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Facebook building US$1B data center in Asia; Tencent to regulate underage gaming

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Facebook building US$1B data center in Asia; Tencent to regulate underage gaming

TOP NEWS

* Facebook Inc. will invest over US$1 billion to set up its first Asia data center in Singapore, Reuters reported. The 170,000-square-meter facility is expected to open in 2022. Facebook's Vice President of Infrastructure Data Centers Thomas Furlong said the center will not be "country-specific to where users are located."

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. will implement a new system to single out underage players and monitor user playtime on its "Honour of Kings" game, Reuters reported. The Chinese tech giant will introduce a name-based registration system linked to China's public security database to identify minors and monitor time spent playing its game.

JAPAN

* SoftBank Group Corp. spokesman Takeaki Nukii dismissed reports saying the company is asking Wall Street banks for loans, reportedly worth a combined US$8 billion, ahead of its mobile unit's IPO, Bloomberg News reports.

* Amazon.com Inc. introduced its cashless Amazon Pay service to stores in Tokyo and the southern Japanese city of Fukuoka, Nikkei Asian Review reports. The service is a partnership between Amazon's Japan unit and financial technology startup NIPPON PAY Co. Ltd.

* Uber Technologies Inc. is working with Japan's Fuji Taxi Group to offer a cab-hailing app for taxis in the city of Nagoya, Reuters reports. The move marks its latest effort to establish a footprint in Japan.

SOUTH KOREA

* Kakao Group's ride-hailing service Kakao Mobility invested ¥1.5 billion to acquire a 3.4% stake in JapanTaxi, Yonhap News Agency reports. The two companies will jointly launch a taxi roaming service, allowing South Korean visitors in Japan to use Kakao Mobility's app Kakao T to hail a JapanTaxi, while Japanese in South Korea can arrange a cab ride provided by Kakao T by using the JapanTaxi app.

* KT Corp. will work with China Mobile Ltd. and NTT Docomo Inc. to develop 5G network technologies, Chosun Biz reports. The three companies also discussed strategies to commercialize the 5G network.

* In other KT news, the South Korean telco is cooperating with other players in the industry to commercialize the 5G network as early as December 2018, ZDNet Korea reports. Major telcos KT, SK Telecom Co. Ltd. and LG Uplus Corp. previously agreed to simultaneously commercialize 5G.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. Chairman Mark Liu said the company is open to acquiring a memory-chip maker but stopped short of identifying possible acquisition targets, Nikkei Asian Review reported. The world's biggest contract chipmaker and key Apple Inc. supplier is eyeing diversification as its mobile-driven earnings decline.

* Tencent Holdings and Goldman Sachs Investment Partners LP led a US$450 million funding round for Chinese e-commerce platform MissFresh, according to China Money Network.

* 36Kr, a Chinese online platform offering news about technology and startups, plans to float its media business Beijing Pinxin and data business Jingdata in Hong Kong in 2019, Securities Times reports. The company also plans to list its co-working space business Kr Space in the U.S. afterward to rival WeWork Cos., the report said.

* Duiba Group, a Chinese enterprise solution provider, filed an application to go public in Hong Kong, China Money Network reports.

* China Unicom partnered with Wangsu Science & Technology to develop 5G+ videos platforms, China Securities Journal reports. The state-owned telecom operator also teamed up with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., ZTE Corp., Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ) and Nokia Corp. to launch its own virtual reality platform

* Tencent Holdings signed a memorandum of understanding with Bayerische Motoren Werke AG to further develop digital services and technology in relation to smart mobility, Jiemian reports.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Following the completion of the Vodafone India and Idea Cellular Ltd. merger, Bharti Infratel Ltd. and Indus Towers Ltd. received exit notices, which would result in the exit of 27,447 co-locations. Bharti Infratel said the exits will likely result in a net reduction of its consolidated service revenue of approximately 600 million Indian rupees to 650 million rupees per month, effective Sept. 1.

* Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. appointed Rohit Gupta as CFO, Television Post reports. Prior to joining the company, Gupta was associated with the Chaudhary Group where he was responsible for the rollout of a 5G-ready telecom network in Nepal.

* Reliance Communications Ltd. wants India's telecom department to expedite its response to the telecom tribunal on the spectrum usage charge demand the telco has disputed, people familiar with the matter told The Economic Times (India).

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* BBC Studios Ltd. and unifi TV jointly announced that the BBC Player will be available to 2 million more subscribers in Malaysia. Starting Sept. 18, all unifi broadband subscribers as well as pre-unifi customers will now have access to the British Broadcasting Corp.-owned streaming service. Previously, BBC Player was only available to unifi TV's ultimate pack subscribers.

* Total Access Communication PCL, or Dtac, filed a lawsuit against Thailand's telecom regulator in response to its refusal to grant temporary protection measures for Dtac on the 850 MHz band. Dtac's 850 MHz concession expires Sept. 15.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission confirmed that auctions for frequencies in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands will take place in October, Manager reports.

* Telkom Indonesia issued a medium-term note and a shariah medium-term note totaling 1.5 trillion rupiah, Kontan reports. The Indonesian state-owned telecom operator will use the funds to develop network access and broadband network backbone for its fiber-to-the-home programs.

* Singapore-based GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. is aiming to double its sales to US$2 billion in 2019, Bloomberg News reports. Grab co-founder Hooi Ling Tan stated that the company is on track to raise US$3 billion in funding before the year ends, which includes US$1 billion investment from Toyota Motor Corp.

* Ericsson Thailand launched a new suite of 5G solutions with its product partner Juniper Networks Inc., Manager reports. Ericsson unveiled a range of spectrum-sharing software and hardware, which will allow telcos to support 4G, 4.5G and 5G services simultaneously.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC appointed Melanie Silva as its new Australia and New Zealand managing director, effective Oct. 1. According to The Australian Financial Review, Silva recently served as Google Asia-Pacific managing director of go-to-market strategy and operations, based in Singapore.

* Telstra Corp. Ltd. said it hired Christian von Reventlow, Deutsche Telekom AG's chief product and innovation officer, to become the company's group executive for product and technology, effective Nov. 1.

* Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd. announced that the UEFA Nations League will be broadcast live on its Optus Sport platform.

* Vodafone New Zealand Ltd. opened its new workplace, a fully enabled smart building. The company's Auckland InnoV8 headquarters "blends connectivity and community in a campus-like environment."

FEATURED NEWS

Social media execs address US lawmakers weighing regulatory options for tech: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company would work with Congress to reach "the right regulation" to increase transparency when problematic information was identified, as lawmakers seemed to grapple with what type of regulation that might be.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Wireless Investor: APT panelists talk harmonization of 700 MHz for mobile in ASEAN: Panelists at the APT Symposium on Spectrum Management in Manila highlighted how harmonization efforts for the 700 MHz band in ASEAN can be a testing ground for best practices on harmonizing other spectrum bands for 5G.

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.