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Samsung replacement phone catches fire; Foodpanda ends Indonesian ops

TOP NEWS

* A replacement unit of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s Galaxy Note 7 that emitted smoke on a Southwest Airlines flight in the U.S. led to the evacuation of the plane's passengers and crew, The Verge reports, citing the smartphone's owner. He said the phone was a replacement obtained in an exchange at an AT&T store on Sept. 21. The phone reportedly burned through the carpet of the plane.

* Food delivery startup Foodpanda ceased operations in Indonesia due to competition with similar services operated by local ride-hailing services Go-Jek and Grab Bike, Deal Street Asia reports. Foodpanda entered the country in 2012, and the move comes amid reports that the company was selling its Indonesian business for less than US$1 million.

PAN-ASIAN NEWS

* Microsoft Corp. is strengthening its anti-cybercrime efforts in the Asia-Pacific by unveiling a joint Transparency and Cybersecurity Center in Singapore to address the security needs of the public and private sectors, The Nikkei reports. Microsoft also signed a memorandum of agreement with the Cambodian government to provide that country's citizens with cybersecurity training and education. It also reportedly plans to establish a Transparency Center in Beijing.

* New York-based content discovery platform Outbrain Inc. is strengthening its leadership team in the Asia-Pacific, B&T Magazine reports. The global online advertiser appointed Fionn Hyndman as commercial director for the region, and Daniel Kundeus as head of strategic brand partnerships in the Asia-Pacific.

JAPAN

* Sharp Corp. plans to offer low-cost smartphones made by its Taiwanese parent company Foxconn Technology Group, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., as early as this spring to bolster its smartphone lineup, The Nikkei reports. The consumer electronics maker will sell the entry-level handsets in Japan.

* OpenFog Consortium signed a memorandum of understanding with the IoT Acceleration Consortium in Japan to promote technology development and fog computing, ASCII.jp reports. The partnership will aim to collaborate on testbeds as well as research and development projects, and standardization of fog computing. NTT Communications Corp., SAKURA Internet Inc., Toshiba Corp. and Fujitsu Ltd. are members of the OpenFog Consortium.

* NEC Corp. is collaborating with internet service provider and mobile virtual network operator BIGLOBE Inc. to offer a traffic management solution for BIGLOBE SIM users. It doubles the network throughput, enabling web browsing and video streaming with lower latency and greater stability.

SOUTH KOREA

* The Korea Testing Laboratory released test results on another replacement unit of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Note 7 that was reported to have caught fire, Financial News reports. After an investigation, the testing organization concluded that the fire was not caused by a faulty battery, but instead by an external shock.

* The Korean Cable Television Association put forward the One Cable initiative to bring together the services of cable TV operators in 78 districts under a single brand name to better compete with IPTV providers, Chosun Biz reports. The association also plans to switch all services from analog to digital broadcasting by February 2018.

* During the parliamentary inspection of the Korea Communications Commission scheduled for today, pyramid schemes used by South Korean telcos, most extensively by LG Uplus Corp., are expected to be at the center of the debate, iNews24 reports. While SK Telecom Co. Ltd. pledged to stop such practices and KT Corp. is set to gradually reduce them, LG Uplus is deferring the decision.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Hong Kong-based Wharf (Holdings) Ltd. may speed up the sale of Hong Kong pay TV operator i-Cable Communications Ltd. after selling its telecom unit, the South China Morning Post reports. Sources said market interest is low given the steady drop in revenue for the company.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. secured a five-year, US$180 million loan, out of a US$350 million plan, from 12 to 13 banks for purchasing Finnish gamemaker Supercell Oy, ET Net reports. The deal will be signed next week and is supported by local and international banks including ANZ, Bank of America Merill Lynch, and Bank of China.

* Chinese computer and smartphone manufacturer Lenovo Group Limited has no plans to develop devices based on Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile operating system, Tencent News reports. The company reportedly does not see a high demand for Windows phones and wants to avoid the risk of a lack of support from Microsoft in the future.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Indonesian telco PT XL Axiata Tbk suspended the mobile video-on-demand service Vuclip, Indotelko reports. The move is taking place as Vuclip has drawn complaints by XL customers for automatically imposing subscriptions on accounts without requesting an agreement.

* Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN Corp. signed a multiyear exclusive partnership with U.S.-based content discovery platform Outbrain, The Manila Bulletin reports. The deal will see Outbrain's tools and technology used to improve the broadcaster's user engagement and content distribution.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will be restructured, according to a draft of the country's new telecom act, Prachachat reports. It reportedly will comprise seven members instead of 11. In addition, the regulator will oversee both the broadcasting and telecom industries, instead of having two separate committees.

* Thailand’s newly formed Ministry of Digital Economy and Society affirmed that it's still going ahead with the 130 billion Thai baht project that will give internet access to villages in Thailand, Thansettakij reports. The ministry still has to investigate overlapping areas that the Office of the General Auditor of Thailand has found to ensure financial transparency.

