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Huawei confirms it has a backup OS; SoftBank may invest US$1B in Uber unit


* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has developed its own operating systems for smartphones and computers in case the company is unable to use Google LLC's Android or Microsoft Corp.'s Windows following tensions between Huawei and the U.S. government, South China Morning Post reported, citing German publication Die Welt. A spokesperson reportedly confirmed the news, saying the company has backup systems but does not want to use them except in "extenuating circumstances."

* A SoftBank Group Corp.-led investor group is in advanced talks to invest "US$1 billion or more" in Uber Technologies Inc.'s autonomous car unit ahead of its anticipated IPO, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The consortium, which includes SoftBank Vision Fund LP and one unnamed carmaker, will reportedly acquire a minority stake that would value the self-driving vehicle unit at about US$5 billion to US$10 billion.


* Rakuten Inc. is planning to offer its movie streaming service, Rakuten TV, in 42 countries in Europe, Reuters reported, quoting Rakuten TV founder and CEO Jacinto Roca. Rakuten has teamed up with television manufacturers Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., LG Electronics Inc., Koninklijke Philips NV and Hisense Electric Co. Ltd. to let users watch its movies in HD by using a remote control.

* SoftBank Corp. is partnering with Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom to collaborate in the fields of artificial intelligence and internet of things. The two parties seek to develop smart cities in Taiwan.

* NTT Docomo Inc., through its venture capital arm NTT Docomo Ventures Inc., invested an undisclosed sum in Tellus You Care Inc., a U.S.-based healthcare device manufacturer. The two companies plan to conduct a trial of a remote-monitoring solution beginning April.

* Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. and the Japan Professional Football League will construct a digital asset hub called J.LEAGUE FUROSHIKI in a bid to centrally manage all game-related data including J.LEAGUE copyrighted game images and video content. NTT plans to offer these digital assets to TV stations and internet companies.


* The Korea Fair Trade Commission reviewed the terms of service of online service providers Google, Facebook Inc., Kakao Corp. and NAVER Corp., and asked the companies to revise some of the terms that it found unfair, Newsis reported. The terms at issue included the ones that allowed unilateral removal of content or account, and changes to terms without prior notice to users. As for Google, the company received corrective recommendations for four terms, and the company may be subject to corrective orders if it does not take action within 60 days.

* KT Corp. recently filed an application seeking regulatory approval for its plan to increase its stake in K-Bank, one of two internet-only banks in South Korea, The Chosun Ilbo reported. If approved, KT will be able to raise its stake to 34% from 10%, the allowed limit for nonfinancial shareholders under South Korea's internet bank law.

* LG U+ is set to submit requests for evaluation to obtain the regulatory approvals needed for its acquisition of CJ Hello, Chosun Biz reported. The Ministry of Science and ICT's review may take up to three months, while the Korea Fair Trade Commission's review period can last up to 120 days when extended.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. is opening its mobile edge computing platform, built to minimize latency for 5G services, to partner companies, ZDNet Korea reported. Partner companies can develop services that need ultra-low latency, such as augmented reality, virtual reality and autonomous driving, in sync with the telco's mobile edge computing platform.


* Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, said the company will invest up to US$7 billion this year on internet of things research, National Business Daily reported. Yu also expects Huawei to top the chart with 250 million to 260 million smartphone shipments this year, according to Hong Kong Economic Journal.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s online game "Honour of Kings" recorded a 55% drop in download frequency in February, 36kr reported, citing data from CNG. The game is expected to earn 2 billion yuan in revenues this year.


* Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.'s stake-sale talks with Sony Corp. has reached the valuation stage, with Zee looking to sell up to a 25% stake to raise adequate funds and repay debt worth 130 billion Indian rupees, Mint reported, citing three people aware of the matter. Zee Chairman Subhash Chandra is reportedly eyeing a 30% premium, while wanting to retain at least a 20% stake in the company.

* Star India Pvt. Ltd. and STAR US Holdings Inc. infused a total of 10.66 billion Indian rupees to Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., a subsidiary that runs video-on-demand platform Hotstar. According to Television Post, the fresh funding comes as Hotstar scales up its content and technology.

* HCL Technologies Ltd., through subsidiary HCL America Inc., agreed to acquire digital consulting firm Strong-Bridge Holdings Inc. from Bow River Asset Management Corp. Under the terms of the agreement, HCL will pay US$42 million upfront in cash and US$3 million in potential earnout if targets are achieved.

* Facebook inked deals with Indian music labels including T-Series, Zee Music Co. Ltd. and Yash Raj Films Pvt. Ltd. to allow the use of licensed music in videos and messages shared by users on its platform and Instagram Inc., The Economic Times (India) reported.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. partnered with Mumbai-based operating system developer Indus OS to offer Samsung's app store in 12 Indian languages on the entire Galaxy smartphone range, The Economic Times (India) reported.

* Bharti Airtel Ltd. subsidiary Indo Teleports Ltd. applied for in-flight connectivity license, which will allow service providers to offer connectivity and data services to Indian and foreign airlines, sources told Press Trust of India.


* Indonesia-based digital payment platform OVO acquired financing services company Taralite for an undisclosed sum, reported.

* Apple Inc. is rumored to be opening another store in Thailand at the CentralWorld shopping center, MacThai reported.

* Telekom Malaysia will see another reshuffling of top level officers after the company confirmed that some C-level executives are vacating their positions, The Edge Markets reported. Datuk Mohd Rais Azhar, chief technology and innovation officer and chief information security officer, and Ahmad Azhar Yahya, chief digital officer, have resigned from their positions, effective April 1.

* OPPO's F11 Pro smartphone will be launched in the Thai market March 19, Krungthep Turakij reported.


* Spark New Zealand Ltd. announced that its Spark Sport streaming service is now live, but in beta format. The sports streaming service is available directly from the web and on Android and Apple devices. Through the service, sports fans will be able to watch live action or on-demand coverage, as well as access replays, highlights and 24/7 TV channels for a range of upcoming sports events.


Why US-China trade negotiations may fail: While the Trump administration may eventually strike a deal with China on bilateral trade and tariffs, curbing technology transfer and state influence on the Chinese economy may be a bridge too far.


Economics of Advertising: Star India shuts down linear networks in the US: On Jan. 5, Star India pulled the plug on its linear TV channel portfolio in the U.S., which includes non-Nielsen-rated networks Star Plus and Star Bharat, as it has shifted to a digital-only strategy via over-the-top platform Hotstar.

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.