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ByteDance's digital bank bid; Samsung Display deals; Fuji Xerox name change

TOP NEWS

* TikTok owner Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd. is joining the race to set up digital banking operations in Singapore, The Straits Times reports. The company reportedly applied for a wholesale digital bank license in the Southeast Asian city-state. Others who have also applied for a digital banking license include Ant Financial Services Group, iFAST Corp. Ltd., Singtel and Grab Holdings Inc.

* Xiaomi Corp. and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. have shifted to Samsung Display Co. Ltd. as their supplier for foldable smartphone panels, Gizmo China reports. Xiaomi initially had Visionox Technology Inc. as its supplier, but the latter's yield was reportedly not enough to produce the panels in large quantities. Huawei, which used panels from BOE Technology Group Co. Ltd. for its Mate X smartphones, reportedly decided to shift to Samsung Display panels due to its better quality.

* FUJIFILM Holdings Corp. unit Fuji Xerox Co. Ltd. will discontinue its technology agreement with Xerox Holdings Corp. on March 31, 2021. The decision will result in the removal of sales territory restrictions from April 2021, allowing Fuji Xerox to expand its business worldwide under a new original brand. Pursuant to the expiration of the agreement, Fuji Xerox will change its name to FUJIFILM Business Innovation Corp. According to the Nikkei Asian Review, the development marks the latest deterioration in the relationship of the companies and will turn the longtime partners into rivals.

JAPAN

* XUMO LLC, an ad-supported streaming service in the U.S., added Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp. to its distribution network. Under the tie-up, XUMO will be integrated into Sony and Panasonic smart TVs.

SOUTH KOREA

* The Korean Intellectual Property Office said software distributed online will become eligible for patent protection beginning March, ZDNet Korea reports. Previously, software stored and sold in storing devices were the only ones eligible for patent protection. The office also said it now prioritizes design patent applications for artificial intelligence, the internet of things and next-generation technologies.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is expected to unveil its Galaxy S11 and a new foldable smartphone next month, ZDNet Korea reports. The unveiling will happen at its Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event in San Francisco, Calif. on Feb. 11.

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

* The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is seeking comments from the public on its decision that China-based telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE Corp. pose national risks. The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau said comments will be accepted until Feb. 3.

* Xiaomi said it fixed a privacy issue regarding its Mijia security camera, but decided to suspend the service until it completely solves the root cause, Android Police reports. Google LLC earlier disabled Xiaomi integrations to its devices after a user reported getting images from random peoples' homes when trying to stream content from his Mijia camera to a Google Nest Hub.

* China Broadcasting Network Co. Ltd. secured regulatory approval to test its 5G network in 16 cities, Cnstock reports.

* Ding Benxi retired as president of Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd., Caijing reports. He was succeeded by Qi Jie, who previously served as president of Wanda Commercial Management.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Bharti Airtel Ltd. shareholders have approved proposals for the issuance of securities not exceeding US$2 billion and the issue of foreign currency convertible bonds.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Philippine telco PLDT Inc. confirmed a plan to sell some assets as it seeks to finance its capital expenditures in 2020. PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said the company received bids for its Smart Tower headquarters, which is expected to fetch at least 5 billion Philippine pesos. PLDT also intends to divest three other minor properties, as well as its remaining stocks in Germany-based technology company Rocket Internet SE.

* Microsoft Corp. will establish an artificial intelligence research and development center in Thailand, Prachachat reports. The project is a result of company agreements with the country's Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and the Digital Economy Promotion Agency.

* PT Communication Cable Systems Indonesia Tbk will commence its submarine fiber optic cable project this year, Kontan reports. The company is allocating 46.5 billion rupiah for the project.

* True Move H Universal Communication Co. Ltd. collected the documents needed to participate in Thailand's 5G spectrum auction, Sanook reports. The company has until Feb. 4 to confirm its participation.

* Singtel collaborated with Akanga Film Asia for "His Grandfather's Road," a Chinese New Year comedy. The film is available on Singtel TV and various social media channels.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty. Ltd. is offering benefits to volunteer firefighters across Australia. The company will waive any mobile network usage charges for all volunteer firefighter customers during December and January. The telecom operator is also offering financial assistance to customers who have been directly impacted by the bush fires.

FEATURED NEWS

MarketWeek: Apple, AMD ring in 2020 as Wall Street top picks; streaming wars intensify: Shares in Apple and AMD surged into the new year as a tech-focused venture capital firm cheered the companies as top picks for 2020. Elsewhere, Netflix and Disney moved in opposite directions amid intensifying streaming competition

FEATURED RESEARCH

Technology: Global AR/VR business survey 2019: Market picking up steam: The 2019 edition of our augmented reality/virtual reality survey indicates that businesses are buying more AR and VR hardware and that many companies plan to keep spending on the technology in the coming years.

Joji Sakurai, Hyegyu Park, Frances Wang, Kevin Osmond and Wil Hathaway contributed to this report.

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