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SoftBank's new strategy; Huawei in Germany; Apple's response to data concerns

TOP NEWS

* SoftBank Group Corp. is considering a more cautious approach while investing in companies under its Vision Fund 2, CNBC.com reports, citing sources. Company CEO Masayoshi Son plans to assume a more active role in the fund's investment strategy by eyeing companies that can achieve quicker profitability and have clearer paths to public offerings. The second Vision Fund may also have a different structure from the first, with SoftBank weighing an evergreen component that would allow limited partners to reinvest part of their profits from exits back into the fund.

* Germany will not ban any vendor, including Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., in the 5G network build-out projects in the country, Reuters reports. Germany's security catalog, which includes details on suppliers for 5G networks, is due to be published soon.

* Apple Inc. issued a statement in response to user concerns that the company is sending user data to China's Tencent Holdings Ltd., Macrumors reports. The iPhone maker said the Safari Fraudulent Website Warning feature does not share website URLs with its safe browsing partners, Google LLC and Tencent. Apple explained that when the feature is enabled, Safari checks a website URL against a list of problematic sites provided by Google and Tencent and displays a warning if the URL is found to be suspicious.

* PT Indosat Tbk agreed to sell about 3,100 telecommunications towers for 6.4 trillion Indonesian rupiah, Reuters reports, citing a company statement. The Indonesian operator will sell about 2,100 units of towers to PT. Dayamitra Telekomunikasi, or Mitratel. Meanwhile, about 1,000 units will be sold to PT Profesional Telekomunikasi Indonesia, or Protelindo.

JAPAN

* NTT Docomo Inc., SoftBank Corp. and KDDI Corp. tapped France-based Sequans Communications SA for internet of things chip solutions. The Japanese mobile operators will adopt Sequan's Monarch system-in-package and Monarch GM01Q module devices.

* Panasonic Corp. subsidiary Panasonic Smart Factory Solutions is collaborating with International Business Machines Corp.'s IBM Japan Ltd. to develop and market a new system to optimize the equipment effectiveness of chip manufacturing processes.

SOUTH KOREA

* LG Electronics Inc. will release new smartphones powered by Google's newest operating system, Android 10, ZDNet Korea reports. The company will allow customers to experience the new OS in advance through its LG OS preview program. LG will first apply the new user interface to its LG G8 ThinQ smartphone.

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

* TikTok, the social media video app owned by Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd., hired more than two dozen Facebook Inc. employees since 2018, CNBC.com reports, citing people with the knowledge of the matter. The company also recently moved into an office space in Mountain View, Calif., which was previously occupied by WhatsApp Inc.

* In more TikTok news, the video app will bring in an external group comprising former U.S. congressional representatives to review and advice on its content moderation policies including on child safety, misinformation and hate speech, Reuters reports, citing a company statement.

* ByteDance acquired a 22.48% stake in HexMeet, a local cloud video conferencing system provider, for an undisclosed sum, KrASIA reports, citing 36Kr.

* China Mobile Ltd. is one of the companies involved in the launch of China's nationwide blockchain-based service network, Xinhua reports. The network aims to provide customized services for the development of smart cities and the digital economy and help nurture a batch of new industries based on blockchain technology.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Apple wants to make India one of its key global production hubs by assembling the latest flagship iPhones in the South Asian country in sync with worldwide release schedules, The Economic Times (India) reports, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The expansion of India manufacturing will allow Apple to have an alternative base and serve as a de-risking strategy as the majority of its production is located in China, a country which is in a trade dispute with the U.S.

* Walmart Inc.-owned online retailer Flipkart India Pvt. Ltd. is adding original shows to its newly launched video platform, Reuters reports, citing a company statement. The company will work with Bollywood directors such as Farah Khan to produce original content.

* Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd. extended its broadcast partnership with Tennis Australia for another three years. Under the tie-up, the Sony Corp. unit will hold the exclusive TV and digital rights for India and the subcontinent. SPNI will provide more than 200 hours of extensive coverage for each edition of the Australian Open on its linear TV channels and video-on-demand service, SonyLIV.

* Vodafone Idea Business Services, the enterprise unit of Vodafone Idea Ltd., partnered with Nokia Corp. to launch software-defined networking in a wide area network services for startups and enterprises.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Vietnam ordered cinemas in the country to pull "Abominable," an animated film from Comcast Corp.'s DreamWorks Animation LLC and Shanghai-based Pearl Studio, from theaters as the movie features a map asserting China's claims to a big portion of the South China Sea, Deadline reports. China and Vietnam have been locked in a dispute over the said area.

* Indonesia-based offline-to-online advertising technology startup StickEarn raised US$5.5 million from its series A funding round, Bareksa reports. Investors in the round include venture capital firm East Ventures, ride-hailing company GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. and digital wallet OVO.

* Thailand's Ministry of Digital Economy and Society will form public-private partnerships to take over the operations of three satellites from Thaicom PCL, Krungthep Turakij reports. Thaicom has built and operated these satellites under a concession but will have to relinquish claim once the deal ends in September 2021.

* Huawei Thailand promoted Abel Deng as its new CEO, The Nation reports. Prior to his promotion, Deng worked as director of carrier network for the company.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Verizon Media LLC appointed Andrew Gilbert as head of platform sales for its Australia and New Zealand operations, Mumbrella reports. Gilbert joins the company from data analytics service Eyeota Pte. Ltd., where he was commercial director.

FEATURED NEWS

5G Focus: Nokia's launches; Google's smartphone; BT's rollout: 5G Focus is a weekly global feature including notable 5G trials, launches, use cases and major equipment supply contracts. It will also feature in-depth analysis of strategies, expansion plans, business models and other related initiatives.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Asia-Pacific telco, TV incumbents strength in streaming multichannel innovation: As over-the-top continues to transform the way content is consumed among Asian viewers, incumbent telcos and multichannel operators in the Asia-Pacific region have also pursued business innovation with streaming video.

Joji Sakurai, Hyegyu Park, Frances Wang, Ed Eduard and Patrick Tibke 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.