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Baidu confirms US IPO for streaming service; Apple may source chips from China


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Baidu confirms US IPO for streaming service; Apple may source chips from China


* Baidu Inc. confirmed plans for a U.S. listing of its streaming service iQiyi, while also posting revenues that surpassed the company's fourth-quarter 2017 guidance. The Chinese company has submitted a draft registration statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed listing of iQiyi's American depositary shares representing its ordinary shares on a major stock exchange in the U.S. The company reported revenue of 23.56 billion Chinese yuan for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2017, up 29% year over year from 18.21 billion yuan in the year-earlier period. Baidu's revenue for full year 2017 was up 20% at 84.81 billion yuan, compared to 70.55 billion yuan the prior year.

* Apple Inc. is holding talks to buy NAND flash chips from Chinese company Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. Ltd., The Nikkei reports. Sources with knowledge of the matter said Apple will use the chips for new iPhone models and other products for sale in the Chinese domestic market specifically.


* Panasonic Corp. struck a deal with Trend Micro Inc. to co-develop cybersecurity solutions for connected cars.

* Oracle Corp.'s Japanese unit said it would open a cloud data center to meet the growing demand for cloud services in the country.

* Japan Display Inc. posted a net loss of ¥100.6 billion for the nine months that ended in December 2017, versus a net loss of ¥9.402 billion for the same period a year ago. The struggle is partly due to the fact that its main client, Apple, has decided to adopt organic light-emitting diodes instead of the Japanese company's liquid crystal displays.

* Publishing house SHOGAKUKAN Inc. reached an agreement with Tokyo-based media and adtech company VOYAGE GROUP, Inc. to create C-POT, a new company that will provide content database services. The venture will be 70% funded by SHOGAKUKAN, while VOYAGE will provide the remaining 30%.


* Shin Dong-bin, chairman of multinational conglomerate Lotte Group, was sentenced to 30 months in prison on a bribery conviction by a South Korean court, Yonhap News Agency reports. Shin's prison time comes in connection with the influence-peddling scandal that led to the impeachment and trial of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye. He was found guilty of giving 7 billion won to Park's confidante Choi Soon-sil in exchange for getting a duty-free license granted to Lotte.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is expected to release its first foldable smartphones by early next year, E Daily reports. According to a source, the foldable phone is expected to utilize the in-folding technology using flexible OLED display.

* Kakao Group affiliate Kakao Mobility will acquire local carpooling platform Luxi to respond to the growing demand of Kakao's taxi service.


* Aviva Plc completed the sale of a 60% stake in its Hong Kong insurance subsidiary, AVIVA Life Insurance Co. Ltd., to Chinese hedge fund Hillhouse Capital Group Holdings and Tencent Holdings Ltd. The three companies are developing a digital insurance joint venture in Hong Kong, and is expected to start operating under its new corporate structure in the first half.

* Inc. raised approximately US$2.5 billion for its JD Logistics unit with an aim to enhance its smart supply chain network. The investors in this financing round include Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia China, China Merchants Group and Tencent Holdings, among others.

* Dalian Wanda Group Corp. Ltd. sold a 17% stake in Spanish soccer club Atletico de Madrid to Quantum Pacific Group, an investment fund owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer, as part of the company's global strategy.

* Chialin Chang resigned as president of HTC Corp.'s smartphone and connected devices business. Chang's resignation follows an announcement that HTC's smartphone and virtual reality businesses will be consolidated, Sina reports.

* China Unicom obtained approval to launch eSIM packages for customers to share data plans between a smartphone and a wearable smart device. According to Tencent News, Apple Watch 3 is the first device that supports eSIM. China Unicom will also partner with SUNSEA Telecommunications Co. Ltd. to set up an internet of things application enablement platform, Yicai Global reports.


* Bharti Airtel Ltd. said the board of Bharti Airtel International (Netherlands) B.V. authorized the management to begin non-binding exploratory discussions with banks and intermediaries to evaluate the possibility of a public listing.

* Idea Cellular Ltd. said its board approved the issuance of further equity of up to 35 billion Indian rupees.

* Inc. struck a deal with Warner Music Group Corp. to add its content catalog to Amazon Prime Music, which will be launched soon in India, The Economic Times reports.

* STAR India Pvt. Ltd. and Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd. enlisted Supari Studios to create original content for their respective video-on-demand platforms Hotstar and Voot, Television Post reports.


* Indonesia-based telco infrastructure company PT Tower Bersama Infrastructure Tbk will invest 1 trillion Indonesian rupiah to build 1,000 telecom towers this year, according to Kontan.

* T-cash, the digital payment service of the Indonesian state-owned operator Telkomsel, will be available for users of other telco operators such as Indosat, XL, Smartfren and Tri, Liputan 6 reports. T-Cash CEO Danu Wicaksana said users of other telco providers can expect to use T-cash in about two months.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will conduct an auction by the end of February to find contractors for the second phase of the government's Universal Service Obligation Net project, RYT9 reports. The second phase of the project will provide broadband internet access to 15,732 villages in rural Thailand with an approved budget of 3.2 billion baht.

* Thailand's telecom regulating board will postpone the auction for 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands, pending a court decision on whether its interim board can legally hold an auction, Prachachat reports.

* Indonesian telco operator Indosat Ooredoo completed the re-framing of its 2.1GHz frequency band, CNN Indonesia reports.


* The Australian Associated Press will shut down its New Zealand Newswire on April 27 due to inability to sustain operations.

* Microsoft Corp. named Sydney, Australia, as home to its eighth ScaleUp program for technology startups.

* Twitter Inc. will livestream Sydney's Mardi Gras event in March as a result of a deal with Special Broadcasting Service Corp., the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

* Indian ride-hailing company Ola said it started offering its services in Perth, Australia.

* Vocus Group Ltd.'s commercial director John Allerton has left the company, The Australian Financial Review reports.

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Nozomi Ibayashi, Nicole Shiwon Kim, Emily Lai, Wil Hathaway and Ed Eduard 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.