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In This List

Wanda chairman sends warning to Trump; Chinese deal for Aixtron axed

Southeast Asian broadband providers report varying performance amid COVID-19

Cable networks react to pandemic by cutting SG&A, programming costs

Strong Competition Remains For Thailand Digital Terrestrial TV Channel

ITU: Regulators discuss impacts of COVID-19 on policymaking


Wanda chairman sends warning to Trump; Chinese deal for Aixtron axed

TOP NEWS

* Dalian Wanda Group Co. Ltd. Chairman Wang Jianlin warned that any move to curb Chinese investment in the U.S. could put the company's 20,000 U.S. jobs at stake, according to Bloomberg News. Wang reportedly asked Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, to relay his message to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

* China's Fujian Grand Chip Investment GmbH canceled its planned acquisition of German semiconductor firm Aixtron SE after U.S. President Barack Obama blocked the deal. Meanwhile, Shen Danyang, spokesperson for China's Ministry of Commerce, criticized the U.S. for blocking the €670 million takeover offer, saying the deal "shouldn't have been subjected to political interference," Reuters reports.

PAN-ASIAN NEWS

* Seoul-based CJ 4DPLEX partnered with SM Cinema in the Philippines and India's PVR Cinemas to utilize its immersive theater technology in both countries, Film Journal International reports. SM Cinema will launch 14 4DX auditoriums, with seven to be opened by the end of 2019. Meanwhile, India will see the rollout in PVR Cinemas' highest-grossing theaters in Bangalore and Mumbai.

* Shavkat Berdiev was named vice president and general manager of Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd.'s Southeast Asian business, World Screen reports. He was formerly deputy general manager and chief commercial officer at Millicom International Cellular S.A. in Tanzania.

JAPAN

* Sharp Corp. and its parent company, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., also known as Foxconn Technology Group, are considering building factories for liquid crystal display panels for TVs in Guangzhou, China, in 2019 to compete with South Korean and Chinese rivals, The Mainichi Shimbun reports. The construction is expected to be partly subsidized by local governments, with the total investment reportedly reaching about ¥800 billion.

* Japan's TDK Corp. is in talks to acquire InvenSense Inc., the U.S.-based motion sensor provider for Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Reuters reports. InvenSense produces gyroscopes, which help smartphones calculate motion and enable augmented reality apps. TDK reportedly offered US$12 per share. Negotiations are expected to be completed by the end of December.

* NTT DATA Corp., the IT services arm of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., is launching a service that allows users in Japan to pay taxes, utility bills and other charges by taking a picture of the bill with their smartphone camera, The Nikkei reports. The payment is then automatically charged to users' accounts.

SOUTH KOREA

* Samsung Electronics will disable all Galaxy Note 7 phones in the U.S. through a software update in mid-December that will prevent the discontinued devices from charging and disable their functionality. Verizon Communications Inc. will reportedly not take part in the update, saying it could put users at a disadvantage if they do not have another device to switch to. Meanwhile, 80% of Galaxy Note 7s in South Korea and 90% in North America and Europe have been returned, JTBC reports. Samsung will soon block network usage for the handsets in Canada and Australia, where the return rate is high.

* In other Samsung Electronics news, the Samsung Group unit will remove the headphone jack from its next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, SamMobile reports. Dropping the 3.5 mm port would allow the new Galaxy phones to be thinner, while making room for a larger battery. Other changes to the S8 range reportedly include a USB-C port for charging and a fingerprint sensor embedded within its display instead of a physical home button.

* Internet giant Naver Corp. will invest 30 billion South Korean won in audio content development over the next three years, Financial News reports. The company expects audio services will increase users in its arts category, which garners lower traction than other categories such as entertainment.

* Public pay phones across South Korea will be cut down by about 50% by 2020, Yonhap News Agency reports. Only about 30,000 to 40,000 units from the 70,000 currently installed across the country will remain as public phone usage has declined, a ministry official said.

* The South Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning is allegedly involved in President Park Geun-hye's corruption scandal for its so-called "Creative Economy" businesses, Dailian reports. The term was reportedly first coined by Park with the aim of boosting ICT innovation.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. announced that eSports will become one of its five core businesses, 36kr reports. The Chinese internet giant plans to learn from the NBA and Premier League to commercialize eSports in China.

