* The German government is considering plans to restrict the use of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. equipment in its 5G rollout due to national security concerns, Reuters reported, citing German business daily Handelsblatt. Officials are reportedly weighing proposals to introduce new security standards, along with amendments to communications legislation, as part of attempts to exclude the Chinese technology giant.
* SoftBank Vision Fund is seeking the Competition Commission of India's approval to acquire a 37.87% shareholding in logistics startup Delhivery Pvt. Ltd., Inc42 reports. It was reported in November 2018 that SoftBank Group Corp. is nearing a US$450 million investment in Delhivery, comprising a US$350 million initial investment to be followed by secondary transactions worth about US$100 million.
* The partial federal government shutdown and potential turbulence in equity markets may make it tough for U.S. IPO activity across a number of sectors to reach the same level this year as in 2018, capital markets advisers said.
* SoftBank Group announced a plan to purchase a portion of its outstanding senior notes by several concurrent tender offers. The company said it plans to buy back US$750 million worth of outstanding dollar- and euro-denominated notes.
* Asahi Broadcasting Group Holdings Corp. set up a fund that will be used to invest in startups. The fund, which is the company's second, will begin operations in February.
* Tokyo-based news curation app Gunosy Inc. said its corporate venture capital arm Gunosy Capital invested an undisclosed sum in Indian online payment platform operator Instamojo.
* SK Telecom Co. Ltd., in partnership with the Seoul metropolitan government, is set to build a 5G-based advanced infrastructure in Seoul, E Daily reports. The 25.4 billion won project will continue until the end of 2020 and is designed to install 5G sensors in the main roads of Seoul, distribute 5G V2X devices to buses and taxis, and create an autonomous driving test bed.
* Naver Webtoon CORP. and BigHit Entertainment Co. Ltd. joined hands to release the "Save Me" webcomics in South Korea, the U.S., Japan, China, Thailand and Indonesia, ZDNet Korea reports. The webcomics will be a 16-episode series.
* KT Corp. and Hyundai Mobis Co. Ltd. are set to cooperate in developing autonomous driving and connected car technologies based on 5G telecom networks, iNews 24 reports. KT said that it has started setting up 5G network infrastructure in Hyundai's test-drive center in Seosan, South Korea, to jointly develop C-V2X technology and real-time navigation update technology.
CHINA HONG KONG AND TAIWAN
* China's Hunan province appointed Shunya International Brand Consulting (Beijing) Co. Ltd. to monitor online videos in the Chinese southern province, Yicai Global reports. Under the agreement, Shunya will develop a system for monitoring public opinions in online videos using artificial intelligence and computer-based vision technologies.
* International Business Machines Corp. opened a new headquarters and research facility in Shanghai, Yicai reports. The new facilities will house different divisions of the company, including research, product development, design innovation, sales, customer service, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and blockchain businesses.
* Tencent Games is carrying out trial runs for its latest game titled "Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming," The Economic Observer reports. The Tencent Holdings Ltd. unit is reportedly applying for distribution approval to release the HBO collaboration to the market.
* Meituan Dianping lost its chief technology officer to Kuaishou, a livestreaming company. According to Technode, Luo Daofeng was not appointed technology chief in Kuaishou but is currently serving as a part-time consultant for the company.
INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA
* Facebook Inc. formed a new organizational structure for its India unit, which will see the functional heads reporting to the country managing director rather than to the regional heads, The Economic Times (India) reports. The move is in line with the social media giant's plan of delinking its India operations from the Asia-Pacific region.
* ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd.'s Ola announced it will soon be bringing its digital credit payment offering, Ola Money Postpaid, to its more than 150 million customers. The offering provides a 15-day credit line to customers and is "1-click enabled," not requiring any one-time password or password to process payments.
* Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission will monitor all social media information and content on the Malaysian monarchy, The Sun Daily reports. This monitoring will take place ahead of the election and proclamation of the 16th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or the Malaysian Head of State.
* Singtel, Ericsson and Singapore Polytechnic launched Singapore's first live 5G facility at Singapore Polytechnic's campus. The facility, dubbed 5G Garage, will serve as a training center, test bed and ideation lab to develop the city-state's 5G ecosystem.
* Indonesian telco XL Axiata is partnering with analytics software company TIBCO Software Inc. to strengthen its data science project, Warta Ekonomi reports.
* Thai telcos are working together to settle their concession disputes following the success of the negotiations between CAT Telecom PCL and Total Access Communication PCL, Prachachat reports. These disputes are reportedly worth about a hundred billion baht.
* True Corp. expressed its disinterest in the upcoming 700 MHz spectrum auction, Kao Hoon reports. The Thai mobile operator said it already has sufficient spectrum, and that it needs further clarification from the regulator about the 900 MHz license payment extensions before it can consider another major investment.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Foxtel Australia Pty Ltd. has called in investment bankers from Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. to seek advice on refinancing options as the company's US$370 million USPP senior unsecured notes are due to expire in the 2019 financial year, The Australian Financial Review reports. The News Corp. subsidiary reportedly has an approximately A$2.5 billion debt pile.
Data Dispatch: Netflix price increase feeds pre-earnings bulls: As Netflix prepares to report earnings Jan. 17, a price increase for its U.S. streaming subscribers is expected to drive up revenue and help the company pay for its expanded content budget in 2019, despite a potential short-term increase in churn.
Consumer Insights: Amazon Prime features used among U.S. subscribers: Free shipping is the centerpiece of Amazon Prime's list of features.
Netflix reports fourth-quarter 2018 membership miss, EPS beat; shares fall: Netflix shares fell in after-market speculation on Jan. 17 after the company released fourth-quarter 2018 earnings results that failed to meet expectations on paid streaming membership growth.
Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai, Ed Eduard 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.