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Baidu's iQiyi sale draws fire; SoftBank shares drop after UK deal

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Baidu's iQiyi sale draws fire; SoftBank shares drop after UK deal

TOP NEWS

*Baidu Inc.stakeholder Acacia Partners is criticizing the Chinese search engine firm forthe proposed sale of its video unit iQiyi to Baidu CEO Robin Li for an offer valued atUS$2.8 billion, Sohu News reports.The offer for the company's online video service reportedly prompted the NewYork hedge fund to publicly release a letter saying the proposed sale had aprice tag that was "far too low" and would damage Baidu's reputation.Acacia owns 2.6 million shares in Baidu, a stake worth more thanUS$400 million.

*SoftBank Group Corp.shares plummeted a day after the announcement of its US$32 billion purchase ofU.K. chip designer ARM Holdings Plc., losing 10.3% to close at ¥5,387 on July19. Accordingto Bloomberg, the drop reflects investor concerns over the debt-laden company'sbalance sheet as well as the premium it is paying for the acquisition, whichrepresents a big bet on the Internet of Things.

*The Pokémon Go game phenomenon continues to win massive investorinterest, with the gamemaker's stock enjoying the largest turnover in TokyoStock Exchange history, The Nikkei reports.A total of ¥703.6 billion (US$6.63 billion) worth of Nintendo equity changedhands July 18, lifting the company's market value past , accordingto Bloomberg.

PAN-ASIAN NEWS

*HBO Asia has startedfilming its first Chinese-language series, "The Psychic," in Taiwan. Accordingto World Screen, the series is being jointly developed with Taiwanese broadcasterPublic TelevisionService and Singaporean production company . The six-part series willdebut in early 2017 across 23 Asia-Pacific territories on . HBO Asia is a unit ofTime Warner Inc.

* NintendoCo. Ltd.'s mobile game Pokémon Go is set to launch in Japan today, accordingto TechCrunch, citing unidentified sources. The augmented reality game has beena massive hit in over 30 countries so far but has not yet been available toplay in Nintendo's home country. The game's designer, San Francisco-basedNiantic Inc., says that is because developers wanted to ensure servers wererobust enough to handle the expected Japanese traffic, the report said.

*Japan International Broadcasting, the distributor of 's NHKWorld TV, has strucka long-term agreement with satellite operator to show the Japanese publicbroadcaster's news channel in HD across Europe. The HD transmission of NHKWorld TV is already underway through SES's Astra 1KR satellite.

*Abema TV, a Japanese free TV streaming app, has notched more than 5 milliondownloads since launching in April, the AsahiShimbun reports.The smartphone and PC app offers 26 channels in categories ranging from news tomusic and is provided by TV AsahiCorp. and CyberAgent Inc.  

*The Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning and the have established a committee to lay the groundwork for introducing ultrahigh-definitionbroadcasting to the country's terrestrial TV networks in February 2017, YonhapNews Agency reports.The committee of 14 members held the first meeting on July 19.

*South Korea's SK Telecom Co.Ltd. opened its mobile navigation service T Map for free to thecustomers of its competitors KTCorp. and LG UplusCorp., as well as the users of MVNO plans, the Dong-a Ilbo reports. This movereportedly shows the company's interest in gearing up to evolve into a platformprovider.

*Korean mobile messenger operator Kakao Corp. acquired a 20% stake in CNT TechCo. Ltd., a company that develops systems to send online and phone fooddelivery orders to the POS systems of businesses, Financial News reports. Kakao seeksto leverage CNT Tech Co. Ltd.'s expertise to develop a new order managementsolution better suited to a mobile platform.

, HONG KONG ANDTAIWAN

*Chinese search engine company Baidu Inc. denied a report by state broadcasterCCTV earlier this week that said CEO Robin Li had purchased the Italian soccerclub AC Milan for US$437 million, Sina Sports reports.Baidu said neither the company nor Li are involved in any such deal.

* Chinese tech company Lenovo Group Ltd. is looking to produce new augmentedreality games based on its existing gaming platforms and foundation after thehuge success of Pokémon Go, Sina Tech reports.Lenovo partnered with AlphabetInc.-owned GoogleInc.'s Tango department to develop a smartphone with technologythat quickly maps its surroundings.

