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Google funds China's Chushou TV; Apple faces lawsuits for slowing old iPhones


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Google funds China's Chushou TV; Apple faces lawsuits for slowing old iPhones


* Chinese web game streaming platform Chushou TV completed a 500 million Chinese yuan series D funding round, with Google Inc. investing more than 400 million yuan, National Business Daily reports. Sources said the two companies may roll out business cooperation plans in the future.

* Apple Inc. is facing lawsuits in South Korea for deliberately slowing down old iPhones, Money Today reports. Around 30 users have come forward to participate in the potential lawsuit, with the number expected to increase by the time the lawsuits are filed in January 2018. Apple is reportedly facing eight lawsuits in the U.S. and one in Israel for allegedly defrauding iPhone users by slowing devices without warning to compensate for poor battery performance, according to Reuters.

* SoftBank Group Corp. has completed its US$3.3 billion cash acquisition of Fortress Investment Group LLC, effective Dec. 27. Fortress' common stock has ceased trading.

* China's National Development and Reform Commission, or NDRC, is keeping a close eye on the rising prices of mobile phone storage chips and the possibility of price fixing by major chipmakers, China Daily reports. The NDRC has got in touch with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., the world's largest storage chip manufacturer, but is yet to initiate an official antitrust review of the firm. Mobile phone manufacturers complained to the NDRC about rising prices of storage chips and its impact earlier in 2017.


* Nintendo Co. Ltd. informed outside game developers that it is postponing delivery of 64-gigabyte game cards for its Switch console until 2019, The Wall Street Journal reports. The delay may keep gamers waiting for some data-rich game offerings created by third-party developers.

* Japan's Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry plans to issue guidelines on the distribution of rights and profits from artificial intelligence products as soon as March 2018, The Nikkei reports. Japan currently has no uniform legal standards on AI-related contracts, often putting startup tech developers at the mercy of more established customers.

* Toshiba Corp. discovered shady accounting practices at its social infrastructure business affiliate Toshiba Infrastructure Systems & Solutions Corp., which reportedly attributed expenses connected with a money-losing project to another profitable business, Kyodo reports.


* South Korean prosecutors are seeking a 12-year prison sentence for Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong over corruption charges related to the country's ousted former president Park Geun-hye, keeping their initial request from the lower court trial, Yonhap News Agency reports. The final ruling is scheduled to be made in the afternoon of Feb. 5, 2018.

* South Korea's Presidential Committee on the Fourth Industrial Revolution announced that it will ease regulations on the use of geo-location information by tech companies, making it possible for the services that need users' location data, such as a navigation or taxi app, to access the data without having to get an agreement every time, The Korea Economic Daily reports.

* LG Display Co. Ltd. obtained an approval from South Korea's trade ministry to build a new OLED panel production facility in Guangzhou, China, China News reports. LG Display earlier announced plans to invest 15 trillion won by 2020 to boost OLED production.

* KT Corp. started a Wi-Fi service with maximum speeds of up to 4.8Gbps, about three times faster than the original speed of 1.7Gbps, in the Gangnam and Gwanghwamun areas in downtown Seoul for the first time in the world, News 1 reports. The new Wi-Fi service uses the next-generation Wi-Fi Access Point developed by the company to provide stable connection with more traffic.

* LG Electronics Inc. is working with HERE Technologies, a global provider of digital mapping and location services, to put together a telematics solution for autonomous vehicles.


* Teng Hongfei, sales head of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.'s consumer business in Greater China, was taken into custody by Chinese police for allegedly accepting bribes, Reuters reports.

* The Court of Final Appeal ruled that the Hong Kong government wrongfully overcharged local telecom operators for the annual license fees, South China Morning Post reports. The judgment could pave the way for the affected telecommunications services providers to sue the government to recover the excess payments they have made, according to the report.

* Fosun Group is exploring options, including a sale, for its stake in Hollywood production house Studio 8, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.

* Lenovo Group Ltd. will build one of its three global headquarters in Shenzhen, China by 2020, Yical Global reports, citing Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo Group.

* Baidu Inc. is restructuring its news services to include paid content, Sina reports. The paid content reporedly will be written by appointed media veterans to attract high-end and professional readers.


* Balaji Telefilms Ltd. is in talks to expand the integration of its video-on-demand platform ALTBalaji, which is already integrated in the Vodafone Play app, with other telecom operators such as Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel Ltd., Television Post reports, citing Balaji Telefilms Group COO Nachiket Pantvaidya.

* Indian multisystem operator Ortel Communications Ltd. said its board of directors approved a plan to incorporate a wholly owned subsidiary company for the transfer its broadband business to the new entity.

* STAR India Pvt. Ltd. appointed Gautam Thakar as CEO of Star Sports. Thakar, currently chief executive of Groupon-owned online marketplace LivingSocial, will take up the new role beginning Jan. 15, 2018, according to The Economic Times (India).

* Nepal's Supreme Court allowed Axiata Group Berhad's Ncell Pvt. Ltd. to repatriate its dividend from Nepal, The Edge Markets reports. Earlier, Nepalese Central Bank prohibited Ncell from repatriating its dividends due to an issue related to capital gains tax.

* Inc.'s Indian unit launched the mobile prepaid recharge facility that will allow customers of all telecom networks to recharge their prepaid mobile phones using the Amazon app or website.


* Singapore Press Holdings announced that Chua Hwee Song will replace Tony Mallek as its CFO effective April 1, 2018. Chua previously served as the group CFO and executive director of CWG International Ltd., a listed Singapore-based real estate company.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission gave its approval for state-owned telco TOT to provide joint 4G services with Dtac TriNet on the 2300 MHz band, Manager reports. The NBTC said the partnership can go ahead with immediate effect after the contract is signed off by the Attorney General.

* In other NBTC news, the Thai regulator said it does not have the authority to issue license fee payment extensions to Advanced Wireless Network and TrueMove H on the 900 MHz band, Thai Post reports. The NBTC said only Thailand's ruling junta, the National Council for Peace and Order, has the authority to grant such an extension. The NCPO is expected to rule on the matter by Dec. 29.

* PT Telkom Indonesia (Persero) Tbk formed a partnership with state-owned pharmaceutical company PT Kimia Farma (Persero) Tbk to boost Kimia Farma's digitalization efforts, Warta Ekonomi reports. The digitalization process will include the provision of cloud infrastructure, network, hardware and application systems that will be integrated with Kimia Farma's existing Enterprise Resource Planning.


* The National Broadband Network refused to publish its detailed internet speeds database despite reports that more than 70,000 customers have been ripped off by telecom operators selling unattainable speed packages. According to The Australian, NBN Co Ltd. reiterated its stance that it was the responsibility of operators to tell customers the maximum speeds possible under the scheme.


Washington Watch: FCC fines and favoritism claims plague Sinclair/Tribune deal review: As 2017 comes to a close, the pending deal between Sinclair and Tribune remains a major piece of unfinished business at the Federal Communications Commission, leading observers to look for signs as to what may happen in the new year.


Wireless Investor: Emerging Asia-Pacific poised for rapid 4G growth: China boasts the highest 4G penetration rate among emerging Asia-Pacific markets covered by Kagan, at 57.4% in year-end 2016, followed by Malaysia at 23.0% and Thailand at 16.5%.

Economics of Advertising: FOX Sports Ohio grabs November's top RSN ratings spot: FOX Sports Ohio (in Cleveland-Akron-Canton) earned the top spot among regional sports networks in prime-time ratings in November, scoring a 2.49.

Joji Sakurai, Nicole Shiwon Kim, Emily Lai, Patrick Tibke 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.