* Indonesia's PT XL Axiata Tbk is preparing a 4G LTE network that will boost its mobile broadband service, according to Indotelko. XL expanded its 4G infrastructure construction and is currently upgrading its network capacity to 15 MHz.

* Thai Post, the country's state-owned postal service, launched the Prompt Post app to support local online vendors, Krungthep Turakij reports. The service includes services such as advance registration, status notification and batch payments.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* New Zealand operator Spark asked Yahoo! Inc. whether emails from its Xtra customers had been scanned by U.S. intelligence officials, The New Zealand Herald reports. Yahoo, which hosts more than 800,000 Spark accounts, reportedly allowed U.S. intelligence agencies to scan customers' emails in 2015. Spark is already planning to transfer all Xtra email accounts from Yahoo to local cloud email provider SMX.

* Telstra Corp. Ltd., Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd and Vodafone UK's Australian unit are arguing that plans by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to impose a wholesale domestic mobile roaming service will discourage investment into infrastructure in rural areas, ZDNet reports. Telstra said the regulation would upset the "unique dynamic" in the regional Australian market, as revenue from competitive urban areas allows companies to build out coverage to rural areas.

* Telstra is Google Inc.'s exclusive carrier partner for its new Pixel smartphone line in Australia, Gizmodo Australia reports. The Pixel will be available to Australian customers starting Oct. 20.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* The third day of India's spectrum auction drew cumulative commitments of 609.69 billion Indian rupees from telcos, Techradar India reports. Like the first and second days, bidding activity remained strongest in the 1,800 MHz band, the report said, citing data from the country's telecom department.

* Alphabet Inc.-owned Google's newly launched Pixel will be offered in India for 57,000 Indian rupees, according to The Economic Times of India. Pre-orders begin Oct. 13 on Flipkart, with sales starting by the end of the month. India is among the first six markets to get the device, along with Australia, the U.S., U.K. and Canada.

* Germany-based lifestyle and technology brand Blaupunkt will enter the Indian mobile accessories market through a partnership with New Delhi-based distributor Vidur and Co. According to The Mobile Indian, the German firm also plans to introduce smartphones, phablets and smart watches in other regional markets such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

* Indian taxi-hailing service Ola now allows users to book a cab without internet connectivity, Huffington Post India reports. Ola's offline feature uses GPS and SMS to make a booking when a user is on a slow connection, updating the ride details later when the connection has been restored or improved.

FEATURED NEWS

M&A Replay: Asia-Pacific deals through Sept. 30: Samsung, BandLab, LINE: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of Asia-Pacific media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Sept. 19 to Sept. 30.

The Mediator: Gannett and tronc: A paper chase: Persistence often pays off in the newspaper industry. But it can also carry a high cost.

The Program Guide: HBO debuts sci-fi 'Westworld'; Netflix orders animated comedy 'Pacific Heat': S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a roundup of recent programming announcements from various networks and online video platforms, including the 2016 New York Comedy Festival and the Oct. 2 debut of "Westworld" on HBO.

Telefónica’s debt pile puts pressure on O2 IPO: Years of debt-fueled expansion mean pressure is mounting for Spain’s Telefónica to address its estimated €52.6 billion debt pile. Analysts are convinced the company is leaning towards an IPO for its O2 unit in the U.K.

Best of Nordics: Telia faces $1.4B settlement bill over Uzbek corruption probe: In this monthly feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of recent market developments in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

The Daily Dose: Google unveils VR headset, new phones; Suitors may submit bids for Twitter this week: Google unveiled its new Pixel smartphones, as well as a new virtual reality headset among other devices, while potential buyers may submit bids, which are expected to cross $20 billion, for Twitter in the week of Oct. 3.

The Daily Dose Europe: Amazon in talks to settle EU e-book probe; French regulator blocks Altice's SFR offer: Amazon is negotiating for a fine-free settlement for the EU's investigation into its e-book deals with publishers, while French securities regulator AMF rejected Altice's buyout offer for SFR.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: CBS All Access live in nearly 90% of US households; NFL a possibility: CBS' over-the-top service has live TV streaming in 151 markets with 44 different station groups. It hopes to add NFL games in the near future, a move that would likely grow subscribers and attract more affiliates.

Economics of Advertising: Databook: Benchmarking Cable TV Advertising Statistics: An unprecedented wave of advertising powered by strong spending on politics and sports events is hitting cable shores. A more conservative trend emerges from our latest long-term forecast, however, as a decidedly more temperate multichannel subscriber outlook balances out cable's competitive advantage in pinpointing demographics. For our detailed analysis, see our exclusive new report.

Economics of Advertising: Ad agencies show steady gains in uncertain times: Major ad agency holding groups produced largely positive results in the second quarter, with gains in digital advertising helping to offset turbulence related to currency fluctuations, terrorist attacks around the globe and the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union.

Nozomi Ibayashi, 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.