*China Telecom hasstarted charging customers based on data usage and is no longer charging themfor voice calls and SMS, Xinhua News Agency reports.The change is in response to the popularity of free messaging apps replacingtraditional calls and texts. China Telecom is a unit of

SOUTHEAST ASIA

*The Philippines' Department of Information andCommunications Technology is keen on having an audit of used and unused radiofrequencies to determine which spectrum could be reassigned to telecom players.Accordingto The Manila Times, the departmentalso mandated streamlining the application process in acquiring spectrumpermits.

*The Indonesia-based consortium consisting of broadbandcompany Moratelindo, telco tower company PT Inti Bangun Sejahtera Tbk, andtelco operator Smart Telecom won the procurement tender for Palapa Ring's eastpackage telecommunication infrastructure project, accordingto Detik.com. The east package will cover the country's eastern provinces ofEastern Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, West Papua and Papua. Palapa Ring is agovernment project to build fiber optics across Indonesia.

*Viacom International MediaNetworks' Asian unit expanded its partnership with 's International Media Corp. to bring a block ofNickelodeonprogramming to IMC's free-to-air channel YouTV. By the end of September,Vietnamese viewers will have access to a daily block of shows includinganimated titles such as "SpongeBob SquarePants," "Dora theExplorer," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and "PAWPatrol." VIMN is a unit of Viacom Inc.

*Philippines-based GlobeTelecom launchedits new home broadband plans, which are now customizable and bundled with moredigital entertainment content. The broadband plans can also be used withdevices such as smart LED TVs, audio devices and game consoles.

*Indonesia's Coordinating Ministry of Politics, Law and Security urged telcooperators which are majority-owned by foreign companies to build theirinfrastructure networks in secluded areas after the government finishesrevising the regulation on network sharing, Majalah ICT reports.According to the ministry, the regulation, which will allow telco operators touse other operators' infrastructure networks, may potentially serve as adisincentive for telcos to invest in less-lucrative areas of Indonesia.

*Malaysian satellite TV operator is customers a free preview of itsKorean channel lineup until Aug. 31. The service features the channelsTime Warner Inc.'sTurner Broadcasting SystemInc. Asia-Pacific's Oh!K HD, CJ Group's CJ E&M's tvN, Korean Broadcasting System's KBS World and 's 's ONE HD,with content including dramas from South Korea. Astro Holdings Sdn. Bhd. owns Astro.

*Thai telco TrueMove H, a unit of , announced that it expectsrevenue growth of 20% this year, TheNation reports.True also announced that it will spend 58 billion Thai baht over the next twoyears to expand its network coverage, according to the report.

*Singapore-based business application software companyDeskera Holdings will invest S$50 million over the next three years to build acloud data center in Singapore, TheBusiness Times reports.The cloud data center would provide ISP services to customers to ensure moresecurity and faster access to data stored in Singapore.

*Thai state-owned telco TOTPlc will offer Wi-Fi along Bangkok's BTS Skytrain routes in anattempt to build a sustainable revenue source, the Bangkok Post reports.The company will reportedly invest 200 million Thai baht in the three-monthtrial phase.

*Singapore-based media company MediaCorp Pte. Ltd. is partnering with , a U.S.-based digitaladvertisement company, to run HTML5 rich media ad formats across the unit's top online destinations,Mumbrella reports.The partnership is part of MediaCorp's strategy to switch from Flash to HTML5as the new standard for digital advertising.

* Over300 employees of Thai state-owned enterprise CAT Telecom Plc gathered to question the company'sexecutives following a restructuration announcement, newspaper Prachachat reports.Union leaders reportedly cited bureaucratic processes as a major hindrance toCAT's ability to compete with private operators.

AND NEW ZEALAND

*Alibaba Group HoldingLtd. declared its plans to boost its Asia-Pacific cross-borderretail operations by opening an office in Melbourne later this year, the South China Morning Post reports.This move reportedly aims to serve online merchants in Australia and NewZealand.

