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China bans online news reporting; Baidu CEO pulls bid for iQiyi


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China bans online news reporting; Baidu CEO pulls bid for iQiyi


* Chineseonline portals including SinaCorp., TencentHoldings Ltd., iFeng and NetEase Inc. have all shut down their newsreporting operations as required by the Beijing office of the CyberspaceAdministration of China, People's Daily Online reports.The internet regulator has banned original reporting by such services and nowonly allows news from state-owned outlets such as Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily and Beijing Daily to be carried online.

*Baidu Inc. chairmanand CEO Robin Li has withdrawn his bid to purchase Baidu's 80.5% stake in itsvideo unit iQiyi,Bloomberg reports.The involved parties, which include an investor group led by Li and iQiyifounder and CEO Yu Gong, reportedly failed to reach an agreement on the priceand structure of the deal. A Baidu investor earlier the Chinese search enginecompany over the proposed sale, claiming it undervalued iQiyi at US$2.8 billion.

* SouthKorean telco SK Telecom Co.Ltd. announced that it canceled the stock purchase agreement forcable TV operator CJHelloVision that it signed with parent company , The Hankyoreh reports. Thisconsequently ends the merger plan between SKT subsidiary and CJ HelloVision. Themove comes a week after the Fair Trade Commission's rejection of theproposed merger. 

*Nintendo Co. Ltd.'sshares posted their sharpest drop since 1990 on an announcement that the globalpopularity of its augmented reality game "Pokémon Go" would have alimited effect on earnings, Bloomberg reports.Nintendo's stock closed nearly 18% lower to end July 25 at ¥23,220;the company's share price had nearly doubled until last week's close onexpectations that the game would revive the company's fortunes.

* Japan'sgovernment and the European Union will link their global positioning systems ina joint effort to accelerate the development of driverless car technology, The Nikkei reports.Japan's Quasi-Zenith Satellite System and the EU's Galileo could be connectedas soon as 2018; the link will allow driverless vehicles and componentsdeveloped for the Japanese market to be used outside of Japan.

*SoftBank GroupCorp.'s humanoid robot Pepper wenton sale to corporate customers in Taiwan for its first overseas launch. Therollout is being managed by Perobot, a unit of Taiwan's Foxconn TechnologyGroup, formally known as Hon HaiPrecision Industry Co. Ltd. It was not clear when Pepper would bemade available to Taiwanese household consumers.

*Nippon Telegraph & TelephoneCorp. announcedit is launching trials of artificial intelligence technology across its mainunits, including mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo Inc., to develop robots for Japan's rapidlyaging society. The telecom giant aims to pool its expertise in areas such asvoice recognition and cloud computing to ease communications between robots andhumans.    

* SouthKorea's National Tax Service started an investigation into the Korean unit ofChinese IT company HuaweiTechnologies Co. Ltd., daily newspaper Kukmin Ilbo reports.Market watchers reportedly speculate that the probe focuses on whether thecompany manipulated transfer pricing to reduce the corporate tax.

* Dia TV, amultichannel network of Korean media content company CJ E&M, is set to reach the European and NorthAmerican markets, ETNews reports.One hundred teams of the network's partner creators have opened channels on theFrench video platform Dailymotion, and 12 teams have done so on the videowebsite VIKI, which streams Asian media content to the U.S. market.

* SouthKorean movie theater chain CJ CGV is planning to increase its stake in Indonesia's GrahaLayar Prima, operator of the CGV Blitz cinema chain. According to the report,the CJ Group-owned CJCGV has set aside about US$25 million to buy 50.6 million shares in Graha LayarPrima by Aug. 1.

* The Koreane-commerce website Interpark was hacked, leading to the personal information ofaround 10.3 million users being leaked, the Dong-aIlbo reports.The online shopping mall reportedly discovered the leak when the hackersdemanded 3 billion Korean won in Bitcoin. 


* London Stock Exchange-listed investment firm FalconAcquisitions Ltd. entered into a conditional agreement with internet TV softwareplatform provider Quiptel Hong Kong Ltd. and its parent company, Orbital MultiMedia Holdings Corp., to acquire the two companies in a reverse takeover deal, reports

* U.S.visual effects company Tippett Studio worked on the Chinesemovie "League of Gods," which is scheduled to hit theaters in Chinaon July 29. Advertised as a "Chinese X-Men movie," it will bedistributed by Beijing-based BonaFilm Group Ltd.

* Themobile game "Pokémon Go" has officially launched in HongKong, the South China Morning Post reports.The city is the second location in Asia to have the game after last week'slaunch in Japan. CSL Mobile Ltd. and its premium brand 1010 said they willprovide Hong Kong subscribers with free, unlimited data to play the game,according to the report. CSL is a subsidiary of -owned Hong Kong Telecom.

* SailBefore, a Beijing-based virtual reality technology provider, raised 40 millionChinese yuan in a Series A round of fundraising, NetEase reports.Investors include Aplus Capital and Cowin Capital.

* Themobile division of CK HutchisonHoldings Ltd.'s Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong will soonroll out new monthly plans and two kinds of roaming passes for customersfrequently traveling from Macau to Europe and back, Telecom Asia reports.Devices of those who travel to Macau, the U.K., Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Denmarkand Austria will automatically be connected to 3 Group networks and make orreceive calls from any region without additional charges.


*PT Telekomunikasi IndonesiaTbk partnered with Indonesiangovernment agency Badan Ekonomi Kreatif, or Creative Economy Agency, to developan online music streaming service called Gempita, Detik reports.Gempita is targeting a launch by the end of 2016.

*Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte used his firstState of the Nation Address to call for the creation of the People'sBroadcasting Corp. to replace the current state-run broadcaster PTV-4, The Philippine Star reports.Duterte wants the PBC to replicate the operations and editorial practices ofinternational state-owned broadcasters. Other actions mentioned include theintegration of the PBC with the government's public radio service, as well asthe establishment of broadcast hubs in the Visayas and Mindanao, and the firstpublic broadcast channels for Muslims and indigenous people.

*Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission(NBTC) has prepared two amendments to its TV licensing rules for the Thaicabinet in an effort to help struggling terrestrial channels stay afloat, Thai Rath reports. The NBTC willsubmit two options to the cabinet: one involves suspending outstanding paymentschedules for upfront license fees, and the other uses the government's publicrelations budget to keep the channels running.

*Thailand's NBTC also called on loss-making cable TV provider to compensate all customersaffected by its Thaicom switch-off by Aug. 1, Thai Post reports.CTH is also expecting fines from the NBTC for exceeding advertising quotasacross three of its channels: 3HD, 7HD and Workpoint TV.

* Dtac,Thailand's second-largest telco, is to invest 5 billion Thai baht in amarketing strategy focused on rebranding, expanding digital services anddeveloping domestic and international partnerships, Manager Online reports.Dtac announced its new investment plan following poor second-quarter results,including a loss of 720,000 customers in the quarter and a 7% drop in totalcustomers since a year ago.

*Singaporean broadcaster MediaCorpPte. Ltd. will not air sporting events live from the Rio Olympicsdue to the live broadcast fee increasing to US$6 million, The Straits Times reports.Asian broadcast rights for the Olympic Games are held by Japanese companyDentsu Inc.Temasek Holdings (Pvt)Ltd.-owned MediaCorp only has a deal with Dentsu for delayed telecasts.

* PT MoraTelematika Indonesia, an Indonesian telecom infrastructure company widely knownas Moratelindo, took 875 billion Indonesian rupiah of investment credit fromBank Mandiri to support its fiber-optic development project in RiauArchipelago, reports.The credit will be used to finance up to 80% of the government developmentproject.

*Indonesian telecom provider PT Bakrie Telecom Tbk reported 637 billionIndonesian rupiah of revenue and 8.64 trillion Indonesian rupiah of loss in itsrecently released 2015 annual report, Indotelko reports.The trading suspension on Bakrie's shares issued July 22 by the IndonesianStock Exchange was lifted once Bakrie submitted its audited 2015 financialreport to the regulator.


* Chinesee-commerce giant Alibaba GroupHolding Ltd. will open an office in Australia by the end of theyear, The Business Insider reports.The Melbourne office will have Maggie Zhou as managing director, John O'Loghlenas business development director and James Hudson as head of corporate affairsand marketing.

*Queensland is investing A$1 million in remotely piloted aircraft technology,ZDNet reports.The state government also partnered with aerospace firm to advance drone researchthat will benefit primary industries, including the telecommunications sector.

*Telstra Corp. Ltd.COO Kate McKenzie announcedher retirement after 12 years with the organization. Brendon Riley, thecompany's group executive for global enterprise and services, will act asinterim COO until a permanent replacement is found.


* TheBangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission plansto borrow €157 million from HSBC in order to complete the construction of itsfirst satellite, The Daily Star reports.This comes after the BTRC signed a US$248 million contract last November withFrench aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space to design, assemble andlaunch the Bangabandhu-1, which is expected to provide services to all SouthAsian countries as well as several others.

* Alloptions, including an exit strategy, remain open regarding the future ofTelenor ASA'soperations in India, Norwegian online business newspaper E24 Næringsliv reports.This reportedly comes after the telco giant chose not to participate in theupcoming spectrum auction in India.

* NTTDoCoMo appointed Rakshit Kapoor as head of mobile commerce solutions unitDoCoMo Digital's India operations, Indian Television reports.Kapoor was previously the country head for NTT DoCoMo's Buongiorno SpA, thereport added.


: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of mediaand communications deal announcements and completions from July 18 to 22. 

: Twitterentered into a new digital media rights partnership with Campus Insiders, whileRedbox Automated Retail is testing a potential new transactional digitalvideo-on-demand and "EST" offering.

: Given that the threeDemocratic members of the FCC have already voted to approve the chairman'supdated media ownership rules, Republicans on the commission are running out oftime to make any changes. 

: As Theresa May has been installed as the new primeminister of the U.K., S&P Global Market Intelligence looks at a number ofoutstanding bills and legislative measures across the media and communicationslandscape that will be dealt with by May and her new cabinet. 

: Verizon plans to announce an about $4.8 billion dealwith Yahoo before markets open July 25, while the U.S. Department of Justicecountered Microsoft's argument about privacy of customers' emails.

: S&P Global MarketIntelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications dealannouncements, completions and updates from July 18 to July 22. 

: Five broadcasters areplanning to create a Russian equivalent of Hulu, while Vivendi's Germansubscription video-on-demand service Watchever is set to cease operations. 


: According to our seven-country surveyanalysis, China and South Korea are the most active mobile video viewers. 

: Pandora Media's board rejected aninformal $15-per-share offer from Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei, but theprospects of combining Sirius XM's 30 million paying subscribers with Pandora's78 million active listeners could get shareholder support at the right price.


: Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure toldanalysts that the company's turnaround continues. 

Joji Sakurai, Myungran Ha, Frances Wang, KevinOsmond and Patrick Tibke contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has aneditorial deadline of 7 a.m. Hong Kong time. Some external links may require asubscription.