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Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma to step down; Didi Chuxing discloses US$585M loss

TOP NEWS

* Jack Ma, co-founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., is retiring from the company to pursue philanthropy in education, The New York Times reported. In an interview, Ma told the news outlet that he would step down Sept. 10 and would be spending more of his time and wealth on education. According to the South China Morning Post, Ma will unveil a succession strategy and will stay on in his current role as the gradual transition is carried out.

* Beijing-based ride-sharing platform Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd. disclosed a net loss of US$585 million in the first six months of 2018 and has failed to generate a profit since its founding, South China Morning Post reports. Didi reportedly doled out 11.7 billion yuan in discounts and subsidies in the first half of the year to counterpoise rivals such as Meituan-Dianping. Didi is backed by Chinese giants such as Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Baidu Inc. and has recently come under regulatory scrutiny following the deaths of two passengers.

* The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, or TRAI, has imposed fines on major telecom operators for slipping on service quality benchmarks during the March 2018 quarter, The Economic Times (India) reports. A fine of 3.4 million Indian rupees was imposed on Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., a 1.1 million rupees penalty was imposed on Bharti Airtel Ltd. and a fine of 1.25 million rupees was levied on Idea Cellular Ltd.

JAPAN

* NTT Docomo Inc. sealed a license deal with Chinese telco Xiaomi Corp., MIUI reports. Under the terms of the agreement, Xiaomi will have a license to NTT Docomo's mobile wireless patents.

* Sony Corp. intends to have all the energy it uses come from renewable sources by 2040 through installation of solar panels at production facilities and purchases of green-certified power, Nikkei Asian Review reports. Green energy currently powers 7% of Sony's operations.

SOUTH KOREA

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. established its sixth global artificial intelligence research center in New York. Led by Dr. Daniel D. Lee, the new research and development center will focus on robotics. Samsung Electronics is a unit of the Samsung Group.

* In other Samsung news, the group's HR service and corporate training service unit Multicampus Corp. joined hands with telco KT Corp. to provide mobile educational services, Yonhap News Agency reports. Dubbed GiGa Genie SERICEO, the service will provide 7-minute video lectures from business leaders.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. will reshuffle the organisation in order to improve services and secure core technologies, ZDNet Korea reports. The telco will create a technology committee to secure technologies related to AI and 5G and a taskforce to strengthen its research and development capacity.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Chinese entertainment service Bilibili Inc. acquired a team in Overwatch League, expanding presence in the esports space, and will represent the city of Hangzhou. Bilibili will join the league for the start of the 2019 season.

* Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of Alibaba, opened an unmanned apparel store in Hong Kong that uses its mobile payment platform Alipay, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

* In other Alibaba news, its trading platform Xianyu announced new strategies including developing a mini program in Alipay to enable easy access for users, NetEase reports.

* Taiwanese semiconductor maker MediaTek Inc. unveiled its first 5G phone prototype, UDN reports. The company is also reportedly expected to start mass production of 5G chips in 2020.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* An Indian judicial authority has asked Walmart Inc. and Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd. units to provide details on their business in the country now that their deal has closed, Live Mint reported. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal set a deadline of Sept. 20 for Walmart's response.

* Indian IT service provider Infosys Ltd. said it formed a joint venture with Singapore-based Temasek Holdings (Pte.) Ltd. and will integrate teams from Infosys and the operations of Temasek unit Trusted Source Pte. Ltd. The JV will support Temasek's digital transformation and enable the company to host applications on a cloud platform. Infosys will acquire a 60% stake in the joint venture.

* HCL Technologies Ltd. appointed Prateek Aggarwal as CFO, effective Oct. 1. Aggarwal will succeed Anil Chanana, who will step down as CFO on Oct. 1 and is due to retire from the company Dec. 31.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Indonesian ride-hailing service provider PT Go-Jek Indonesia ventured into online content through its investment in Kumparan, an Indonesian digital media startup, Reuters reports. Go-Jek also plans to roll out a subscription-based original content service.

* Eros International Plc's Eros Now platform is entering the Indonesian market through a distribution partnership with Xiaomi Corp. As part of the deal, Indonesian Mi TV users will be able to access over 11,000 Bollywood and regional language films, entertainment shows, music videos and originals in the Eros Now platform.

* Singapore-based entertainment application Hooq Digital PTE. Ltd. boarded its first Indonesian series, crime thriller Brata, in a partnership with Indonesian telco Telkomsel, Screen Daily reports.

* Thai mobile service provider True Corporation refused to pay 76 billion baht to state-owned TOT PCL for breach of contract and 3.38 billion to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, or NBTC, for using the 1800MHz as temporary consumer protection measures, Kaohoon reports. True Corp. will reportedly seek legal means to revert the decisions handed down by the arbitration committee and the NBTC respectively.

* Thai telco Total Access Communication Public Co. Ltd., or Dtac, said that almost 1 million customers will be affected by the end of its 850MHz band concession on Sept. 15, Prachachat reports.

* The Thai cabinet approved a budget of 113 million baht for the public relations department to keep the department's digital terrestrial TV channel running, Krungthep Turakij reports.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australian broadband provider Aussie Broadband Pty Ltd. was told to remove statements claiming its network was "congestion-free" after concerns were raised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, ZD Net reports. Aussie Broadband reportedly delivered 89.1 percent of its maximum plan speeds overall.

* Tech company RTI Connectivity and the Sunshine Coast Council will build a 550-kilometer undersea cable into the Sunshine Coast by 2020. This will provide Australia's fastest internet link to Asia, the second fastest link to the U.S., and open up opportunities for the state of Queensland, Brisbane Times reports.

FEATURED NEWS

Data Dispatch: SoftBank's US$100B Vision Fund ramps up investments in Asia: The US$100 billion private equity and venture capital arm of Japan's SoftBank is increasingly focusing on Asia as it seeks to expand its global portfolio despite the bulk of its investments being in U.S. and Canadian companies.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: Hong Kong subscription online video uptake curbed by free content: Kagan's profile determines that piracy and free-to-air streaming content impede subscription over-the-top from reaching its full potential in Hong Kong.

Joji Sakurai, Wil Hathaway, Frances Wong, Kevin Osmond and Nicole Kim 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.