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Philippines suspends Uber operations; costs, content challenge Indian VR

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Philippines suspends Uber operations; costs, content challenge Indian VR


* The Philippines Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board suspended the operations of Uber Technologies Inc. for one month, after the ride-hailing giant violated the regulatory body's July 26 order to stop accepting and approving driver applications for accreditation, CNN Philippines reports.

* A range of industries in India are rapidly adopting virtual reality and augmented reality. However, the high cost of quality devices and lack of decent content remain key challenges, industry observers said.

* As expected, President Donald Trump authorized an investigation into allegations that China has been misappropriating U.S. intellectual property. Trump signed a memorandum directing U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to "examine China's policies, practices, and actions with regard to the forced transfers of American technology and the theft of American intellectual property," the president said during a brief Aug. 14 ceremony at the White House.


* Toshiba Corp.'s negotiations to sell its chips unit have stalled over payment timings and governance disagreements, Bloomberg reports. U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital LLC, a key player in the consortium seeking to buy the unit, is pushing for payment after Toshiba resolves its dispute with Western Digital Corp., while Toshiba insists on earlier payment.

* Nippon Television Network Corp., or Nippon TV, will launch six new titles to the international market at the annual trade show MIPCOM, World Screen reports.

* LINE Corp., a Japanese mobile messaging service, may invest in a Taiwanese government-backed investment firm specializing in the internet of things, the Taipei Times reports, citing a senior government official. The investment firm Taiwania Capital Management Corp. is expected to launch next month.


* The South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT announced its plan to support South Korean companies to build overseas distribution networks for virtual reality and augmented reality content, ZDNet Korea reports.

* LG Electronics Inc. disclosed some of the new features of its upcoming LG V30 smartphone, including a keyword-based voice unlock function, a floating bar to show frequently used applications, an always-on display with quick-access tools and certain camera upgrades, ET News reports.

* Naver Corp. is officially launching V Fansubs, a tool for fans to make foreign-language subtitles for content on the company's video-streaming platform V LIVE, iNews 24 reports. The service has been available in beta for a year, gathering more than 60,000 fan translators in 55 languages from 141 countries.

* The South Korea committee in charge of evaluating news for portal websites has eased content regulations, lowering the barrier to entry for news published by internet companies Naver Corp. and Kakao Corp., the Asia Economy Daily reports. In turn, the committee will use a stricter standard for approving press broadly through an annual re-evaluation process.


* China state-run newspaper The People's Daily criticized Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd. and LeEco for "endangering" the country's financial system though excessive leverage, according to Variety. The opinion piece accused LeEco of "concocting tales in order to drive up valuations" and chastised Wanda for "barbarous expansion."

* Er Geng TV, a Hangzhou-based video-streaming platform, raised 100 million Chinese yuan during its series B+ funding, reports 36kr. With major investors like Yun Feng Capital, which was founded by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. chairman Jack Ma, Er Geng plans to use the investment to build a cloud platform that produces high definition videos.

* China's Guizhou province will put an oversight committee over Apple Inc.'s local iCloud facility, and it will be chaired by members of the communist party, Reuters reports. Apple Inc. has set up its first Chinese data center in the Guizhou.

* LeEco Chairman Sun Hongbin is seeking strategic partners, reports Caixin. Interested companies include Alibaba, JD.Com Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

* Taiwanese Inc., the video streaming service of Baidu Inc., canceled a locally made drama series "Days We Stared at the Sun II," reports Taiwan News. The drama is based on the Sunflower Movement of 2014, which some believe is the reason it was discontinued.


* Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Entertainment is launching its own theatrical distributor, Sony Pictures Releasing, in Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, after it canceled its theatrical-releasing venture with Walt Disney Co. in Southeast Asia, Variety reports.

* iFlix Sdn Bhd, a Malaysia-based video streaming service, announced a partnership with Indonesian telco operator Indosat Ooredoo to launch an iFlix streaming service that does not count against mobile data plans, business website Warta Ekonomi reports. The zero-rated benefit, which is called Stream On, is accessible for Indosat's customers who subscribe to Freedom Combo, Freedom Postpaid and Super Plan packages.

* China's is exploring new partnerships with niche e-commerce players in Indonesia, including online furniture marketplace Fabelio and used-phone vendor Laku6, people aware of the development told DealStreetAsia.

* Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC appointed Wu Choy Peng as chief technology officer effective Aug. 14, government-related news site Open Gov Asia reports. Wu, who was a chief information officer at Singtel, will be responsible for developing GIC's technology vision, strategic direction and future growth in technology.

* GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based ride-hailing app company, stated that Grab users will be able to transfer GrabPay credits to other users by next month, Today reports.

* Thailand's Electronic Transactions Development Agency released data suggesting the local e-commerce industry could grow by 20% this year, Krungthep Turakij reports. The EDTA also said that for the first time in 10 years e-commerce is now among the top five most popular website genres in Thailand.

* Singapore-based internet services provider MyRepublic has launched its WiFi router called Wi-Fi Halo, according to its press release. Technical issues pertaining to the router can be fixed remotely, including poor WiFi connectivity, the company said.

* NTT Communications said that it expects financial service clients such as banks and insurance companies to account for 50% of its data security revenue by the end of 2017, Prachachat reports. NTT also said that it expects its Thai data center business to continue growing at around 30% per year due to the rising number of Thais using mobile devices to send electronic payments.


* New Zealand-based telco Chorus Ltd. announced a senior management restructuring and some changes to the company's executive team. Tim Harris, who is currently Chorus' chief commercial officer, is leaving the company, while Scott Newton has been appointed general manager, strategy and business operations, effective August. A new executive role, GM Customer Care, will also be created.

* Microsoft Corp., through a partnership with Canberra Data Centres Pty Ltd., is expanding its Azure cloud business with two new regions for Australia, available in the first half of 2018.

* The New Zealand Commerce Commission has issued warning letters to MyRepublic Ltd., Two Degrees Mobile, Spark New Zealand Ltd., and Vodafone NZ for breaching the country's Fair Trading Act.

* Optus Business, a unit of Australian telco Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd, has secured a 3-year A$13.6 million agreement to extend its partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for the delivery of a range of managed services.

* NEXTDC Ltd. announced that it has agreed to credit-approved terms with National Australia Bank for A$300 million three-year syndicated senior secured debt facilities intended to fund future growth capital expenditure.


* Several Pakistani ministry websites, including Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, have been compromised by Indian hackers. According to Propakistani, the severity of the hack is not yet known.

* The National Company Law Tribunal admitted proposals for the merger of Aircel and Reliance Communications Ltd., as well as the latter's sale of its tower business to Canada's Brookfield Asset Management, The Economic Times (India) reports. The hearing for final approval of the proposals was set for Sept. 13.

* Indian police arrested four people linked with the leak of a "Game of Thrones" episode earlier this month. According to The Economic Times (India), the arrested individuals were current and former employees of Prime Focus Technologies, a data-management vendor for 21st Century Fox Inc.'s STAR India Pvt. Ltd., which is the local pay-TV distribution partner for Time Warner Inc. unit Home Box Office Inc.

* Indian manufacturer Dixon Technologies (India) Pvt. Ltd. is planning to go public in September to raise around 7 billion Indian rupees, The Economic Times (India) reports. IPO proceeds will reportedly be used to pay debt.

* Syntel Telecom, the telecommunication unit of Arvind Ltd., agreed to buy unified communications provider Enkay Technologies, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told The Economic Times (India).

* World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.'s streaming service WWE Network said it will stream "SummerSlam" live in Hindi for the first time Aug. 21. All pay-per-view events on WWE Network will be available in Hindi after the Aug. 21 event.


Foreign fears may hamper China's 'rational' M&A drive: Fears over poaching of technology may hamper Chinese efforts to steer their companies' foreign purchases toward factories and the real economy.

Week Ahead: FCC extends deadline for net neutrality comments: While North American Free Trade Agreement modernization talks get underway in Washington, the Federal Communications Commission gave groups more time to file comments in the net neutrality proceeding.


Economics of Internet: Iflix building bankroll, footprint: Subscription video-on-demand service iflix is focused on emerging markets and recently secured $133 million in funding from global media and telecom corporations, including Hearst, Liberty Global and Sky.

Kagan Report: Huawei dominates the 2016 IPTV equipment and software market: Kagan's 2017 IPTV Market Leader Report shows that, based on huge subscriber growth by key customers, Huawei once again led the market for IPTV equipment and software.

Economics of Internet: The rise of OTT services in Middle East, Africa: Despite the challenges in infrastructure and affordability for video streaming services, the Middle East and Africa continue to show potential for over-the-top growth.

Joji Sakurai, Myungran Ha, Frances Wang, Patrick Tibke and Ed Eduard 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.