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Indian spectrum auction falls short at $9.9B; Wal-Mart doubles JD.com stake

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Street Talk Episode 42: Banks losing consumer deposits to fintech, digital platforms, commercial might be next

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Indian spectrum auction falls short at $9.9B; Wal-Mart doubles JD.com stake

TOP NEWS

* Despite a busy start, India's biggest spectrum auction ended on a disappointing note, securing only 657.89 billion Indian rupees, or about US$9.9 billion, compared to an expected 5.6 trillion rupees, The Economic Times (India) reports. Nearly 60% of the total airwaves up for sale remained unsold, including premium 4G bands. Vodafone UK's Indian unit was the auction's biggest spender with 200 billion rupees, or about US$3 billion, in bids for airwaves, the report said.

* Wal-Mart Stores Inc. doubled its stake in China's JD.com, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a regulatory filing in which the U.S. conglomerate divulged that it now holds a 10.8% share in the e-commerce firm. The move comes after Wal-Mart entered a partnership deal that saw the U.S. firm obtain a 5% stake in JD.com in return for the sale of its Chinese online marketplace, Yihaodian.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will acquire artificial intelligence startup Viv Labs Inc. for an undisclosed sum. The U.S. company's Viv platform enables developers to build voice recognition-based assistants and interfaces for apps and services. Samsung expects the acquisition to bolster its efforts to develop an AI-based open ecosystem across its product lineup.

PAN-ASIAN NEWS

* 20th Century Fox Television restructured the management of its international distribution unit across several regional offices. In Asia-Pacific, Richard Samuels was promoted to executive vice president, and will lead TV distribution operations there.

JAPAN

* Japanese conglomerate Fujitsu Ltd. is in discussions with China's Lenovo Group Limited to sell Fujitsu's personal computer business to the Chinese company. According to The Wall Street Journal, citing a person familiar with the matter, the agreement could be structured with Lenovo buying the majority of the Fujitsu unit, managing the business and giving the Japanese company a minority stake.

* Rakuten Inc. expects to debut its Rakuten Pay service in Japan in April 2017 to standardize payment methods throughout its online Rakuten Market, The Nikkei reports. Consumers will be able to choose from eight payment options, including using e-money and credit cards, for all shops operating on the market.

* Japanese mobile messaging service LINE Corporation is teaming up with domestic airline Air Do to roll out a new boarding service from Oct. 18. The service will link the LINE app and Air Do's system, enabling users to check their bookings and flight status, and to board by showing a QR code on their phone screens. Air Do said it's costing the airline around ¥10 million to launch an official account, but is still less expensive than developing a site on its own, according to The Nikkei.

* Plus One Marketing Ltd., a Japanese SIM-free smartphone Freetel operator, partnered with Japan Airlines Co. Ltd. to launch a trial service to give away a free SIM card in-flight that allows domestic data usage, The Nikkei reports. The company will offer the SIM card on flights from China to Japan, enabling Chinese travelers to use their smartphones as soon as they land. The service will be available by the end of October.

SOUTH KOREA

* South Korean cable TV operator CJ HelloVision was the subject of a police raid over allegations that the company manipulated its sales figures by forging tax statements worth 2.3 billion Korean won, The Dong-a Ilbo reports. The company denied the allegations.

* South Korean music streaming service provider Bugs Music is partnering with SK Telecom Co. Ltd. to offer services tailored to the telco's users, ZDNet Korea reports. The new Bugs Extreming plan allows SK Telecom subscribers to use their data to stream music for free.

* Dia TV, a multichannel network under South Korean media company CJ E&M, has secured more than 55 million subscribers, Financial News reports. The media platform currently manages 860 creator teams, and it plans to increase that to 2,000 teams by next year with the aim of creating more jobs for younger workers.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Chinese phone maker Xiaomi Inc. launched its Android TV-powered Mi Box in the U.S., Oriental Daily reports. The Mi Box pushes 4K videos at 60 frames per second and supports various subscription services including Netflix Inc., HBO and Showtime.

* Hong Kong broadcaster Television Broadcasts Limited lowered the minimum guaranteed spending to HK$1 for advertisers to obtain at least a 40% discount next year, despite a 4.3% price increase listed on the rate card, Apple Daily reports. Competition in the market is expected to be fierce, with newcomer Fantastic Television Ltd. commencing operations by May 2017.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* The Philippine Competition Commission asked the country's Court of Appeals to nullify the 70 billion Philippine peso buyout of San Miguel Corp.'s telecom unit by Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc. According to Business Mirror, the PCC claimed the deal violated requirements under the new Philippine Competition Act. The PCC also asked that Globe and PLDT be required to pay penalties of 1% to 5% of the total transaction cost. This comes after Globe and PLDT submitted cases against the Philippine regulator's investigation of the deal.

* Qatar-based telco Ooredoo reaffirmed it is not interested in selling its stake in Indonesian telco Indosat Ooredoo, Majalah ICT reports. Previous reports said the company was considering divesting its holding in Indosat so it could focus on the Middle Eastern market.

