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SoftBank unit to buy Treasure Data; Alibaba acquires stake in Star China Media

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SoftBank unit to buy Treasure Data; Alibaba acquires stake in Star China Media

TOP NEWS

* SoftBank Group Corp.'s semiconductor and software design unit ARM Holdings PLC has agreed to buy data analytics company Treasure Data Inc. of U.S. for about US$600 million, Bloomberg News reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The acquisition is a part of ARM's efforts to push into the internet of things.

* Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. acquired a 1.17% stake in Star China Media Corp., a TV entertainment production company, for 200 million yuan, 36kr reports. A music company newly established by Tencent Music Entertainment's general manager Yang Jihu and CFO Humin also participated in the round by purchasing a 0.94% stake for 160 million yuan.

* Artificial intelligence startup AntWorks raised US$15 million in a series A funding backed by Japanese financial services giant SBI Holdings Inc.'s subsidiary SBI Investment Co. Ltd. The investment will allow AntWorks to build its technology product portfolio, grow in AI and enterprise robotic process automation, fuel research and development and expand into newer markets.

JAPAN

* E-commerce giant Rakuten Inc. said July 30 that it entered into a capital and business alliance agreement with restaurant bookings company Gurunavi Inc. to expand its presence in the country's online reservation market. The transaction is expected to be completed Aug. 22.

* SoftBank Commerce & Service Corp., Tokyo-based system developer startup HoloLab Inc. and computer parts manufacturer MCJ Co. Ltd. formed a business alliance to collaborate in the areas of virtual reality and augmented reality on construction sites.

* SoftBank Group's SoftBank Vision Fund walked away from a potential $100 million investment in Cadre, a real estate technology startup, Bloomberg reported, citing people privy to the matter. The company is partly owned by Jared Kushner, who is serving as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, U.S. President Donald Trump.

SOUTH KOREA

* Kakao Corp., an internet service provider, is partnering with YG Entertainment Inc. to target the online cartoon market in Japan, Yonhap News Agency reports. According to a source, Kakao's Japanese webtoon platform Piccoma recently started to publish a 12-episode webtoon series titled GO Blings, featuring YG's boy band Big Bang. The two companies have not signed any official deals yet.

* The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and the Ministry of Science and ICT will jointly invest 1.5 trillion won to support the chip industry for the next 10 years. The government will support the development of next-generation devices and materials.

* Samsung Group's storage battery manufacturing unit Samsung SDI Co. Ltd. recorded an increase in its revenues at 2.248 trillion won compared to the previous year. The operating profit rose to 152.8 billion won due to strong sales of its energy storage system.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Alibaba is in talks with telecom infrastructure service provider China Tower Corp. Ltd. to form a partnership for businesses including cloud computing, smart data and internet of things, Tencent News reports. The two companies will reportedly also leverage on the 1.9 million telecommunication stations operated by China Tower to develop 5G technologies.

* Hong Kong telecommunication services provider 3 Hong Kong partnered with Indian IT services company Tech Mahindra Ltd., Silicon Valley- based digital commerce platform provider MATRIXX Software, Inc., San Francisco's customer relationship management software company Salesforce.com Inc. and industrial cloud software company Vlocity Inc. to digitize its telecom operation systems. The project will be completed in 2020 to prepare the company for the launch of 5G services.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. denied that it is in the process of issuing cryptocurrency despite its Shenzhen office registering for several trademarks including "INFCOIN," The Paper reports. The company stated that it will not carry out any initial coin offerings.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* India's state owned telco BSNL is seeking 2.5 billion Indian rupees from the Department of Telecommunications to repay vendors who deployed tower sites in sensitive regions, The Economic Times (India) reports, citing BSNL Chairman Anupam Shrivastava.

* The Competition Commission of India ordered an inquiry against broadcasters STAR India Pvt. Ltd. and Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd. for unfair business practices, Business Standard reports citing Press Trust of India. A complaint was filed by Noida Software Technology Park Ltd., and the Commission's investigation arm will probe whether the broadcasters refused to work with the software company by way of price discrimination.

* Facebook Inc.-owned messaging platform WhatsApp is awaiting government approval to launch its payment service in India, The Economic Times (India) reports, citing sources. According to the source, the government wants clarification regarding the storage of sensitive information handled by the payment service.

* India is looking to urge social media sites and e-commerce platforms such as Facebook and Amazon.com Inc. to store customer data within the country amid growing privacy concerns, Reuters reports.

* Indian mobile wallet app Paytm Payments Bank Ltd. CEO Renu Satti stepped down from her role after over a year and will serve as COO of the company's new retail initiative, Indian Television reports.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Thailand's state-owned telcos TOT PCL and CAT Telecom PCL are expected to merge, Thairath reports. While CAT has expressed that the merger should take place right away, TOT prefers merging in 2022 due to its pending lawsuits with CAT.

* Indonesia's Minister of Communication and Information Technology Rudiantara stated that he would block a peer-to-peer lending startup RupiahPlus if the Financial Services Authority requests so, CNN Indonesia reports. According to the minister, the fintech company violates business ethics as it demands overdue payments by contacting customers on the numbers outside their registered contact numbers.

* Indonesian state-owned telco Telkomsel partnered with online tuition and learning service provider company Ruangguru to provide data package for Ruangguru users, Bisnis.com reports.

* Thailand's Broadcasting and Telecommunication Research and Development Fund provided King Mongkut's University of Technology North Bangkok with 9.6 million baht to develop a CubeSat satellite, Thai News Agency reports. The university will launch its first CubeSat, called KnackSat by Oct. 6.

* The Malaysian government reiterated its commitment to reducing broadband price by at least 25% by end of this year, Bernama reports. Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo also stated that the ministry is currently reducing the bureaucratic process at the state government level to enable the installation of underground fiber optic networks.

* Philippines broadcaster ABS-CBN Corp. added 5 new channels to its digital terrestrial service TVPlus.

* According to a Thai Ministry of Commerce study, most digital TV operators in the country continue to struggle financially, Positioning Magazine reports.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Singtel-owned Australian telco Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd. partnered with wireless telecommunication service provider TravelSim to launch a mobile service for travelers and students, Telecomasia reports. The mobile service will provide a range of options including bundle packages and yearly mobile plans.

* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will review the proposed merger between Fairfax Media Ltd. and Nine Entertainment Co. to ensure that the quality of news and advertising is not compromised, The Sydney Morning Herald reports citing chairman of the watchdog Rod Sims. The ACCC will be "extremely careful" to monitor the A$4 billion deal.

FEATURED NEWS

M&A Replay: Viacom acquires AwesomenessTV; Facebook buys Israeli messaging platform: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. companies' media and communications deal announcements and completions for July 23-27.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Wireless Investor: Mobile Market Industry Presentation, Q2'18: Kagan's latest quarterly presentation report examining industry trends and data for the mobile sector.

RECENT EARNINGS

HCL Technologies posts higher quarterly earnings: Net income attributable to the India-based IT services company's shareholders was $355.8 million, or 26 cents per diluted share, in the first fiscal quarter

Nozomi Ibayashi, Nicole Kim, Emily Lai, Edwin Kalisaran and Ailawil Hathaway 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. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.