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Wanda, Sony seal film deal; Singapore startup buying 49% of Rolling Stone

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Wanda, Sony seal film deal; Singapore startup buying 49% of Rolling Stone

TOP NEWS

*As expected, struck a dealwith Sony PicturesEntertainment that will see the Chinese conglomerate co-financingsome of the upcoming releases by the Sony Corp. film unit in China. Under the deal, Wanda willleverage its ticketing platform, entertainment plazas and theme parks topromote Sony films to Chinese moviegoers.

*Singapore-based BandLab Technologies is set to acquire 49%of Wenner Media LLC'sAmerican magazine Rolling Stone,Bloomberg reports.BandLab, a music-focused social platform startup, will not be involved in theeditorial side of the magazine, but instead will manage a Rolling StoneInternational unit focusing on live events, merchandising and more. Financialdetails were not disclosed.

* In another expected development, Dalian Wanda Group opened another tourism park inChina – a US$5.1 billion entertainment complex in the city of Hefei in easternChina's Anhui province, Reuters reports.The first phase of Hefei Wanda City includes a theme park, a shopping mall andseveral hotels. Second and third phases are already in the development andplanning stages, respectively.

PAN-ASIAN NEWS

*MGM StudiosInc.-owned MGM TV renewed the contract of Greg Robertson asmanaging director and senior vice president of MGM's international TVdistribution in the Asia-Pacific region, TBI Vision reports.Under the multiyear renewal, Robertson will continue to be based in Australiaand report to Chris Ottinger, MGM's president for worldwide TV distribution andacquisitions. MGM HoldingsInc. owns MGM Studios.

* Japanese regulators may take antitrust action against over its agreements withlocal carriers to sell iPhones. Japan's Fair Trade Commission a report in August,accusing the country's largest telcos – SoftBank Group Corp., NTT DoCoMo Inc. and KDDI Corp. – of refusing to sell older surplus iPhonesto third-party retailers.

*The Japanese government plans to lower the fees that NTT DoCoMo Inc., KDDICorp. and SoftBank Corp. can charge budget smartphone operators for rentingtheir networks, the Yomiuri Shimbun reports,citing unidentified sources. The move is intended to help MVNOs lower charges,boosting overall competition in the smartphone market. NTT DoCoMo is a unit of

*Yahoo Japan Corp. isplanning to introduce a four-day workweek for all of its employees, Kyodo News reports,citing company sources. The search engine operator, a unit of SoftBank Groupand Yahoo! Inc.,intends to phase in the system for its 5,800 employees over several years, inhopes it will attract better personnel and prevent workers from quitting tocare for aging parents.

*Japanese advertising giant DentsuInc. says it will refund some ¥230 million to customers overchargedfor internet advertisements, accordingto Bloomberg. The company said in apress release that it had uncovered 633 cases of suspicious transactions,including 14 where customers were billed without placing an order.

*South Korea's Future Planning, Science, Broadcasting and CommunicationsCommittee will summon Korean executives of Alphabet Inc.-owned Google Inc., Apple and Facebook Inc. to the upcoming annual parliamentaryaudit, E Daily reports.Google will reportedly be questioned about the use of South Korean geographicaldata for its Maps service, Facebook about pornography ads, and Apple about itsiPhone after-sales service policy, which is considered substandard.

*Young-soo Kwon, vice chairman of South Korean IPTV provider , said the company isconsidering an acquisition deal for a cable TV operator, Yonhap News Agency reports.The targeted firms reportedly include CJ O Shopping's CJ HelloVision, which saw its proposed M&A deal withSK Telecom Co. Ltd.'sSK Broadband getrejected by thegovernment in July due to the possibility of a monopoly.

*Apple Inc.'s retail executives are looking at sites in South Korea where the tech giant couldset up its first retail store. The sites include a location near SamsungElectronics' three-story global flagship store in Seoul's Gangnam neighborhood.

*South Korean entertainment company CJ E&M teamed up with Endemol Shine Group's Asian unit to co-develop anoriginal reality series. The first season of "The Society Game" willpremiere in South Korea on the CJGroup unit's flagship channel TvN in October. ownsEndemol Shine Group.

