* Criticizing U.S. restrictions, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. said its blacklisting marks an unprecedented assault on not only the company but also rules-based global trade, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Chinese equipment-maker termed the action "bullying," and urged European governments to thwart American pressure to shun Huawei.
* SoftBank Group Corp.-owned Fortress Investment Group LLC is reportedly one of the 17 potential bidders for China's Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd.'s hotel portfolio, with the insurer receiving offers of up to US$5.8 billion, London's Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the sales process.
* The global ramifications of the U.S. placing Huawei Technologies on an "Entity List" — effectively requiring U.S. companies to obtain a special license to do business with the Chinese firm — are still being felt, despite the government later scaling back the restrictions for 90 days. The ban is a supply-chain disruptor for Huawei and cuts the company's access to large mobile ecosystems like Android, hurting the company's global expansion plans, analysts said.
* Sony Corp. unit Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. set up a production studio to develop and produce films and television shows based on the company's catalog of video game titles, The Hollywood Reporter reported, citing an interview with executives overseeing the studio. PlayStation Productions will handle the production of the projects, while Sony Pictures Television Inc. will help with distribution.
* KDDI Corp. announced a strategic partnership with tech startup SMARTCAMP Co. Ltd. to jointly develop the software-as-a-service business. The alliance aims to combine SmartCamp's online media marketing expertise with KDDI's SaaS assets. KDDI also made an investment in SmartCamp through its KDDI Open Innovation Fund 3.
* Sony Music Entertainment Inc., a unit of Sony, is launching two new payment systems, Real Time Royalties and Cash Out, for its artists beginning this fall, Variety reported.
* Toyota Motor Corp. entered the esports business by hosting virtual races running on Gran Turismo Sport software on Sony's PlayStation 4 console, Jiji Press reported.
* Amid the decision of the U.S. to blacklist Huawei, NongHyup Bank, Koscom Corp. and other financial institutions have started abandoning the use of Huawei equipment in their network systems, The Korea Times reported. NongHyup has been putting off a 120 billion won project, though it selected Huawei and KT Corp. in November 2018, to update financial network systems of its branches nationwide. Koscom has also decided to opt for Finland's Nokia Corp. equipment instead of Huawei's in its network systems upgrade.
* South Korea's monthly information and communications technology exports dropped for six consecutive months, mainly due to the low performance of semiconductor and display exports, ZDNet Korea reported.
CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN
* The U.S. Commerce Department issued a temporary license that will allow American companies to continue doing business with Huawei for the next three months. The temporary general license, effective May 20, authorizes engagement in transactions with Huawei and its affiliates under certain conditions. These include transactions "necessary to maintain and support" existing and currently fully operational networks and equipment, including software updates and patches.
* MiaoYin, a Beijing-based startup running a social networking app called Zhi Sheng, raised 20 million Chinese yuan through a pre-A round, PEdaily reported. The investment will be used for marketing. The app, which targets office workers, is currently available on Google LLC's Android devices.
* HUYA Inc. is planning to expand its presence in the U.S. in a year or two, Ifeng reported. The NYSE-listed company has identified Twitch as a rival there.
INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA
* The Federal Court of Australia asked Indian software services giant Infosys Ltd. to provide a copy of the source code for a banking solution user interface it built for Australia's Qudos Mutual Ltd. and Australian Military Bank Ltd., The Economic Times (India) reported. The move came as the court seeks to resolve a dispute in which Qudos accused the Indian company of copying its intellectual property to help Australian Military Bank.
* Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Vodafone Group PLC issued a joint statement declaring that the merger of Indus Towers Ltd. and Bharti Infratel Ltd. is at an advanced stage of completion. The shareholder groups also put forward the names of Bimal Dayal and Hemant Ruia for the roles of CEO and CFO, respectively, in the merged company.
* Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors N.V.'s Indian arm believes that the current 4G network technologies in India require strengthening in order to provide a stable foundation for 5G, The Economic Times (India) reported. NXP India's Vice President Sanjay Gupta said 5G requires a better cloud infrastructure, distributed network architecture and an agile operating model.
* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said that current users of Huawei handsets in the country will not be immediately affected by Google's ban on the company from accessing the Android operating system, Manager reported. Future services, however, are likely to be disrupted when Huawei loses access to Android product and security updates.
* Thai telco Advanced Info Service PCL partnered with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to launch the AIS x Samsung Galaxy A70 eSports handset, Prachachat reported.
* Indonesia-based media company PT Surya Citra Media Tbk plans to launch a new rights issue through private placement, CNBC Indonesia reported. The purpose of the rights issue is to strengthen the capital structure and aid the company's expansion plan.
* HBO Go is officially available in Malaysia through Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd.'s Astro Movies Pack, Stuff reported. The streaming service is slated to be available on Android and Apple Inc.'s iOS.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Australia's Sky and Space Global Ltd. executed an unsecured US$1.1 million convertible loan agreement with Telefox Ltd., an independent, third-party Israeli finance provider. Funds from the loan will be used to provide working capital and allow the company to finalize discussions around a new funding package.
* Seven West Media Ltd. expects underlying group earnings before interest and taxes for the year ending June 30 to be in the range of A$210 million to A$220 million, against A$235.6 million in the prior year. The company said this revised guidance reflects the soft conditions and short market experienced across the advertising sector, and the economic uncertainty surrounding the federal election.
Confidence in UK technology companies hit as early-stage investment falls: Some 28% of 200 technology advocates surveyed said they have experienced investors deferring investment decisions as a direct result of the uncertainty around Brexit.
Economics of Advertising: Midseason reality shows turn in strong TV ratings: After another fall season weighed down by linear ratings declines, TV networks found that reality shows launched to solid prime-time viewership during the first three months of the year.
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.