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Tencent to invest US$1B in Beijing Homelink; Wanda mulls cutting stake in AMC

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Tencent to invest US$1B in Beijing Homelink; Wanda mulls cutting stake in AMC

TOP NEWS

* Beijing Homelink Real Estate Brokerage Co. Ltd. is looking to receive about US$2 billion in capital from investors, including US$1 billion from Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. and US$500 million from U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing unnamed sources.

* Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group Corp. Ltd. is considering reducing its ownership stake in AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., Reuters reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The news comes amid pressure on the company from Chinese regulators to shed overseas properties. Wanda is reportedly exploring a deal pursuant to which AMC would borrow hundreds of millions of dollars through a convertible bond, and then use the money to buy back some of Wanda's 60% stake.

JAPAN

* LINE Corp. will float around ¥148 billion in zero-coupon convertible euroyen bonds overseas to raise funds for developing its mobile payment service and smart-speaker technology, Nikkei Asian Review reports. The company plans to spend ¥100 billion from the issuance on financial technology and ¥48 billion on artificial intelligence.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. affiliate Ant Financial Services Group and Yahoo Japan Corp. launched a fintech alliance aiming to establish a mobile payments business in Japan, according to Nikkei Asian Review.

* NTT Security Corp. announced it is launching a web security as a service platform as the first unified service in its strategic partnership with Symantec Corp. NTT Security will combine Symantec's cloud-based security service with its own enhanced threat detection product.

* NEC Corp. announced a global alliance with Canada-based Solace Corp., a provider of message broker products, to develop and offer data connectivity services. The partnership combines NEC's network solutions with Solace's PubSub+ message broker product.

SOUTH KOREA

* Samsung Group unit Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. signed a deal with Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC to supply cylindrical cell batteries, E Daily reports. According to a source, the batteries will be used for Jaguar's 2020 EV models.

* Kakao Corp. will add a function to unsend message on it mobile messenger Kakao Talk, Yonhap News Agency reports. The new feature will be introduced in the next update scheduled for later this year.

* Oracle Corp. will begin operating its data center in South Korea in 2019, ET News reports. Early this year, the company announced plans to open 12 data centers across Asia, Europe and the Americas.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Baidu Video completed a US$100 million series B funding round led by its parent company Baidu Inc., 36Kr reports. Institutional investors including Jadex Capital and Gfund Management Co. Ltd. also participated in the round. Funding proceeds will be invested in original content and AI application.

* Migu Video Co. Ltd., the entertainment platform of China Mobile Ltd., reached a partnership with Weibo Corp. to develop sports content, IP generation and promotion, People's Daily reports. The companies will also produce 4K Ultra High Definition content on music and entertainment.

* Chinese bike sharing company ofo is reportedly close to securing additional funding from backers Ant Financial and Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd., KrASIA reports, citing 36Kr.

* Hong Kong Telecom Co. Ltd. and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. jointly inaugurated the Digital Transformation Practice Center in Hong Kong, which aims to guide other carriers in their digital transformation.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Netflix Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and STAR India Pvt. Ltd.'s Hotstar are exploring a voluntary censorship code in India for online content, The Economic Times (India) reports, citing three people familiar with the matter. The code will ensure that the content offered by the platforms are free of hate crimes, child pornography and other inappropriate matter.

* Vodafone Idea, the resulting entity of the Vodafone India and Idea Cellular Ltd. merger, will file a case with the telecom tribunal to recover the nearly 72.49 billion Indian rupees it paid to India's Department of Telecommunications to clear the government hurdle in the telcos' union, a person familiar with the strategy told The Economic Times (India).

* Star India has restructured its Hotstar video streaming service into two business verticals – advertising-led video-on-demand and subscription-led video-on-demand – to support growth plans, a source told The Economic Times (India).

* YouTube LLC is working with Indian music composer AR Rahman for its first original production in India titled "ARRived," according to Press Trust of India.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. purchased a stake in Vietnamese mobile payment startup Moca from Access Venture Capital, a source familiar with the development told Deal Street Asia. The company is targeting to launch its electronic wallet GrabPay in Vietnam this month, but its license application is still being processed.

* Singaporean telco StarHub Ltd. inked an agreement with Temasek Holdings (Pte.) Ltd. subsidiary Leone Investments Pte. Ltd. to form a joint venture company. The new entity, called Ensign InfoSecurity Pte. Ltd., will merge StarHub's Cyber Security Centre of Excellence, its subsidiary Accel Systems & Technologies Pte. Ltd. and Temasek-owned Quann to form a large cybersecurity company in Asia.

* The National University of Singapore will spend US$25 million over the next five years to support up to 250 tech startups, The New Paper reports.

* Thailand's True Corp. sent a letter to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, or NBTC, warning that it will take legal action against the regulator if it tries to make the company pay 3.38 billion baht for its use of the 1800 MHz band from 2013 to 2015, Thai Post reports. TrueMove H, a subsidiary of True Corp., used the band to prevent service interruptions when one of its concessions ended.

* Thai telco Total Access Communication PCL released a statement saying it is disappointed with the NBTC's lack of response to its 850 MHz and 1800 MHz customer protection plans, which the company submitted June 7. More than 300,000 Dtac customers are at risk of being cut off if the company's 850 MHz network is shut down.

* Thai pay TV operator TrueVisions will broadcast the 2018-19 season NFL and NBA games live, Thairath reports. TrueVisions subscribers can watch up to seven NFL matches per week Sept. 7 onwards and up to nine NBA matches per week from Oct. 17.

* Celcom Axiata Bhd. provided tax rebates to Malaysian customers who purchased prepaid plans from Sept. 1 to Sept. 5, in line with government's decision to exempt sales and service tax on mobile prepaid services, New Straits Times reports.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Uber Technologies Inc. is looking to block users in Australia and New Zealand who have a passenger rating of four out of five or lower, BBC News reports. These blacklisted users will be banned for six months. The move is reportedly aimed at improving passenger behavior.

* Vocus Group Ltd. said that its Australia Singapore Cable has been put into early service following a major service disruption on the Sea-Me-We3 submarine cable between Perth and Singapore.

FEATURED NEWS

Film studios, theaters, tech companies look to a more integrated future of film: Hollywood studios and theater chains are looking at digital content just as tech companies are wading into the traditional film business. This is the second article in a two-part series about the future of film.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: OTT in Asia-Pacific: Current state of the market: Kagan rounds up the over-the-top services in the Asia-Pacific that have been newly added to our OTT Services & Devices database.

Consumer Insights: Young iPhone users most interested in smartwatches: Online consumer survey data shows that younger respondents and iPhone owners are most interested in getting a smartwatch.

Joji Sakurai, Nicole Kim, 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.