* Indonesian telco tower company PT Centratama Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk plans to have a rights issue in January 2017 by issuing up to 20.79 billion new shares, Bisnis.com reports. Although the company has not shared the exercise price, it is aiming to raise 2 trillion Indonesian rupiah in the action.

* The board of Jaymart Plc, a Thai distributor of smartphones and accessories, decided to restructure the company and change its name to Jaymart Group Holdings Plc, Thansettakij reports. Its smartphone business will reportedly be transferred to the newly formed Jaymart Mobile Co. Ltd., in which Jaymart Group Holdings will have a 99.99% stake.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission approved a motion to use Kantar Media's multiscreen TV ratings alongside the current ratings by AGB Nielsen Media Research (Thailand) Co. Ltd. in 2017, Krungthep Turakij reports. The board said that Kantar's price must be close to Nielsen's figure of 8.34 million Thai baht per annum. In addition, multiscreen ratings will be the only ratings approved by the Media Agency Association of Thailand starting in 2017.

* Thailand-based mobile operator True Move H announced it will be a dealer for Apple Inc.'s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in the country, Krungthep Turakij reports. It will start accepting pre-orders Oct. 14 and sell the smartphones in its stores from Oct. 21.

* Indonesian telco Telkomsel is utilizing location-based analysis technology in order to double the number of customers of its triple-play service IndiHome by 2020, according to Antara News. The military-level mapping system, known as ArcGIS, allows Telkomsel to get clearer visual data on the distribution of its customers as well as its service coverage.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Nine Network and Fox Sports inked an agreement to jointly broadcast the Socceroos' 2018 World Cup qualifier matches, The Australian reports. The remaining tournament qualifiers will be simulcast by free-to-air network Nine and subscription TV group Fox Sports.

* Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding with Nokia Corp. to collaborate on developing its 5G network, Business Insider Australia reports. The two companies will conduct a trial of a 5G prototype across Optus' 3,500 MHz spectrum, with plans to roll out the technology in 2017.

* Macquarie Media Group is at risk of being pushed into a fire sale of its 2CH Sydney AM radio station after failing to sell it in accordance with media control laws, Mumbrella reports. Macquarie was required to sell the asset following its merger with Fairfax Radio. As it did not divest 2CH after three deadlines set by the Australian Media and Communications Authority, a divestiture agent could be appointed to effect a sale.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* The Indian government may try to sell its priciest airwaves again in a couple of years after they failed to draw any bids during the spectrum auction, Bloomberg reports. The government is looking at lowering the minimum price for the 700 MHz and 900 MHz bands to attract more bidders, the report said, citing officials.

* Nepal Telecom will be the first telco to launch a 4G service in Nepal, The Himalayan Times reports. The Nepal Telecommunication Authority approved its application and has now requested that NT submit a detailed rollout plan.

* Taiwan-based chip designer MediaTek plans to triple its workforce in India over three years, from more than 500 to 1,500 employees, Reuters reports. Mediatek is focused on expanding research and software development.

The Daily Dose will not appear Oct. 10 due to the Chung Yeung Festival public holiday in Hong Kong. The next Dose will be sent out Oct. 11. Please visit our website for the latest news updates, or check us out at www.twitter.com/SNLKagan.

FEATURED NEWS

Hires and Fires: US Media & Comm management moves through Oct. 5: Time Warner, Netflix, Discovery: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of executive changes in the media and communications industries.

The Daily Dose: EBay to buy Corrigon; Google, Apple, Disney not bidding for Twitter: Online auctioneer eBay agreed to buy a developer of visual search technologies, while Google, Apple and Disney reportedly will not submit bids for Twitter.

Hires and Fires: European Media & Comm moves through Oct. 5: DigiTürk, Türk Telekom, VimpelCom: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a biweekly rundown of executive and board changes in the European media and communications industries.

The Daily Dose Europe: Deutsche Telekom eyeing European ISP; Ireland probes Yahoo email scanning: Deutsche Telekom and United Internet are preparing offers for European Internet service provider Host Europe Group, while Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner is looking into a report that Yahoo agreed to scan emails for U.S. intelligence officials.

Data Dispatch: Netflix, Twitter and Disney's M&A appetite: Rumors are circulating that Disney is considering a bid for Netflix or Twitter, but the size and scope of such a deal would be big.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: Profile: Iflix (Malaysia): Subscription on-demand player iflix uses strategic partnerships with telcos and device manufacturers to develop its subscriber base.

Economics of Advertising: Media Trends 2016: Media has been an important part of consumer spending for decades, even during economic turmoil. We look at the current trends impacting each of our covered sectors in SNL Kagan's annual interactive Media Trends report.

Economics of Internet: OTT players focus on content in Latin America: With Latin America's local infrastructure steadily improving, and more flexible payment options becoming available, most OTT players within the region are turning their attention to providing a more diversified offering.

Global Multichannel: Global markets update - Panama, Uruguay: SNL Kagan has published updated Global Multichannel & Broadband analysis for two markets.

Economics of Advertising: Royals' fight for postseason puts FOX Sports Kansas City on top in August: FOX Sports Kansas City topped prime-time RSN ratings for the fifth consecutive month in August.

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.