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Google, Twitter to vet Indonesian online content; Bharti, Tata end merger talks


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Google, Twitter to vet Indonesian online content; Bharti, Tata end merger talks


* Twitter Inc. has agreed to provide special access to Indonesia's Information Technology Ministry to report terror-related content, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing Semuel Pangerapan, director general of information application at the ministry. Meanwhile, Google Inc. will also work with several Indonesian nongovernmental organizations to help authorities better police controversial online content.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission ordered Thai internet service providers to block webpages prohibited by a court order by Aug. 7 or face action, including a possible revocation of their licenses, after failed attempts to reign in Facebook Inc. and YouTube LLC, the Bangkok Post reports.

* Bharti Enterprises Ltd. has decided to end its talks with Tata Group over combining their telecom, direct-to-home and overseas cable and enterprise services businesses, The Economic Times (India) reports, citing people familiar with the matter. It was not clear if Bharti's board had rejected a formal proposal from Tata Group. Meanwhile, Tata Group reportedly has also explored selling its telecom and related assets to Reliance Industries Ltd.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. reportedly reached a tentative deal with AT&T Inc. to debut its devices in the U.S., The Information reports. Huawei's phones will be available to the market in the first half of next year. Meanwhile, Huawei has set up a 400,000-square-meter data center in Guizhou province in southwest China, Sina reports.

* Netflix Inc. is ramping up its Asian content. Netflix announced its first Chinese-language original series, called "Bardo," and it is also reportedly expanding its Japanese anime lineup with 12 new series and a Godzilla animated film for release this year and in 2018.


* Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp.'s African operations, which the company acquired in 2010, has attracted competing interest from Vodacom Group Ltd. and MTN Group Ltd., people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. MTN is reportedly considering offering as much as US$600 million for Dimension Data's Internet Solutions unit.

* Japanese carmaker Mazda Motor Corp. signed an agreement with Toyota Motor Corp. that will see the companies jointly developing technology for electric vehicles and connected cars, as well as on advanced safety technology. Toyota will also take a 5.05% stake in Mazda for ¥50 billion, Reuters reports.

* Toshiba Corp. will proceed with a new memory chip production factory without Western Digital Corp., saying the latter has no right to new chip production, according to Bloomberg News. Western Digital said it is "confident" that it will receive its share of new chip production.

* Meanwhile, Japan's government is boosting its role in guiding the US$18 billion sale of Toshiba's flash memory unit amid frustration over "rudderless" leadership at the electronics giant, the Financial Times (London) reports.

* Canon Electronics Inc. is leading a joint venture to develop a rocket to carry small satellites into space, The Nikkei reports. The Canon Inc. unit will hold a 70% stake in the company, which is launching on Aug. 9 with capital of ¥200 million. Partners IHI Aerospace Co. Ltd., Shimizu Corp. and the Development Bank of Japan Inc. will each have a 10% share.

* NEC Corp. announced it will provide technology to SoftBank Group Corp.'s mobile-network access service Twin Access, which targets business customers in Japan.


* The final hearing of Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong's corruption case is set to take place Aug. 7, Seoul Broadcasting System reports. With the prosecutors expected to seek a heavy sentence, the court is likely to deliver a verdict before the end of Lee's detention period on Aug. 27.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s limited edition smartphone, the Galaxy Note FE, made with components of the discontinued Galaxy Note 7, will not be launched on the global market until the end of this year, despite strong sales in South Korea, Financial News reports. The company may even reconsider the product's global launch to focus its marketing efforts on its upcoming Galaxy Note 8.

* KT Corp. began allowing users to reuse its USIM cards regardless of who the previous user was and how much time has passed since the card was deactivated, Digital Times reports. As a result, users who already have a USIM card can subscribe to the telco without having to pay extra.


* Paramount Pictures Corp.'s Chinese co-financing partner Huahua is disappointed with the reception to and box office results of Paramount's latest slate of films and believes that the Viacom Inc.-owned studio has not done a good job of capturing international audiences, Variety reports. Viacom executives are set to head to China in the week of Aug. 7 to reassure Huahua that the situation will improve soon.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. entered into a four-year strategic partnership framework agreement with the government of Macau to implement smart-city initiatives using cloud computing technologies. The first two years of the pact will see cooperation on smart transportation, tourism, healthcare, city governance and talent development.

* US graphic chip giant Nvidia joined a series B funding round in Beijing-based autonomous truck startup Tusimple to hold a 3% stake in the company, without disclosing the investment amount, the South China Morning Post reports.

* A pair of "chatbots" installed on Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s messaging service QQ were taken offline after reportedly straying off-script, voicing anti-government responses when users asked them questions, according to Reuters.

* Alibaba Pictures Group Ltd., the movie arm of Alibaba Group, launched a new service to link up intellectual property owners with product manufacturers to move into the media-related merchandising industry, Tencent News reports. The new business will collaborate with movie streaming site Youku Tudou Inc., online literature sharing platform Ali Wenxue and online game site Aligames to reach IP owners.