* Airbnb is accelerating its expansion in China by moving data on its Chinese clients to servers inside mainland China, as required by law, Caixin reports. Airbnb's plans for China include hiring more than 250 people in the next two years and doubling investment there in 2017.

* Taiwanese mobile network carrier Chunghwa Telecom Co. Ltd. appointed Cheng Yu to replace Rick Tsai as chairman, DigiTimes reports. Cheng became a board member of Chunghwa in August and holds a 35.29% stake in the company.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* A bill to reform the Philippines' telco industry is set to be created by 2017, which will expand the authority of regulators and also allow 100% foreign ownership, Rappler reports.

* The iPhone 7 can officially be sold in Indonesia after Apple Inc. agreed to comply with a government regulation that requires 4G devices to have at least 30% local content through hardware, software or investment value, Kompas reports. Apple committed to investing 550 billion to 700 billion rupiah in order to comply with the local content regulation.

* SportsHero, a Singaporean tech startup dedicated to sports prediction, will list on the Australian Securities Exchange through a reverse takeover of Nevada Iron Ltd., the Singapore Business Review reports. Nevada Iron expects to raise A$3 million from the IPO.

* Indonesian telco PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk, or Telkom, has captured up to 67% of the internet, TV and telephone services market in the greater Jakarta area, Indotelko reports. The market share is mainly due to Telkom's IndiHome product, which offers three-in-one packages for fiber internet, interactive TV and home phone services.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will distribute 15,000 free mobile top-up cards to mourners at the Dusit Throne Hall on Dec. 18 during a ceremony to pay homage to the remains of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Prachachat reports. The NBTC partnered with Thailand's five largest network operators to produce the top-up cards, each of which carries 50 baht in credit.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Screen Producers Australia wants the government to consider ways of making sure foreign streaming services such as Netflix Inc. give back to the local industry by making more investments in Australian film and TV production, the Australian Financial Review reports.

* Australian Broadcasting Corp. and Screen Australia commissioned an original comedy-drama series for ABC's video-on-demand service iView, The Adelaide Review reports. The show, which takes place in Adelaide, will also receive funding from the South Australian Film Corporation.

* Dell EMC appointed Geoff Wright as channel leader for Australia and New Zealand. Wright, who had been Dell Inc.'s general manager for ANZ channels, will be responsible for the ANZ channel business and implementation of a new Dell EMC partner program to be rolled out in February 2017. In 2015, Dell and EMC Corp. struck a definitive agreement under which Dell will acquire EMC.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* U.S.-headquartered Juniper Networks Inc. plans to invest US$1 billion in its Indian operations as it aims to be part of India's digital transformation through cloud-based services, The Economic Times (India) reports.

* Vodafone India is offering unlimited free voice calls to its prepaid customers and launched two new packages that aim to challenge market newcomer Reliance Jio's offer of unlimited free calls, The Indian Express reports.

* Indian travel and lifestyle channel travelxp will launch a Tamil channel on Dec. 13, Indian Television reports. Meanwhile, the 4K rollout of travelxp is expected around February 2017 and will happen across all markets.

FEATURED NEWS

China raises eyebrows with Hollywood investments: China has many observers suspicious of the billions of dollars its companies are investing in the U.S. movie business, but some investors believe that trend could taper.

MarketWeek: Sky's the limit for Fox investors: Fox's plan to buy out the remaining stake in European pay TV giant Sky invigorated investors at the end of a bullish week on the markets.

The Program Guide: Netflix renews 'Luke Cage'; HBO shows now available on Amazon Prime: The latest installment of The Program Guide includes the Jan. 7, 2017, debut of "The Guardians" on Animal Planet and the season 10 debut of "Unsung" on TV One on Jan. 4, 2017.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Technology: Hybrid IP gateway shipments rise steadily: Pay TV service providers have not been shy about their commitment to hybrid IP gateways.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Sunny Um, Frances Wang, Patrick Tibke and Kevin Osmond 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.