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SK Telecom launches computing task force; TikTok mulls curated content feed

TOP NEWS

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. launched a global mobile edge computing task force with Bridge Alliance member operators to co-develop mobile edge computing technology and services, Total Telecom reported. The Bridge Alliance is a partnership of 34 major mobile telecom companies in Asia, Australia, Africa and the Middle East, including Singtel, Globe, Taiwan Mobile Co. Ltd. and PCCW Global Ltd. Through the partnership, the members will collaborate to expand the 5G MEC ecosystem and develop overseas market opportunities for 5G technologies and services.

* Beijing Byte Dance Telecommunications Co. Ltd.-owned video app TikTok is considering plans to launch a curated feed of selected content from TikTok creators to attract advertisers, London's Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the matter. With a curated feed, TikTok could seek higher advertising rates from more premium brands. Executives have reportedly also been pitching to American and European brands in efforts to monetize the platform.

JAPAN

* Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd., a U.K. subsidiary of Dentsu Group Inc., promoted Tony Chen to CEO of its media business in China, Campaign Asia reported. In this role, Chen will guide the company's Carat, dentsu X, Vizeum iProspect, Posterscope and Amplifi brands.

* Kathryn James, managing director for NEC Group Conventions and Exhibitions, will retire after 12 years with the NEC Corp. unit, Exhibition World reported. Ian Taylor, currently venue sales director, NEC Group Conventions and Exhibitions, will reportedly become acting managing director until a permanent appointment is made.

SOUTH KOREA

* The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute and Qualcomm Inc. are teaming up to develop millimeter wave-based 5G New Radio small cell technologies, ZD Net Korea reported. The companies aim to combine the research institute's telecom software technologies and the chipmaker's 5G small cell modem technology for commercialization purposes.

GREATER CHINA (MAINLAND CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN MARKETS)

* Tencent Music Entertainment Group inked a music licensing deal with Byte Dance-owned short video app Douyin, 36kr reported. As part of the deal, Tencent Music will license music to Douyin through setting up official QQ Music, Kugou Music and Kuwo Music accounts on the app. The companies will also promote music, with Tencent providing content and Douyin driving the traffic.

* Marvel Cinematic Universe launched an official app for reading the Chinese versions of their comics on Apple Inc.'s app store, Pingwest reported.

* Sohu.com Ltd. CEO Zhang Chaoyan denied reports that suggested the company was looking for an initial public offering in Hong Kong, China Securities Journal reported.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* PandoCorp Pvt. Ltd., which operates e-logistics firm Pando, secured 640 million Indian rupees in a series A funding round led by Bengaluru-based Chiratae Ventures, VCCircle reported. Other investors in the round include Siemens-backed Next47 and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners. Pando will use the funds to strengthen its India offering, scaling for global markets, boosting its technological platform and to acquire talent.

* In other Dentsu news, the company's Indian unit Dentsu Webchutney Pvt. Ltd named Gautam Reghunath as CEO, Mint reported. Prior to this role, Reghunath was executive vice president and branch head for Dentsu Webchutney, Bengaluru. The appointment comes after Webchutney founder Sidharth Rao was elevated as chairman of Happy mcgarrybowen India and Dentsu Webchutney.

* QYOU Media Inc. launched The Q India content on Bharti Airtel Ltd.'s Airtel Xstream service, Broadcasting and Cable reported. The Q India content will be available to Airtel customers across the Airtel Xstream app, Airtel Xstream hybrid box and Airtel Xstream smart stick.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will decide the amount it will pay state broadcaster MCOT PCL for the recall of the 2600 MHz band, Krungthep Turakij reported. According to the report, the company's sub-committee earlier determined that the spectrum band being recalled is worth 11.17 billion baht.

* In related news, Thai mobile operators asked the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to test the 2600 MHz band before an upcoming spectrum auction, Thai Post reported. The mobile operators are reportedly concerned that the use of the band may interfere with the operations of the inner-city BTS train system.

* Thailand's Ministry of Digital Economy and Society said SIM cards registered in neighboring countries were used to hack into the government's database, MCOT reported.

* Dentsu Aegis Network Malaysia appointed Siti Raflise group chief data officer for the company, Marketing Interactive reported. In her new role, Raflise will head data storage, data management, analysis, modelling, governance and consultancy for the company. She previously spent over two years with Consider iProspect, according to the report.

* Setyanto Hantoro was named managing director of Indonesia-based PT Mitra Telekomunikasi Seluler, while Venusiana Papasi was appointed as the director of network.

* Singapore-based ride-hailing app GrabTaxi Holdings Pte Ltd. appointed Nguyen Thai Hai Van as managing director of Vietnam, effective Feb. 1, Deal Street Asia reported. In this role, she will be responsible for overseeing business strategy and operations across all its businesses in Vietnam. Hai Van, who is the first female managing director of Grab in Vietnam, was most recently at Unilever Vietnam. She replaces Jerry Lim, who will transition to regional head of customer experience. In his new role, Lim will lead the company's customer experience teams across eight Southeast Asian countries

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* The Department of Home Affairs in Australia awarded NTT Australia IP Pty Ltd. a $5.8 million contract for Splunk software licenses, CRN reported. The contract reportedly covers software that will be used for the management of security threats.

FEATURED NEWS

Data Dispatch: S&P Global Market Intelligence Q4'19 M&A League Tables: S&P Global Market Intelligence on Jan. 13 released fourth-quarter 2019 M&A league tables for its covered North American sectors.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Gaming hardware embraces esports at CES: A focus on faster refresh rates over higher pixel counts from chipmakers and display manufacturers may be setting the stage for next-gen game console announcements later in 2020.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai, Ed Eduard and Wil Hathaway contributed to this report.

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