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China's wider antitrust laws; Cinedigm/Starrise deal; telecom dues in India


* China plans to extend the country's antitrust law to internet businesses to ensure fair market competition, Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing draft legislation by the State Administration for Market Regulation. The proposed law would expand the definition of what constitutes a dominant position in the market. It will also limit companies' ability to collect and process data. Other proposed changes include a tenfold increase in the maximum fine for violations. The bill will reportedly be finalized by Jan. 31 after a public comment period.

* Cinedigm Corp. signed a definitive stock purchase agreement to purchase about 29% of the outstanding equity of Chinese entertainment company Starrise Media Holdings Ltd. from two existing holders. Under terms of the transaction, the company agreed to issue to the sellers a total of 54,850,103 shares of its class A common stock. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of the year.

* India is seeking at least US$30 billion in overdue telecom fees from mobile service providers, energy companies and fertilizer makers in a bid to meet a budget deficit target, Bloomberg News reported. Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Ltd. has been ordered to pay US$2.1 billion by Jan. 23. The ministry earlier ordered Vodafone Group PLC's Indian unit as well as Bharti Airtel Ltd. to pay US$3 billion each in penalties.


* Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, said the country's business lobby plans on developing digital technologies to make "people's lives happier and solve social problems," The Japan Times reported, citing Kyodo News. Nakanishi said the business lobby will commit to rule-making for digital transformation and economic structural reforms in the country.


* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. President Park Jung-ho said the company plans to adopt artificial intelligence technology across all business units this year, ZDNet Korea reported.

* The Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Park Yang-woo, unveiled plans to build a 133 trillion won content industry in 2020, ZDNet Korea reported.


* Microsoft Corp. is partnering with Shanghai-based word processing technology provider DataGrand Tech Inc., following which Microsoft Azure will reportedly provide algorithms to DataGrand services such as optical character recognition, 36kr reported.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. affiliate Ant Financial Services Group submitted an application to the Monetary Authority of Singapore for a digital wholesale banking license, CNBC reported, citing a statement from the company. Gaming hardware manufacturing company Razer Inc. and ride-sharing company Grab Holdings Inc. also reportedly applied for the same licenses. MAS, Singapore's central bank, is reportedly set to issue up to two digital full bank licenses and three wholesale bank licenses.

* Chang Cheng, the former head of the smartphone unit of Lenovo Group Ltd., joined Xiaomi Corp. as vice president, South China Morning Post reported, citing a statement from Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun. Cheng will take charge of mobile phone product planning at the company.

* In other Xiaomi news, the company plans to invest at least 50 billion Chinese yuan in 5G and AI-powered internet of things in the next five years, according to a post on CEO Lei Jun WeChat account.


* Eros Now, a South Asian entertainment platform owned by Eros International PLC, partnered with Ooredoo to offer its content library to Ooredoo's subscriber base in Qatar. The companies, which provide services in nine countries across the region, including Qatar, also plan to replicate similar partnerships in new markets in the future.

* Star India Pvt. Ltd. will increase the prices of 16 à la carte channels Jan. 9, Telecom Talk reported. The 16 channels will reportedly be back to their prediscount prices, which the broadcaster had announced in 2019. Some of these channels include Star Plus, Maa TV, Star Jalsha, Asianet and Vijay, among others.

* The Telangana state government in India inked several memoranda of understanding for technology hubs and facilities in the region, The Economic Times (India) reported. The state inked an MOU with Intel Corp., International Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad and Public Health Foundation of India for a Center for Research in Applied Artificial Intelligence that will focus on fields such as diagnostics, smart mobility, advanced safety, autonomous navigation, traffic management and smart cities. The state also signed another MOU with NVIDIA Corp. under which a high performance AI computing center will be set up.

* In other Telangana state news, data network company Sterlite Technologies Ltd. will work with Telangana Fiber Grid Corporation Ltd. to create affordable and high-speed broadband connectivity in the state. The project entails designing and building an end-to-end rural broadband network across 11 districts as well as managing the network for an additional seven years. The total project value is worth about 18 billion Indian rupees.


* Trend Micro, a Thailand-based cybersecurity firm, said cyberattacks in 2020 are likely to target new vulnerabilities such as cloud services, IT solutions from managed service providers and IoT technology, Krungthep Turakij reported. Trend Micro also said the increase of remote work in Thailand offers new opportunities for cybercriminals to attack businesses using low-security Wi-Fi networks.

* Nokia Corp. named David Oxford as the country director for Thailand, The Nation reported. Oxford will oversee all business and operations in the country. Oxford was previously Nokia's customer team head at PT Indosat Tbk in Indonesia.

* Razer appointed Tan Chong Neng as its new CFO, The Business Times reported. Neng succeeds Edwin Chan, who was named as the company's chief investment officer.

* The Indonesian government plans to impose fixed fees on some e-wallet transactions, Business World reported, citing five people familiar with the matter. E-wallet service providers in the country currently customize fees for vendors and charge a premium from big retailers. The move aims to standardize the fees associated with electronic payments on QR code transactions.


* Australian telecommunications company NBN Co. Ltd. dispatched the "nbn Road Muster truck" to provide free Wi-Fi connectivity at a bushfire evacuation center at Batemans Bay. The truck provides Wi-Fi via NBN's Sky Muster satellite service.


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Hyegyu Park, Frances Wang, Patrick Tibke and Kevin Osmond 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.