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Foxconn to buy Belkin for US$866M; India rejects Google's Street View service


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Foxconn to buy Belkin for US$866M; India rejects Google's Street View service


* Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. unit Foxconn Interconnect Technology Ltd. agreed to acquire Belkin International Inc. for about US$866 million in cash. Following the completion of the deal, Belkin International and its family of brands, Belkin, Linksys, Wemo and Phyn, will operate as a unit of Foxconn. Belkin founder and CEO Chet Pipkin will continue serving the company under the same role and is expected to join Foxconn's management team.

* The Indian government rejected Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc.'s proposal to launch its Street View service in the country, according to Reuters. Junior Home Minister Hansraj Ahir did not provide a reason for the decision, but previous reports in October 2017 cited security concerns raised by the defense ministry.

* U.S. President Donald Trump's administration is weighing the use of a law enacted for national emergencies to clamp down on Chinese acquisitions of sensitive technology, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. By invoking the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Trump would be authorized to regulate commerce by blocking transactions and freezing assets, after declaring a national emergency in response to an "unusual and extraordinary threat," the report noted. Treasury Department officials are preparing plans to identify technology sectors where Chinese investments will be prohibited, according to the report's sources with knowledge of the proposal.


* SoftBank Group Corp. opened an internal probe into a 2016 shareholder campaign against Nikesh Arora, SoftBank's former president, and Alok Sama, CFO of international operations, the Financial Times (U.K.) reports. The investigation seeks to determine whether there was insider involvement in the allegations brought against the two executives. SoftBank's internal review reportedly found the allegations to be "without merit."

* Rakuten Inc. plans to use Kansai Electric Power Co.'s telecommunications infrastructure for setting up a base station network for its mobile network operator business.

* Hitachi Ltd. developed an internet of things system to boost productivity and safety on construction sites through devices that give real-time information on construction equipment and worker location.


* The Korea Communications Commission started a probe into Facebook Korea amid the growing data scandal involving Facebook Inc., Money Today reports. The watchdog reportedly investigated under which conditions the social networking giant collected voice call and text message history, why it did and whether the data had been provided to a third party.

* Naver Corp. and South Korean securities company Mirae Asset Daewoo Co. Ltd. are planning to form a 200 billion South Korean won fund together to finance promising Asian startups in the fields of e-commerce, internet platform, healthcare, consumer goods and retail, Newsis reports. The two companies aim to increase the size of the fund up to 1 trillion won.

* Kakao Corp. said it will launch a global blockchain platform within this year but denied the possibility of an initial coin offering, Yonhap News Agency reports. Kakao's co-CEO Joh Su-yong said at a press conference that the company will not create its own cryptocurrency, and it aims to build an open platform for developers worldwide to participate and connect with other services.

* E-Mart Inc. is set to scrap its mobile virtual network operator business, ET News reports. The South Korean retailer will start the process by stopping new registration and shopping-related promotions from April 1. The company has about 50,000 MVNO phone users.


* Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s cloud computing unit will add two data centers in the U.S., China Daily reports. Located in Virginia and Silicon Valley, the two centers will provide services, including computing, storage and database.

* CloudWalk Technology Co. Ltd., a Guangzhou-based artificial intelligence tech company, signed an agreement with the government of Zimbabwe. CloudWalk will provide AI-backed devices and technologies to Zimbabwe's major industries, including finance and security.

* Dr. Peng Group, a Chengdu-based telecom and media company, fired its general manager Lu Liu, C114 reports. Listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Dr. Peng owns Great Wall Broadband service.


* Apple Inc. and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India are again at odds over the development of TRAI's anti-spam mobile app, which the U.S. tech giant says could compromise privacy if it allows the app broad access to customers' call and text logs, Reuters reports. Apple told Reuters that it is working with government engineers and would continue to look for ways to design the app "to keep users' personal data safe."

* Infosys Ltd. is reported to have been drawing a contract with current CEO Salil Parekh that leaves little room for potential legal troubles, aiming to prevent issues raised in the past concerning the former CEO Vishal Sikka's employment contract, according to Mint, citing Parekh's 14-page employment contract that has not been made public.

* Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.-owned video-on-demand platform ZEE5 plans to host more than 90 original shows by the end of March 2019 and has lined up 20 originals by the end of April, Television Post reports.

* Turner Broadcasting System Inc.'s Turner International India Pvt. Ltd. chose IndiaCast Media Distribution Pvt. Ltd. to be its exclusive distribution agent after ending its more than 16-year distribution tie-up with ZEEL, Indian Television reports.


* Sutham Malila, former president of Thailand's state-owned TOT Public Co. Ltd., was sentenced to six years' imprisonment and ordered to pay 46 billion Thai baht in damages for his role in a corruption scandal dating back to 2001, Krungthep Turakij reports. Malila was convicted by the Supreme Court of helping to benefit Advanced Info Service by manipulating TOT's annual concession fees.

* PT Go-Jek Indonesia is set to expand into another Southeast Asia country in the "next few weeks," Reuters reports. The Indonesian ride-hailing company previously mentioned that it plans to start operating in the Philippines this year.

* ONE Championship, a Singapore-based martial arts broadcaster, plans to launch a video streaming app in May, Tech in Asia reports. The app will include a range of martial arts content.

* Indonesian telco PT Indosat Tbk denied a rumor about the replacement of its CEO Joy Wahjudi, Indotelko reports. Indosat said that Wahjudi will remain in the management of the company.

* Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha will postpone for one week his decision whether to use special executive powers to help struggling digital TV stations and 900 MHz mobile operators, Prachachat reports. The PM could invoke Section 44 to offer financial support to digital TV operators and license fee restructuring for Advanced Info Service Public Co. Ltd. and True Corp.'s TrueMove H.

* Saithip Montrikul Na Audhaya, CEO of Thai media conglomerate GMM Grammy Public Co. Ltd., will take over as deputy managing director at GMM Channel Trading Co. Ltd., the operator of GMM25 digital TV channel and A-Time Media, Thai Post reports.


* Cate Blanchett, Gillian Armstrong, Peter Weir and Rose Byrne are among 215 Australians in the film and TV industry who have signed an open letter to Australia's federal parliamentarians that calls for the protection of the country's screen industry amid concerns over a possible federal budget cuts for Australian screen content and its creators, The Guardian reports. The letter also calls for Australian content rules to cover new media like Netflix Inc., Inc., Telstra Corp. Ltd.'s Telstra TV, telcos and internet service providers.

* Australian telco Ovo Mobile, or My Mobile Data Pty. Ltd., signed an exclusive five-year broadcast agreement with Australian Esports League, where Ovo will create a dedicated e-sports channel on its OVOPlay platform to stream AEL content.

* Vocus Group Ltd. is reportedly close to finalizing a deal to offload its New Zealand assets to New Zealand-listed power company Trustpower in a sale valued to be about A$250 million, which is less than the previous estimate of about A$400 million, The Australian reports. In response to the report, Vocus confirmed that the sale process is "progressing as planned with target completion by June 2018," and that it is in talks with a number of parties, without disclosing the value of the assets or the names of the potential buyers.

* Spark New Zealand Ltd.'s long-range IoT network is now commercially available for 60% of the country.


Whistleblower tells UK lawmakers Facebook data was vital for Cambridge Analytica: Christopher Wylie, the whistleblower behind the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal involving user Facebook, discredited earlier claims by the political consulting firm about its ties to the social media giant as he appeared before U.K. lawmakers.


Economics of Internet: Modeling the potential impact of a shrinking Facebook: Assessing the potential future impact on Facebook of news that political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica may have gained access to user data for about 50 million Facebook users is challenging, especially with uncertainties still swirling.

Economics of TV & Film: Will Netflix, others cause the demise of traditional media companies?: One of the key themes running through the 42nd Annual UCLA Entertainment Symposium was the rapidly rising cost of original programming fueled by Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Hulu, Netflix and others.

Joji Sakurai, Myungran Ha, Frances Wang, Patrick Tibke and Kevin Osmond 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.

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