* Tencent Sports secured live streaming rights for European soccer properties Ligue 1 Conforama, Serie A TIM, FA Cup and Scottish Premiership from MP & Silva, World Screen reports. The new media rights cover mainland China for the 2017 to 2018 season.

* Meitu Inc. formed a partnership with Google Inc. to apply its technology to advertising services in Hong Kong and Taiwan starting in September, Apple Daily reports.


* Foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and from ASEAN's 17 dialogue partner countries will agree to create a regional mechanism utilizing social media to prevent the spread of violent extremism in the region, Reuters reports, citing a draft statement prepared ahead of a top security gathering on Aug. 7.

* Indonesian Minister of Communications and Informatics Rudiantara said his ministry will start a public consultation on the draft of a ministerial decree on over-the-top service providers on Aug. 7, reports. The ministerial decree will regulate the operations of foreign internet services providers such as Google, Facebook and Twitter.

* The Thai government will establish the National Cybersecurity Commission this August, according to Post Today. The commission will be headed by the prime minister himself and comprise two deputy prime ministers, as well as representatives of relevant public and private agencies.

* Indonesian telco PT Telkomsel has launched the Telkomsel VideoMAX Supersoccer TV app that offers access to soccer-related content such as Italian Serie A, FA Cup, MUTV Channel and BeIN Sports, which will broadcast English Premier League, La Liga and Champions League matches, Tribun News reports.

* Singapore-based MediaCorp Pte. Ltd.'s OTT service Toggle will launch its new original comedy series "LifeSpam" on Aug. 9, World Screen reports.

* Thai state-owned phone operator TOT Public Co. Ltd. said it will take back the 900,000 fixed-line telephone numbers operated by Thai telco True Corp. as True's concession comes to an end on Oct. 29, Prachachat reports. There are currently 14 court cases and arbitrations worth 33 billion baht between TOT and True as a result of this concession.


* Fairfax Media Ltd. has signed a non-disclosure agreement to review an information memorandum detailing troubled broadcaster Ten Network Holdings Ltd.'s business and financials, sources told The Australian Financial Review.

* FOX SPORTS Australia Pty Ltd. said it secured exclusive rights to broadcast international basketball tournaments featuring Boomers and Opals exclusively live.

* FOXTEL axed Lifestyle YOU channel and its Foxtel Arts and Foxtel Smooth will share a broadcast signal effective Oct. 11, B&T reports.

* Nine Entertainment Co. said it will rebrand its broadcast video-on-demand platform 9Now after it passed the four million signup mark.

* Mandy Chang, head of arts at the Australian Broadcasting Corp., is leaving the company to take up a commissioning editor post at the British Broadcasting Corp., Mumbrella reports.


* STAR India Pvt. Ltd. confirmed the leak of an unreleased episode of HBO series "Game of Thrones," a Star India spokesperson told The Verge.

* Eros International Plc is changing its movie slate strategy by moving away from large-scale acquisitions and shifting its attention to co-productions, Television Post reports, citing Eros International Group CEO, MD and Director Jyoti Deshpande. Eros International has revealed a lineup of 50 films in eight languages for 2018.

* Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Sports Network renewed its agreement to broadcast the fifth edition of the Caribbean Premier League in the Indian sub-continent, Television Post reports. It also obtained digital rights to the tournament and will live-stream the matches in Afghanistan on its digital platform Sony LIV.

* Zee Media Corp. Ltd and Big FM has begun content integration of shows from both Zee TV and Big FM after Zee acquired a stake in Anil Ambani's FM radio business, Television Post reports.

* Huawei is said to begin ramping up its offline presence in India, P. Sanjeev, vice president, sales, for Huawei India's Consumer Business Group told IANS.

* Flipkart India Pte. Ltd. plans to start selling refurbished smartphones by Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights, on Oct. 19, two senior executives told The Economic Times (India).

* Rahul Ganjoo, vice president, program management, and Arvind Heda, vice president, technology (data platform), have resigned from Snapdeal, ANI reports, citing sources.


MarketWeek: Media, Internet stocks turn red following earnings reports: Several media and internet stocks took a beating for the week ended Aug. 4 as investors digested earnings reports from several sectors.

Crown Media eyes fall launches of drama network, hybrid SVOD service: The owner of Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries will mine its content library to expand its network portfolio, CEO Bill Abbott said in an interview.


Economics of Networks: AMC Networks' CEO talks distribution experimentation on Q2 earnings call: Net revenue at AMC's national networks was up 5.6% year over year as the company broadens its distribution strategy.

Global Multichannel: Viacom's international nets continue positive momentum in fiscal Q3: Although Viacom's U.S. networks contributed the biggest share of revenue, growth for the company's Media Networks division was largely driven by strong results from its international segment.

Joji Sakurai, Myungran Ha, 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.