* Morethan 200,000 buyers of SamsungGroup's SamsungElectronics Co. Ltd.'s Galaxy Note 7 have received replacementdevices since the start of the exchange program, Yonhap News Agency reports.Samsung is also calling all individuals who had their Galaxy Note 7 batteriesinspected at Samsung's service centers, in order to encourage additional deviceexchanges.

* SouthKorean mobile carrier SK Telecom launched an upgraded version of its children'ssmartwatch, the JooN3, Financial News reports. It reportedlyoffers enhanced location accuracy, as two GPS modules are installed.  

, HONG KONG ANDTAIWAN

*Taiwan Mobile Co.Ltd. signed a deal with Tesla Motors for the B2B connected vehiclesmarket, DigiTimes reports.The Taiwanese telecom company will provide wireless connectivity and datatransmission service in Tesla's electric cars for connected experiences.

*China TelecommunicationsCorp.'s ChinaTelecom carried out virtual broadband remote access server (vBRAS)tests in three Chinese provinces this year, c114 reports. The tests are aimed atcloud optimization of the network and serve as preliminary work for a 5Gnetwork.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

*An Indian court issued an arrest warrant for T. Ananda Krishnan, owner ofMalaysia's MaxisBhd. and AstroMalaysia Holdings Bhd., who is accused by the Indian Central Bureauof Investigation of corruption during the sale of Indian telco Aircel to Maxis,Bloomberg reports.The court in New Delhi also put out an arrest warrant for Ralph Marshall,deputy chairman of Astro Malaysia and Astro All Asia Networks Plc.

*Temasek Holdings (Pvt)Ltd.'s Singtel partnered with to providecompanies with cybersecurity services for networks, mobile phones and tablets, The Straits Times reports.Palo Alto Networks is a U.S. network and enterprise security company.

*Thailand's new Ministry of Digital Economy and Societyannounced plans to raise 2 billion Thai baht as part of a joint investment fundfor a new national broadband network, Prachachatreports.The ministry will reportedly draw on joint assets from the forthcoming mergerof state-owned telcos TOT and CAT Telecom to invest in the new network.

*Thai telco Dtac submitted a list of four key reform proposals to the aimed at creating a more flexible telecoms market andaccelerating the country's Thailand 4.0 plan for a new digital economy, Krungthep Turkaij reports. AmongDtac's proposals is that telecoms operators should be granted the right totransfer concessions between one another, and that provisions should be grantedto enable advanced spectrum auctions.

*Philippine telco Globe Telecom successfully completeda TV white space trial for wireless backhaul. The trial supports the company'sbid to maximize available spectrum. Once in place, the technology is expectedto provide an alternative wireless network that will supply data connectivityin far-flung areas in the southern islands of Visayas and Mindanao.

*Singapore's Asia MobileHoldings-owned StarHub Ltd.'s StarHub TV will launchSmithsonian Channel HD on Sept. 27. The deal for the historical, scientific andcultural topics channel was brokered by pay TV channel distributor MultiChannels Asia Pte Ltd.

* AMalaysia-Singapore factual co-production agreement is in a 10-episode documentaryseries, "Borneo," about the Southeast Asian island. The series, acollaboration between Malaysian content producer Kyanite TV and Singaporeanproduction firm Beach House Pictures, is expected to air in mid-2017.

*Malaysian ride-hailing service Grab partnered with startup nuTonomy to expandpublic trials of self-driving vehicles in Singapore, MIS Asia reports.Grab will select customers to book rides in self-driving vehicles in designatedareas in Singapore for free to test the service and technology.

* Thailand'sNBTC confirmed that the management of Advanced Info Service played no role inthe leaking of private customer data by an IT specialist, who has since beenfired from the company, Prachachat reports.Following an investigation into the leaks, the NBTC reportedly confirmed that,as stated in AIS's data protection policy, private customer data can only beaccessed by a staff member at the customer's request.

* ThaiSamsung Electronics confirmed that a new batch of replacement Galaxy Note 7handsets will be shipped to Thai pre-booking customers on Sept. 30, Beartai reports. Eachcustomer will also receive a gift pack of accessories for the smartphone.

*Chinese e-commerce giant AlibabaGroup Holding Ltd. entered into a joint venture with Thai tradingconglomerate Loxley, which will see the two companies offer e-commerce trainingcourses to students and small- to medium-sized enterprises, Krungthep Turkaij reports. As part ofthe project, dubbed Dream Trip, groups of 30 to 50 Thai entrepreneurs will beput through a five-day e-commerce training course at Alibaba's headquarters inHangzhou, China.

