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Xiaomi restructures to focus on China; Sharp lays off 3,000 workers in Japan

S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a monthly rundown of executive and board changes in the Asia-Pacific technology, media and communications industries.

Top news

* Xiaomi Corp. is restructuring its business to focus on the Chinese market, and is creating a new team for the region, the South China Morning Post reported. Wang Chuan, co-founder of Xiaomi, has been named the president of the new China region.

* Sharp Corp. laid off more than 3,000 foreign workers at its Kameyama plant in Japan as it shifted production of Apple Inc.'s iPhone sensors to a factory in China owned by parent company Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., Nikkei Asian Review reported. Shipment delays due to a complex assembly process reportedly prompted Hon Hai's move.

Media industry moves

* News Corp. subsidiary REA Group Ltd., a provider of advertising services to the real estate industry in Australia and Asia, named Owen Wilson as CEO. Wilson, recently CFO of REA Group, will replace Tracey Fellows at the beginning of 2019.

* Star India Pvt. Ltd. Chairman and CEO Uday Shankar will lead the combined Star and Disney India entity as part of Walt Disney Co.'s reorganization of its international businesses, Television Post reported. Shankar was also appointed president of Disney's Asia-Pacific operations.

* Swati Shetty, director of international originals and acquisitions at Netflix Inc., is stepping down from her role. A Netflix spokesman reportedly told Variety that with the increasing focus on India, there was a need for the role to be fulfilled from the Mumbai office, but Shetty wished to continue in Los Angeles, where she is currently based.

* Malaysia's national media and news agency Bernama Bhd. appointed Nurini Kassim as its new CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Nurini has 20 years' management experience in various industries including government institutions, financial regulations, IT, public relations and corporate affairs.

* SKY Network Television Ltd. appointed Martin Stewart as CEO. Stewart was previously chief executive of Orbit Showtime Network.

* Endemol Shine Group's Australia unit promoted Peter Newman to the newly created role of chief content officer, TV Tonight reported. Newman, currently the managing director of unscripted content, will oversee all of the company's production and development teams.

Communications industry moves

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. underwent a reshuffle in a bid to focus on its 5G competitiveness. The company also incorporated research and development systems for AI and data. SK Telecom President Park Jung-ho will hold an additional post as head of SK Group's internet service unit SK Broadband, according to Yonhap News Agency.

* Telekom Malaysia announced the appointment of Rosli Man as its new chairman, replacing Sulaiman Mahbob. Rosli has more than 32 years of experience in the telco industry and previously served as the company's independent non executive director in 2008.

* OPPO Electronics Corp. India Managing Director Yi Wang has resigned. Sources told The Economic Times of India that there was pressure from OPPO's management on the India team for not meeting the "desired results" at a time rival Xiaomi captured pole position in the country.

Technology industry moves

* Zhihu, Quora Inc.'s counterpart in China, is laying off more than 300 employees, or around 15% of its workforce. A Zhihu spokesperson reportedly told TechNode that the news about job cuts is a rumor, and added that the process is part of the company's performance evaluation, used to make staffing adjustments and structural optimizations.

* The former head of Facebook Inc.'s operations in India has joined SoftBank Group Corp.'s SoftBank Investment Advisers, the team that manages the SoftBank Vision Fund, as its first venture partner, VCCircle reported. In her new role, Kirthiga Reddy will oversee SoftBank's investments in frontier and enterprise technologies globally.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. appointed Kim Ki-nam, CEO of the company's device solutions division, as vice chairman. Kim has been leading the company's semiconductor division since 2017.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. appointed Fan Luyuan to lead its online video platform unit Youku Tudou Inc. after police arrested former head Yang Weidong on suspicion of accepting improper payments, South China Morning Post reported.

* Alibaba restructured its cloud unit in a bid to overtake Amazon Web Services Inc., Yicai Global reported. As part of the reorganization, Chief Technology Officer Jeff Zhang was appointed to oversee the renamed Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, formerly called Alibaba Cloud Computing Co.

* WhatsApp Inc. appointed Abhijit Bose head of its India operations, Reuters reported. Bose joins the messaging app from Indian mobile payments firm Ezetap, where he was co-founder and CEO. The appointment comes several weeks after WhatsApp established a local business entity in India.

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