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Apple seeking incentives in India; Go-Jek in expansion mode in Singapore

TOP NEWS

* Apple Inc. is in talks with India's Ministry of Commerce and the Department of Revenue to seek sops for its component manufacturers, including tax breaks for five years, and income tax benefits for exports made, The Economic Times (India) reports. The country's central government is looking to offer policy incentives to the tech giant and other manufacturers to produce and export products from India.

* Ride-hailing company PT Go-Jek Indonesia will extend its operations to cover "the whole of Singapore" from Jan. 2, The Straits Times reports. The Indonesian company began the beta phase by offering rides in limited areas of the island nation in November, 2018.

JAPAN

* Japan's used smartphone market is growing as prices of new handsets is projected to grow, Yomiuri Shimbun reports. According to the report, smartphone servicing operators are also teaming up to establish a uniform protocol for authorizing smartphone repair quality.

SOUTH KOREA

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. conducted a live television broadcast through its commercial 5G networks and broadcasting solution "T Live Caster," covering the New Year's Eve countdown and bell-ringing ceremony on entertainment channel XtvN, Financial News reports. The telco used a smartphone connected to a 5G mobile router to film the event, which was sent through a 5G base station and XtvN broadcasting system to be aired to viewers.

* Melon and Genie Music, operated by Kakao M Corp. and KT Corp. subsidiary Genie Music Corp. respectively, raised the prices for bundled streaming and download offerings by varying rates, Money Today reports. The new prices will apply to new subscribers.

* LG U+ added 37 new channels to its IPTV service U+tv, including fashion and kids-special channels and public channels, ZDNet Korea reports. The company also introduced two new membership plans, according to the report.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Samsung Group closed its Tianjin joint venture for smartphone manufacturing, and plans to invest US$2.4 billion in the Chinese city to build a facility to supply multi-layer ceramic chip capacitors and electric vehicle batteries, Xinhua reports.

* The Guangzhou local government will work with Hong Kong and Macau to push China's chip development, Xinhua reports. The focus of the initiative will be on areas including smart sensor and radio frequency circuit.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Reliance Communications Ltd. and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. extended the validity of the agreements for sale of towers, fiber, media convergence nodes and spectrum of RCom and its affiliates to June 28, RCom said in a regulatory filing.

* Hike Ltd., an Indian messaging app, is seeking to raise more funds in 2019 and will start experimenting with monetization models from 2020, The Economic Times (India) reports. The app has raised US$261 million in funding to date, and is backed by investors such as SoftBank Group Corp., Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Foxconn Technology Group Co. Ltd.

* Netflix Inc.'s Asia Vice President Communications Jessica Lee said the streaming giant "more than doubled" its content offerings, including original and licensed titles, in India since its launch in 2016, Television Post reports.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Indonesian telco PT Smartfren Telecom Tbk will take PT Internux's customers, following the revocation of Internux's 2.3 GHz frequency, Uzone reports. Internux is an internet service provider.

* Thailand's Ministry of Digital Economy and Society invested 39 million baht in facial recognition technology for policing cybercrime on social media, Prachachat reports. The investment was made on behalf of the Technology Crime Suppression Division, a law enforcement partnership between the ministry and the Royal Thai Police.

* Thai telco Total Access Communication PCL said its network usage increased by 150% during New Year's Eve and New Year's Day celebrations, Matichon reports.

* Thai telco TrueMove H said network usage across its four most popular apps increased by more than 200% for a second year running during New Year's Eve and New Year's Day celebrations, Prachachat reports.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australian telco Telstra Corp. Ltd. failed yet again to stop rival telco Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd. from running ads depicting Telstra phone boxes sinking in the desert, after a court threw out the case, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

FEATURED NEWS

Data Dispatch: The year in fintech: Rise of digital banks, fall of cryptocurrencies: As 2019 approaches, the industry is watching four major areas within the fintech industry: banks (and nonbanks) going digital, regulation, Wall Street's involvement in cryptocurrencies and high-profile mergers and public offerings.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Eastern Europe TV Everywhere overview: All the major pay TV operators in the Eastern Europe region have deployed TVE services. Cooperation with online video services and borderless access across EU member states is giving momentum to TVE initiatives.

Joji Sakurai, Myungran Ha, Frances Wang, Kevin Osmond and Patrick Tibke 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.