AND NEW ZEALAND

*New Zealand telco Spark divulged that some of its customers' data was includedin the massive hackthat hit its email partner Yahoo! Inc., Stuff reports.Spark reportedly has approximately 450,000 clients using its email service,which is outsourced to Yahoo, but the telco did not give any details as to howmany of its customers may have been affected by the breach.

*Australian ISP TPG TelecomLtd. is close to launching a subscription TV service, with an arrayof Fetch TV productsdue to arrive in the coming months, TheAustralian Financial Review reports.TPG is reportedly the last among the country's major ISPs to secure apartnership with a pay TV service.

*The New Zealand Commerce Commission issued a draft recommendation in favor ofderegulating three of telco Spark's wholesale voice services, ZDNet reports.This comes after ComCom concluded that telco operator , fixed-wireless operators andlocal fiber companies offer adequate competition in the New Zealand market. 

*Australians will soon be able to transfer money between bank accounts usingonly their mobile phone number or email address, ZDNet reports,citing Philip Lowe, governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia. Real-time fundtransfers between financial institutions will become possible through a newpayments platform, the report said.

AND SOUTH ASIA

*Bharti Airtel Ltd.will infuse about146.67 billion Indian rupees into the Indian and South Asian markets to improveits network capabilities. The investment will be made during India's currentfiscal year, with Airtel already incurring CapEx of 41.33 billion rupees in thefirst quarter of fiscal year 2017.

*Pakistani tracking provider TPL Trakker is planning to expand its mappingservices to Bangladesh,Iran and Sri Lankawithin the next three years, Mint reports.In its bid to become the most-used mobile map service, the app also offers fooddelivery and e-commerce.

*Indian film studio ErosInternational raised about US$30 million through a privateplacement, Television Post reports.The proceeds from the funding will primarily be used for Eros Now, thecompany's over-the-top platform.

*POW! Entertainment, Time WarnerInc.'s TurnerBroadcasting System Inc. and Graphic India are teaming up again for"Chakra the Invincible." Accordingto The Hollywood Reporter, the StanLee creation will have three more animated TV movies, with the first airing onTurner's Toonami channel on Sept. 25.

*YouTube Inc. has startedthe roll-out of its offline playback feature in Pakistan, Propakistani reports.The feature will allow users to download videos for offline viewing within 48hours.

FEATURED NEWS

:Vodafone is investing $7.2 billion in its Indian subsidiary prior to theupcoming spectrum auction in the country, while Deutsche Telekom made twoappointments under a reorganization that seeks to merge the different serviceunits of its German operations.

: A Yahooinvestigation confirmed a cyberattack affecting nearly 500 million useraccounts, while Apple confirmed the acquisition of India-based machine-learningstartup Tuplejump Software.

: A fresh rumor about apotential Twitter sale sparked some investor excitement late in the week endedSept. 23, which also saw some turmoil in network operator shares following adownward revision of political advertising forecasts.

: Take a look at the media and communications editor's topfive picks for the week ended Sept. 23.

: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents the five most-readmedia and communications articles for the week ended Sept. 23.

FEATURED RESEARCH

: With OTT and VSPservices nipping at their heels, multichannel video providers are quicklygetting their act together and trying to find ways to improve customerstickiness and reduce churn.

: With FOX News in themidst of management turmoil, James Murdoch went on the offensive at the GoldmanSachs 2016 Communicopia Conference.

: Desktop content viewingfor broadcast nets was a mixed bag in the second quarter, as the number ofunique viewers was broadly more positive than the minutes viewed metric for thegroup, according to comScore Video Metrix data.

: Financing is available for conservatively leveraged radiocompanies to make deals, although at lower multiples than most sellers arewilling to accept, while consolidation among the larger groups is hampered byoverleverage at the top two operators, restricting supply in the overall radiodeal market.

:Along with the rise of over-the-top services, weakening legacy multichannelvideo affordability typically is seen as the main driving force behind cordcutting.

Joji Sakurai, Sunny Um, EmilyLai, Patrick Tibke and Kevin Osmond contributed to this report. The Daily Dosehas an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. Hong Kong time. Some external links mayrequire a subscription.