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Google suspends some business with Huawei; US mulling scaling back Huawei ban

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Google suspends some business with Huawei; US mulling scaling back Huawei ban

TOP NEWS

* After the U.S. blacklisted Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC suspended some of its business with the Chinese telecom equipment provider that involves the transfer of hardware, software and technical services, except those available through open source licensing, Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with the matter. The move will reportedly see Huawei losing access to updates to the Android operating system. In addition, the next version of Huawei's smartphones will also lose access to popular services and applications such as the Google Play Store and the Gmail and YouTube LLC apps.

* U.S. officials are considering temporarily scaling back restrictions on Huawei so it could service its existing customers, Reuters reported. A spokesperson with the U.S. Commerce Department told Reuters that a temporary general license would last for 90 days and could be issued parallel to the rule adding Huawei to a so-called entity list, expected to take place on May 21.

* In related news, unfazed by Washington's ban on Huawei, the company's CEO Ren Zhengfei said such restrictions will have little impact on the company's growth, and that it does not need chips from U.S. companies, The Korea Times reported. He said the company has already been preparing for this and the growth of the company "may slow, but only slightly."

JAPAN

* Japan's Finance Minister, Taro Aso, has warned that the U.S. move to ban Huawei from buying critical American technologies could also affect Japanese companies, Reuters reported.

* NTT Docomo Inc. developed a blimp-style drone that is propelled safely through the air with ultrasonic vibrations, offering applications in homes, concert halls and other indoor spaces.

* Toshiba Memory Corp. and U.S. chipmaker Western Digital Corp. entered an agreement to jointly invest in a 3D flash memory manufacturing facility, under construction in north eastern Japan. The plant in Iwate Prefecture will serve the growing demand for storage in areas such as data centers, smartphones and autonomous vehicles.

* LINE Corp. rolled out a new feature called "Stories" on its messaging app that allows users to post video, phone or text that disappears from the Timeline after 24 hours. Profile updates that previously were only available in the "Friends" list can also appear on Stories.

* KDDI Corp. President Makoto Takahashi said that the mobile carrier plans to launch pre-5G services in September 2019, according to RCR Wireless News. Takahashi also said KDDI plans to start selling 5G phone in March 2020.

SOUTH KOREA

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s Vice Chairman, Lee Jae-yong, met with officials of two Japanese telecom companies, NTT Docomo and KDDI, to discuss possible collaboration on the fifth-generation network segment, Digital Times reported.

* KT Corp. CEO Chang-Gyu Hwang recently met with executives of Russian telco Mobile TeleSystems PJSC to discuss future business areas such as 5G, ZDNet Korea reported.

* A representative of the Korean government met with the country's software and information and communication technology businesses to promise support, ET News reported. At the meeting, the businesses voiced the importance of early passage of the currently pending Software Promotion Act, and the necessity of legislative and policy improvements to better respond to 52 work hours per week limitation.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Lenovo Group Ltd. denied a rumor that the company is ceasing supply to Huawei amid the U.S. ban. In a statement, Lenovo said the company will continue to supply to Huawei while complying with the local laws in regions. Huawei is a client of Lenovo's PC and service businesses.

* Xiaomi Corp. and Kingsoft Corporation Ltd.'s cloud service, KS Yun, will build a financial service platform in Nanjing, PEdaily reported. The platform will use technologies including blockchain and supplier finance to create an ecosystem in between capital flow, compliance and services.

* Huawei is promoting Huawei Ability Gallery in Europe, Xinhua reported. Targeting developers, the Gallery is an AI-backed platform that distributes developers' content or services to Huawei devices in a fast and cost-effective way.

* Baidu Inc. attributed a net loss in its first quarter to the investment the company made in CCTV's Chinese New Year Eve Gala marketing campaign and increased losses from its video streaming platform unit iQIYI Inc. The company recorded a net loss of 327 million yuan in the three months ended March 31, or a loss of 0.98 yuan per American Depositary Share, from a net income of 6.69 billion yuan, or 18.68 yuan per ADS, a year ago.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Lenders of Aircel Ltd. have reportedly approved the takeover proposal of the company by UV Asset Reconstruction Company, The Economic Times (India) reported. UV Asset Reconstruction has offered 1.5 billion Indian rupees upfront and additional proceeds from the successful running of the bulk SMS and enterprise businesses.

* Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, or TRAI, is looking to regulate over-the-top apps that stream TV channels in a bid to bring them under a licensing framework similar to the one for broadcasters, The Economic Times (India) reported. Apps such as Star India Pvt. Ltd.-owned Hotstar, Bharti Airtel's Airtel TV and Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd.'s Sony Liv will be affected by this regulation.

* Amazon.com Inc. has withdrawn 33 products from its platform that were called out for disrespecting Hindu deities, The Economic Times (India) reported. Following a petition on Change.org, Amazon removed products such as kitchen rugs, doormats and toilet covers showing Hindu gods.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Singapore-based social music platform BandLab Singapore Pte. Ltd. is acquiring British music magazines NME and Uncut, The Straits Times reported. BandLab will acquire the two publications from British publisher Ti Media Ltd. for an undisclosed amount.

* Thailand's Digital Television Network Provider Society approved a draft letter to the telecoms regulator seeking clarity in two areas for the seven digital TV operators that have applied to return their licenses, Manager reported. The letter calls for clarity on the timeframe of compensation plans and how they will be delivered. It also calls for clarity on the methodology that will be used to calculate compensation for network license returns.

* GrabFood's Thailand unit said it aims to generate at least 20 million orders by the end of 2019, Manager reported. GrabFood also said it is considering changes to its 5 kilometer catchment area and 30-minute maximum delivery time in order to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction.

* Indonesian ride-hailing provider PT Go-Jek Indonesia's GoJek Entertainment Group appointed Edy Sulistyo as its CEO, DealStreetAsia reported. Sulistyo was previously serving as head of PT Global Loket Sejahtera.

* Malaysian media and entertainment company Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd. appointed Nurhisham Hussein as an alternative director of the group, The Edge Markets reported. He will serve as an alternate director to Employees Provident Fund's CEO, Tunku Alizakri Raja Muhammad Alias.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* COO of News Corp. Australia Pty. Ltd. Damian Eales has been named president of the International News Media Association board, The Australian reported. The association also elected Chris Janz, managing director of publishing at Nine Entertainment Co., as a board member.

FEATURED NEWS

Existing US Huawei gear has risks, but forcing removal may not be a priority: Even if the U.S. government does not force the country's carriers using Huawei to replace their equipment, the carriers will already replace it in the next five years, Peter Harrell of the Center for a New American Security think tank says.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Technology: Broadband CPE market remains flat YOY, capped with a solid Q4'18: Overall broadband customer premises equipment market revenue saw a healthy gain of 10% in the fourth quarter of 2018, while year-over-year revenue remained relatively flat, at a 1.0% gain.

Joji Sakurai, Hyegyu Park, Frances Wang, Kevin Osmond 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.