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Grab secures US$1B from Toyota; Sea to raise US$400M via convertible notes

TOP NEWS

* Toyota Motor Corp. will invest US$1 billion in GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based ride-sharing company. The investment will enable Grab to grow its range of services, such as food delivery and electronic payments in Southeast Asia, and Toyota to further integrate its services such as user-based insurance and predictive maintenance with Grab.

* NYSE-listed digital entertainment company Sea Ltd. announced a plan to offer US$400 million in aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2023. The Singaporean company's primary shareholder, Tencent Holdings Ltd., will buy up to US$50 million worth of the notes in the offering. The company will use the proceeds from the offering to fuel business expansion and support general corporate purposes.

* Tencent-backed Meituan-Dianping is set to file for a US$6 billion IPO in Hong Kong this month, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. The Chinese restaurant review and delivery app is reportedly considering selling about 10% of the company and is targeting a valuation of roughly US$60 billion.

JAPAN

* Toshiba Corp.'s shares rose June 13 after the company announced a planned repurchase of about ¥700 billion in stock, in line with a pledge to return cash to investors following the sale of its memory chip business. The company did not announce a timeline for the share buyback, although it planned to implement it "at the earliest possible date." Shares were up 6.65% at ¥337.00 at market close in Japan.

* Tecnos Japan Inc., a video game developer, said its subsidiary Tecnos Global Company of America Inc. acquired 95% of the total issued shares of California-based system integrator Lirik Inc. to strengthen its business in the North American market. Financial details were not disclosed.

* LINE Corp. opened its third research and development center in Japan, The Nikkei reports. The new Kyoto facility will develop services that use artificial intelligence.

SOUTH KOREA

* Kakao Corp. will acquire a 51% stake in local smartwatch manufacturer Kiwi Plus Co. Ltd. in a deal worth approximately 10 billion won, Yonhap News Agency reports. Through the acquisition, the South Korean internet company hopes to solidify its competitiveness in hardware and internet of things.

* SK Broadband will offer ChuChu TV content to its subscribers, following a tie-up with the Indian YouTube kids' channel, Television Post reports.

* LG Electronics Inc. will launch its midpriced smartphones LG Q7 and LG Q7+ in South Korea on June 15, Money Today reports. The smartphone models, which were introduced in Europe early this year, will roll out in other global markets following its debut in South Korea.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* ZTE Corp. shares plummeted after it resumed trading June 13 following a settlement deal to lift a seven-year U.S. export ban. Shares of the Chinese company closed 41.56% lower in Hong Kong and fell by the 10% daily limit in Shenzhen, nearly two months after the company suspended trading April 17 in response to a U.S. Commerce Department ban preventing U.S. companies from supplying it with key parts and technology. The sell-off wiped about US$3 billion from ZTE's market value, which was estimated at US$20 billion before the suspension.

* China Life Insurance (Group) Co. and Tencent Holdings signed an agreement to work together in insurance, finance and IT, Shanghai Securities News reports. The companies plan to enhance their capabilities in big data, financial platforms and artificial intelligence.

* Chinese video-sharing platform AcFun revealed that hackers had stolen tens of millions of users data, including user IDs and encrypted passwords. The company apologized for the breach and admitted that the leak was due to insufficient precautions to secure the platform. AcFun urged users to change their passwords as soon as possible.

* China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said 4G users in the country have risen to 1.06 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2018, while broadband users grew to 361 million.

* China's State Administration of Radio and Television announced it will support the production of 100 documentaries between 2018 and 2022.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Reliance Industries Ltd. said it has completed the acquisition of a 72.69% shareholding in Indian artificial intelligence-based education platform Embibe.

* Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime Video commissioned "The Family Man," a new original series from India, Television Post reports. The drama-action series will launch in 2019 to more than 200 countries worldwide.

* Twitter Inc. will make its in-stream video ads, which allow marketers to connect with their audience through pre-roll ads, available to all advertisers in India, The Economic Times reports.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Malaysia's U Mobile is expected to file for an IPO soon, The Edge Markets reports, citing a CLSA analyst.

* Iflix Sdn. Bhd. appointed Adeana Greenlee as global director of go-to-market and Tamim Fares as global director of engagement and monetization. Greenlee previously served as general manager of iflix Indochina, while Fares was formerly with Vodafone Qatar as head of consumer marketing.

* The Philippines' flagship government television network, PTV-4 will soon be airing shows that will promote Chinese history and culture. Beginning in August, the network will air Chinese TV series, documentaries, cartoons and movies that will be dubbed in Filipino.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission agreed to reduce multiplexer rental fees for three digital TV operators – Thai PBS, Channel 5 and the Public Relations Department – by up to 26% per month, Prachachat reports.

* In other NBTC news, the Thai telecom regulator agreed in principle to return unused mobile phone numbers to make allocations more efficient and improve operator billing systems, Manager reports. Thailand currently has allocated 180 million mobile phone numbers, but only 120 million are in use.

* Grab disabled its carpooling function between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. after receiving several reports about safety concerns, Channel News Asia reports. The move to disable the feature was announced to Grab drivers earlier this month, but passengers said they were not notified of the change.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Vonex Ltd. on June 13 commenced trading on the Australian Securities Exchange. The telecommunications service provider started trading under the code VN8 and option ticker code VN8O. After completing an A$6 million IPO, Vonex said it can now focus on expanding the company's business units, as well as the development of new products.

FEATURED NEWS

Conference Chatter: E3 2018: Microsoft pushes game-streaming service to the forefront: Microsoft moved its Xbox booth to a separate venue at this year's E3 and used the space at the annual video game industry event to highlight its game-streaming platform Mixer.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Consumer Insights: DIRECTV NOW user profile: Subscription cost is what draws subscribers to DIRECTV NOW according to MediaCensus survey data.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai, 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.