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Alibaba to spend $7B on content; Qualcomm fined in South Korea

Brazil Pay TV Down Record Amount In 2019, With Losses Continuing In Q1'20

Impact of COVID 19 on US Video Entertainment Trends

Case Study: Transforming Sales Enablement Data at a Global Advertising and Media Firm

Key Credit Risk Factors When Assessing Banks In The Context Of COVID-19

Alibaba to spend $7B on content; Qualcomm fined in South Korea


* Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, the entertainment affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., will invest more than 50 billion Chinese yuan, or about US$7.2 billion, in content over the next three years, Reuters reports, citing an internal email by the affiliate's new CEO, Yu Yongfu.

* As expected, South Korea's Fair Trade Commission imposed a fine of 1.03 trillion South Korean won, or about US$853 million, on U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. and its two affiliate units for abusing a dominant market position. Qualcomm will appeal the ruling to the Seoul High Court, including the fine's amount and the way it was computed.


* Panasonic Corp. announced an agreement with Tesla Motors Inc. to produce solar cells and modules at the U.S. electric carmaker's factory in Buffalo, N.Y. The deal includes an investment of more than ¥30 billion from the Japanese tech firm, Reuters reports.

* Dentsu Inc.'s CEO said he will step down over the suicide of a female employee from overwork, according to Jiji Press. Tadashi Ishii announced his resignation after authorities sent evidence to prosecutors on the case, which has shaken Japan's largest advertising agency and triggered debate over the country's high-pressure work culture.

* Sony Corp. aims to market OLED televisions globally by the summer, with sales starting in the U.S., Europe and China as early as spring, according to The Nikkei. Sony will deploy proprietary image-processing technology for high-resolution TVs that use organic light-emitting diodes, and source panels from South Korea's LG Display.


* T-Mobile US Inc. started rolling out a software update to prevent unreturned units of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s discontinued Galaxy Note 7 smartphone from charging their batteries, OSEN reports. The update aimed at ending ongoing use of the handsets will also be implemented in the U.S. by Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. and Sprint Corp.

* The Korea Fair Trade Commission fined cable TV operator D'Live 250 million South Korean won for reducing the commission fees paid to its suppliers without clear contractual grounds, ZDNet Korea reports. The watchdog also issued a corrective order to the company for forcing suppliers to attract new subscribers by assigning monthly targets.

* The South Korean government finalized new guidelines for mobile handset recalls, Chosun Biz reports. Under the new rules, the handset manufacturer should decide on specifics of recall procedures, including a time period and locations, within three days of a recall decision in cooperation with telcos, and notify the users within a week.


* The Cyberspace Administration of China issued details of the cybersecurity law framework laid out in November, stating that key Chinese industries must review the security of technology to avoid unfair competition and harming the interests of others. It also called for respecting cybersovereignty, allowing states to monitor internet services within their own borders.

* LeSports, the sports unit of Chinese tech giant LeEco, reached a deal with Beijing-based Super Sports Media Group to continue broadcasting English Premier League matches until Jan. 3, 2017, despite having unpaid rights fees, Tencent News reports. LeEco also announced that it secured 10 billion Chinese yuan in funding from more than one institutional investor.

* State-funded Shanghai United Media Group obtained 610 million Chinese yuan in funding from six state-owned enterprises for its online news website, Sina reports. The group also announced the restructuring of its publications, under which the Oriental Morning Post will stop publishing from Jan. 1, 2017, and its content will be reallocated in The Paper.


* True Corp. subsidiary True Incube Co. Ltd. purchased 20 million common shares of Canadian company Capstream Ventures Inc. for 268.47 million Thai baht, giving it an 8.84% stake in the company. It also announced the establishment of True Axion Games Ltd., a joint venture between the two companies and Red Anchor (Thailand) Co. Ltd. that will focus on video game and app development.

* Malaysian telco Maxis Berhad is acquiring the rest of the 25% stake it does not own in Malaysia's Advanced Wireless Technologies Sdn Bhd (AWT) from Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd for 15.8 million Malaysian ringgit, The Sun Daily reports. AWT owns UMTS (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, which holds a 2,100 MHz spectrum assignment that expires in April 2018.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission met with 12 of the country's largest ISPs to order 36 websites to be blocked for hosting pirated movies and TV shows, Manager reports. The meeting was called at the request of the National Federation of Motion Pictures and Contents Associations, which also opened up a criminal investigation with the Economic Crime Suppression Division.

* In other NBTC news, a consumer protection subcommittee rejected TrueVisions' proposed compensation package for subscribers affected by the loss of six key entertainment channels including HBO, Krungthep Turakij reports. An NBTC commissioner said TrueVisions' replacement content is inadequate to cover the loss of the six channels, and ordered the company to submit a revised proposal next month.

* Singaporean broadcaster MediaCorp Pte. Ltd. and Indonesian online wedding portal Bridestory decided to end their joint venture in Singapore, Channel News Asia reports. The JV was established in July 2015 and allowed both companies to pool resources and produce content for Singapore's wedding market through the portal.

* Indonesian telco Telkomsel signed a partnership agreement with a number of banks as part of its effort to expand its sales distribution channels, Tribun Bali reports. The partnership, which will last from 2017 until 2019, includes sales of prepaid card balances through ATM, internet banking, SMS banking and mobile banking.

* Thailand's Army Cyber Center denied that it purchased surveillance equipment designed to hack into encrypted computer traffic, Khaosod reports. Online activist group Single Gateway: Thailand Internet Firewall shared pictures on social media of what it claims are leaked procurement documents from the military, which has since vowed to take legal action against the group for spreading false information online.


* Vodafone Plc's Australian unit will temporarily deploy portable cells on wheels to boost mobile coverage in high-traffic areas for the New Year's holiday, ZDNet reports. These areas include Sydney Harbor, Bondi Beach, Byron Bay and the Whitsunday Islands.

* NBN Co Ltd., the company tasked with the A$50 billion rollout of Australia's National Broadband Network, expects to extend the project to Sydney and other business districts by 2020, The Australian reports. Karina Keisler, NBN's corporate affairs chief, said the company is focused on bringing the National Broadband Network to rural, regional and underserved areas first.


* Reliance Jio sought an extension to respond to telco regulator Trai's question about its "Happy New Year" promotional offer. According to the Press Trust of India, Trai asked RJio on Dec. 20 to explain within five days why the telco's extension of its free voice and data plan from September should not be considered a violation of guidelines that require promotional offers to last only 90 days.

* The Competition Commission of India approved the proposed purchase of a 2% stake in handset manufacturer Micromax by Madison India Opportunities Trust Fund, the Press Trust of India reports.

* Bermuda-based ABS Satellite signed a multi-transponder agreement to provide direct-to-home broadcast services in Nepal, Rapid TV News reports. The platform, scheduled to go live in February 2017, will deliver 170 local and international TV channels, covering Nepal and its neighboring countries in South Asia.


US Media & Comm director moves through Dec. 28: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a rundown of board changes in the media and communications industries.

Briefing Room: 2016's biggest influencers in European media, telecommunications: This year's shortlist of people with outsized influence in the European media and telecoms landscape includes corporate power brokers, a presenter and a politician.


Broadcast Investor: TV station live streaming picks up steam with new players: With options increasing for cord-cutters looking for live broadcast TV content, we present a comprehensive analysis of the top VSP and OTT services offering local station feeds in the U.S.

Economics of Internet: Amazon Prime video expansion necessitates big content spend: Jumping into head-to-head competition with Netflix around the world, Amazon Prime is available in 200-plus countries as of Dec. 14.

Joji Sakurai, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai, Patrick Tibke and Ed Eduard 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.