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Apple suppliers may leave China over US tariffs; SoftBank to drop Huawei gear

TOP NEWS

* Apple Inc.'s suppliers may consider moving iPhone production out of China if the U.S. decides to impose a 25% tariff on devices, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. and Pegatron Corp. are among hundreds of suppliers currently working on Apple products in China.

* SoftBank Corp. will remove equipment made by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. from its 4G network amid rising security concerns over the use of Chinese telecom products, Nikkei Asian Review reported. The mobile operator, owned by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp., will replace all Huawei equipment over the next few years with hardware from Ericsson and Nokia Corp.

* QUALCOMM Inc. is in the process of filing additional suits seeking to broaden a ban on the sale of iPhones in China to newer device models, the Financial Times (London) reported. Qualcomm now wants to ban sales of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. The chipmaker recently won a preliminary injunction against the import and sale in China of older iPhone models.

* A series of scandals have erased a fifth of Facebook Inc.'s market value, key members on Capitol Hill are calling for stricter regulation, and the firm's top executives have been on the defensive with a chorus of mea culpas.

JAPAN

* NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp.) subsidiaries NHK Media Technology Inc. and NHK Integrated Technology Inc. have decided to merge to form a new company called NHK Technologies Inc. The new company aims to offer technological services in information security and the internet businesses beginning April 1, 2019.

* FPT Japan Holdings Co. Ltd., the Japanese subsidiary of Vietnamese IT service company FPT Group, has set up a new office in Hiroshima, The Nikkei reports. The new branch office seeks to offer IT service support and software development in the southern part of Japan.

SOUTH KOREA

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is expected to adopt blockchain and cryptocurrency technology for its next smartphone, Chosun Biz reports.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. joined hands with Deutsche Telekom AG subsidiary MobiledgeX Inc. to adopt mobile edge computing technology for its 5G network service. The new technology will enable the telco to provide a faster 5G service with lower latency rates.

* Kakao Corp. unit Kakao Mobility Co. Ltd. will delay the full launch of its carpool service, Yonhap News Agency reports. The company said this is due to a need to reflect the opinions of the society, including the taxi unions and users. The beta service for select users will continue, and the company is expanding beta service users.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Chinese anime video streaming service Bilibili Inc. acquired Wangyi Manhua, the manga unit of NetEase Inc., for an undisclosed sum, Sina reports.

* Xiaomi Corp. is restructuring its business to focus on the Chinese market, and is creating a new team for the region, South China Morning Post reports. Wang Chuan, co-founder of Xiaomi, has been named the president of the new China region.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s social networking service QQ will shut down the web version of its platform in 2019. According to TechNode, beginning Jan. 1, QQ users will be required to utilize the platform's mobile and desktop apps to communicate as WebQQ will no longer be accessible.

* Baidu Inc. opened a regional content center in Chengdu, China, People's Daily reports. The new content center will join other regional centers in Wuhan, Wenzhou, Changsha and Xi'an that supply the company's self-publishing platform Baijiahao.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Reliance Communications Ltd. has informed India's Supreme Court that it will not be able to settle its unpaid dues with Ericsson by the Dec. 15 deadline because the government has not yet cleared its spectrum sale to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., The Economic Times (India) reports.

* Google LLC unveiled Google Shopping in India, a dedicated search engine that allows users to filter through offers and review prices from multiple retailers.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. secured a US$150 million investment from Japan's Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. Under the strategic partnership, the two companies will collaborate on expanding their businesses in Indonesia

* Malaysian telecom operators U Mobile Sdn. Bhd. and Maxis Bhd. have entered into an extension of its 3G RAN share agreement. The deal term is until the end of June 2019.

* Thailand's Department of Special Investigation took down illegal streaming websites, Khaosod reports. The operations of these websites have caused 4 billion baht worth of estimated damages to the industry.

* Thai telco Total Access Communication PCL has been granted new spectrum licenses to operate the 1800 MHz and the 900 MHz bands, Prachachat reports. The licenses are valid until 2033.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said the 700 MHz spectrum auction will be held by March 2019, Manager reports. The regulator expects the reserve price to be 5 billion or 6 billion baht per 5 MHz of spectrum.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission raised preliminary competition concerns about the proposed merger of TPG Telecom Ltd. and Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty. Ltd. The regulator said that TPG, being on course to become the fourth mobile network operator in Australia, has potential to give rise to aggressive competition, and removing the company as an independent competitor may lead to significant lessening of competition.

FEATURED NEWS

As QE in Europe ends, liquidity risks could stoke debt market volatility: The role of the European Central Bank as a backstop for debt demand has likely reduced the impact of political instability on markets, but the end of the quantitative easing program may see market volatility increase.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Multichannel Trends: Are local sports keeping subscribers in traditional multichannel bundles?: Markets with teams in the NFL, MLB and NBA were able to hold on to a larger share of their subscribers since the end of 2014 than markets without, according to MediaCensus data.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Nicole Kim, Frances Wang, Kevin Osmond and Wil Hathaway 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.