technology, Joongang Ilbo reported Oct. 15. KT and SpaceX will co-launch the Mugunghwa 5A satellite later this month in Florida, U.S.

* KT Corp. successfully field tested its 5G-SLT technology, which connects a car running at more than over 100 kilometers per hour to 5G networks to transmit video data, in real highway conditions for the first time in the world, Digital Times reported Oct. 12.

* Samsung Electronics will soon launch its ARTIK 051 internet of things platform in South Korea, ET News reported Oct. 12.

* Qualcomm Inc. is partnering with Thunder Software Technology to set up a laboratory in the Chinese city of Chongqing to develop internet of things-connected smart cars, the South China Morning Post reported Oct. 11.

* Vodafone Hutchison Australia is set to introduce its narrowband-internet of things network in November, The Australian Financial Review reported Oct. 11. The initial commercial rollout will begin in Melbourne, while the rest of Australia will have access in 2018.

VIRTUAL REALITY AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

* Panasonic Corp. will acquire Silicon Valley-based artificial intelligence venture Arimo Inc. in October in a bid to fortify its hand in artificial intelligence, aiming to sell services for saving energy or predicting equipment breakdowns from operating data, The Nikkei reported Oct. 21.

* Indian consumer electronic giant BPL Ltd. will be launching its smart speaker-powered by Amazon.com Inc.'s cloud-based voice service Alexa, called BPL Voice One, which will be exclusively sold through Amazon in India, The Economic Times reported Oct. 21.

* Samsung Electronics on Oct. 18 announced it is partnering with Alphabet Inc.'s Google Inc. to extend the U.S. tech giant's augmented reality platform, ARCore, to more Galaxy devices.

* Naver Corp. on Oct. 17 introduced its second AI speaker, Friends.

* KT Corp. on Oct. 13 said that it will run a virtual reality film theater at the Busan International Film Festival in cooperation with VR content provider Barunson.

* SINA Corp.'s social media unit Weibo Corp. is launching an augmented reality-enabled mobile app called SuiShouPai using Remark Holdings Inc.'s technology.

* Kakao Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to sync its artificial intelligence platform Kakao I with the tech giant's home appliances, OSEN reported Oct. 12.

* NTT DOCOMO Inc., the mobile arm of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., plans to release low-cost voice control AI software for electronic devices as early as 2018, The Nikkei reported Oct. 11.

* Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan's largest financial group, aims for AI and software robots to take over 30% of operations at its core banking unit by 2024, the unit's CEO Kanetsugu Mike told Reuters on Oct. 11.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. affiliate Ant Financial will commercialize Zoloz, its own AI-based identity recognition platform, 36kr reported Oct. 11.

* Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Virtual Reality reached a partnership with Madison Wells Media unit Reality One and VRX networks to create and distribute VR experiences for select Sony films, The Hollywood Reporter reported Oct. 10.

* Hitachi Ltd. is developing an AI system through its new internet of things unit, Hitachi Vantara, aimed at anticipating hard-drive failures before they happen, allowing pre-emptive replacement, Digital Journal reported Oct. 9.

* Fujitsu Ltd. won the order by Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology to build Japan's fastest supercomputer, The Nikkei reported Oct. 7. The ¥5 billion supercomputer will provide an artificial intelligence development framework for companies and research institutions.

DEVICES

* Samsung Electronics inked its first overseas supply deal for Cinema LED, its high-resolution LED, or light-emitting diode, screen in Thailand through Thai cinema chain Major Cineplex, ZDNet reported Oct. 9.