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Microsoft pulls Huawei products from cloud; Vodafone challenges TPG merger block

TOP NEWS

* Microsoft Corp. has pulled Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.'s products from one of its cloud server catalogs after the Chinese technology giant got blacklisted by the U.S. government, Bloomberg News reported. However, Microsoft has declined to comment on whether it will rescind Huawei's Windows license.

* Australian telco Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty. Ltd. filed a claim with the Federal Court of Australia, seeking approval for its proposed merger with TPG Telecom Ltd. TPG has also confirmed proceedings with the Federal Court of Australia seeking orders that the proposed merger between the two companies will not have the effect, or likely effect, of substantially lessening competition. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission earlier, rejected the deal, maintaining earlier concerns that the transaction could "substantially lessen competition" in the mobile services segment.

* U.S. computer and phone vendors such as Apple Inc., Dell Technologies Inc. and HP Inc. are likely to bear the brunt of increased tariffs on Chinese imports, analysts said. The U.S. this month raised tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%.

JAPAN

* Amazon.com Inc. Japan halted selling Huawei's products via its online store, ITmedia reported. The move follows similar decisions by other companies to withdraw from the trade with the Chinese equipment maker after it was blacklisted by the U.S.

* Japanese video game developer Capcom Co. Ltd. has decided to ban a Hit-Box Controller at a Capcom Pro Tour event, "Combo Breaker Tournament." The company stated that controllers, moving forward, must all fall within a certain standard.

* Sharp Corp.'s President and CEO, Dai Zhengwu, said he will remain president of the company till 2021, The Nikkei reported. Previously, Dai was planning to step down from the position after 2019.

SOUTH KOREA

* The World Health Organization passed a resolution classifying gaming disorder as an addictive behavior disorder, ZDNet Korea reported. However, South Korea reportedly has until 2025 to adopt the new change in its Korean standard classification of diseases and cause of death.

* In related news, South Korean gaming companies have slammed the World Health Organization's decision to officially recognize gaming disorder as a disease, The Korea Herald reported. A committee comprising 56 organizations in the academia, labor unions and game associations, as well as 32 universities nationwide with game-related curriculums, opposed the decision saying it will "deprive a child's right to play."

* Oracle Korea Ltd. reshuffled its sales organization structure to establish a sales unit called "Autonomous Database Representative," ET News reported. The new unit will take one-third of the existing sales organization and will exclusively deal with cloud services.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. is set to withdraw from the New York Stock Exchange and notified the NYSE that it will apply on June 3 to delist its American depositary receipts from the exchange, South China Morning Post reported. The Chinese chipmaker said low trading volumes and the high cost of maintaining the NYSE listing were the reasons behind this move.

* JD Cloud, a wholly owned cloud computing subsidiary of JD.com Inc., has set up a new unit in Yancheng city in China's Jiangsu Province, according to data from Chinese company database Qichacha. JD Cloud has established 24 subsidiaries in Chinese cities since it was set up in 2018 and data show that JD (Yancheng) Cloud Computing Ltd. was registered on May 17 with a capital of 50 million Chinese yuan.

* Lenovo Group Ltd. plans to invest at least US$300 million to build a smart manufacturing facility in Shenzhen this year, Sina reported. The facility will cater to Lenovo and its clients.

* Amazon has launched support for traditional Chinese books on Kindle. Users can now read from a catalog of more than 20,000 traditional Chinese language Kindle books with the Kindle app for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets and on Kindle devices.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* India's Infosys Ltd. completed the acquisition of a 75% stake in the Netherlands-based Stater NV from ABN Amro Group NV for €127.5 million. Stater NV is the mortgage administration services unit of ABN Amro.

* Cellular Operators Association of India urged the new Indian government to ease the financial burden on the telecom sector and review spectrum prices, The Economic Times (India) reported, citing PTI. The association's Director General, Rajan Mathews, said the government needs to address license charges and spectrum usage charges, among others.

* Telenor Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd.'s digital startup accelerator program, Telenor Velocity, signed an agreement with Google LLC to roll out gaming cohort aimed at accelerating the game developers, InfoZonePK reported. Under the deal, the world's top gaming gurus will speak and mentor at game development workshops in Pakistan.

* Pakistan extended cellular licenses of mobile operators, Pakistan Mobile Communications Ltd., doing business as Jazz, and Telenor Pakistan, by a month, ProPakistani reported. The duo's licenses were set to expire May 25.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission launched "myFreeview," a fully digital TV broadcast service, as part of the transition to digital TV transmission. The commission expects more broadcasters to join the platform in addition to the existing 15 TV channels and six radio channels.

* BEC World Public Co. Ltd., operator of Thailand's Channel 3 (TH), expects its books to see positive entries by early 2020, the Bangkok Post reported. The company's newly appointed president, Ariya Banomyong, attributed this recovery to the return of two digital channel licenses to the regulator this year.

The Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics announced it has lifted the social media restrictions following the post-presidential election riots. The restrictions were imposed to stop the spread of online hoaxes on social media and prevent provocation.

* Indonesian telco PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk appointed Ririek Adriansyah as president director, Kompas reported. Ririek was formerly the president director of PT Telekomunikasi Selular.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Sydney-based graphic design platform Canva Inc. was hacked May 24, breaching data for about 139 million users, ZDNet reported. The hacker, operating as "GnosticPlayers," was able to steal customer usernames, real names, email addresses, as well as city and country information.

* Australian mobile game developer iCandy Interactive Ltd. struck a deal with Hong Kong's Animoca Brands Corp. Ltd. unit Animoca Brands Ltd. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s 9Games to localize mobile game "Groove Planet" for the mainland Chinese market. The deal allows 9Games to localize and publish the game on the Android operating system, using the license and technical support from iCandy and Animoca Brands.

* Spirit Telecom Ltd. signed its second deal with the Victorian state government to deliver 5G technology-based internet to the state's regional town of Morwell. The company has been awarded A$1.1 million to complete the project.

FEATURED NEWS

Analysts: Hikvision's China business, AI strategy to survive potential US ban: The U.S. has increasingly scrutinized the Chinese video surveillance company for its involvement in the mass detention of ethnic minorities.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of TV & Film: KBOX week 20: Summer box office stumbles in its 3rd week: The summer season hit a speed bump three weeks in as "Avengers: Endgame" starts to lose some steam at the box office and "John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum" did not debut to the numbers that "Deadpool 2" hit in the same week in 2018.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Hyegyu Park, Frances Wang, Kevin Osmond 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.