*Australian telco Amaysim Australia Ltd. announced that itsigned a binding agreement to purchase 100% of Australian Broadband ServicesPty Ltd.'s shares to fast-track its entry into the broadband market. Under thedeal, Amaysim will pay A$1 million in cash and A$1.5 million in Amaysim sharesupon deal completion, as well as A$1.5 million in amaysim shares a year after the deal is completed. The telcois looking to launch its first group of broadband products within the year.

*U.S. telco and sponsored content services provider is set to liston the Australian Stock Exchange today through a reverse listing valuing it atA$60.5 million, The Australian reports.Syntonic reportedly went for an ASX listing due to Australia's proximity toSoutheast Asia, where the firm generates the majority of its revenue. Thecompany plans to have an office in the country within the year, the report said.

*The Internet of Things Alliance of Australia has announcedits launch as an independent not-for-profit entity. The IoTAA is a coalition ofindustry and government stakeholders that include ,IBM Corp., , , , and as members of itsExecutive Council. TemasekHoldings (Pvt) Ltd.'s Singtelowns Optus.

*The Australian Stock Exchange has chosen Sydney-based electronic devicemanufacturer Metamako to provide network monitoring technology hardware for itsnew trading systems, The AustralianFinancial Review reports.The fintech startup is reportedly a "rare bird" for beinghardware-focused in the local fintech scene.

AND SOUTH ASIA

*Indian travel and lifestyle channel Travelxp has partnered with BeximcoCommunications to launch its channel in Bangladesh,Television Post reports.The channel will be made available through Beximco's direct-to-home platformRealVU.

*Telenor ASA's Indiaunit will not participate in the country's upcoming spectrum auction, The Economic Times of India reports.The move is in line with the operator's earlier announcement indicating an exitfrom the country, where it has been posting losses and struggling to expandoperations.

*STAR India Pvt. Ltd.reportedly made aUS$9.2 million investment in cloud-based data science and analytics firmSagacito Technologies PvtLtd.. The Mumbai-based company invested US$1 million in exchangefor a 10% equity interest in the startup, while the remaining US$8.2 millionwill go through a build-and-operate model. STAR India is a unit of

*U.S.-based specialized wireless distributor Brightstar Corp. appointed Deval Parikh as president and CEO of itsIndian subsidiary Beetel Teletech. Parikh, who led 's RelianceJio's mobility business, will head all business lines for Beetel.

FEATURED NEWS

: The successful leveraging of a belovedIP to a viral hit with the new game Pokémon Go could prompt Nintendo to makeother popular characters available for mobile platforms.

: In this feature, S&PGlobal Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top,video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in different Asian markets.

: In this monthly feature, S&PGlobal Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top,video-on-demand and other online video initiatives in different African and MiddleEastern markets.

: Dozens of retired wrestlers fileda lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment over claims that they sufferedneurological injuries by participating in its events, while DIRECTV customersin Boston and Miami lost access to certain Sunbeam Television stations.

: Apple Pay has launched in France inpartnership with several banks, while Ericsson could fire CEO Hans Vestberg asthe company faces claims it inflated sales figures and paid excessive bonusesto top managers.

: At registers across the U.S., banks, retailers and thirdparties are competing to be consumers' mobile wallet of choice.

: Mutual funds tracking the S&P 500 have accumulatednet inflows for 22 of the past 24 months, including $3.03 billion in June.

: With the Republican National Convention infull swing, the party released its 2016 platform, giving media andcommunications industry players a glimpse into how the GOP is thinking aboutthe future.

FEATURED RESEARCH

: During the "Smart cities and connectedcitizens" panel at the Shape AT&T Expo at San Francisco GiantsAT&T Park, most of the discussion was about how connected cars andautonomous driving will change cities and how wireless connectivity will makeit all possible.

: The cable TV financing snapshot table lists monthlytotals for cable industry public and private debt, equity and stock buybacksfrom a historical range of years to the present.

Joji Sakurai, Myungran Ha,Grace Shao, Ed Eduard and Wil Hathaway contributed to this report. The DailyDose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. Hong Kong time. Some external linksmay require a subscription.