* The U.S. government may decide whether to grant licenses to sell to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. during the week of Aug. 5, Reuters reported, citing U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross. The Commerce Department has received over 50 applications from companies requesting special licenses to conduct business with Huawei. Recent updates on a potential license decision will come after U.S. officials held "constructive" meetings in Shanghai, China, on July 30-31.
* Beijing ByteDance Technologies Co. Ltd., owner of Chinese video app TikTok, is forming a team to develop its own search engine. The company said it has already recruited talents from search giants such as Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC, Microsoft Corp.'s Bing and Baidu Inc. ByteDance's search engine will likely not be a stand-alone offering, but instead will be embedded within apps such as its Jinri Toutiao news service.
* An order to recommend the approval of T-Mobile US Inc.'s pending merger with SoftBank Group Corp.-owned Sprint Corp. will be circulated soon, U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said during the press conference at the agency's open meeting Aug. 1.
* Sony Corp.'s Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. has formed a capital and business alliance with Realista Co. Ltd., a Japanese startup that provides tourist information videos to foreign visitors through "DIVE JAPAN." Under the deal, the two parties plan to utilize inbound data from the Southeast Asian regions to disseminate more content on Japan to other countries.
* Sony Pictures Television Inc. will launch a free-to-air movie network in the U.K. in September as part of a rebranding exercise of its U.K. entertainment networks, Tech Digest reported.
* Rakuten Inc. said it will create a joint venture movie production company, Rakuten H Collective Studio, in Japan, in collaboration with U.S.-based film production company The H Collective. The new company will engage in the in-house production of films, financing, intellectual property management, and the production and sale of video content on a number of platforms.
* Kakao Mobility has agreed to acquire taxi corporation Jinhwa Taxi for an undisclosed amount, Money Today reported. A source said the company aims to conduct a small pilot test to see what impact can be generated when information and platform technologies are directly applied to the taxi business.
* LG U+ will start the testing of Ericsson-LG Co. Ltd.'s 5G telecommunication equipment with an aim to complete the test phase in August and start the installation from September, ZDNet Korea reported.
* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has started a contest aimed at improving the startup ecosystem in Korea, Korea JoongAng Daily reported. The electronics giant said any startup with innovative ideas or technologies with potential can apply for the outsider contest.
CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN
* CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. formed a new holding company to consolidate its telecommunications operations in Europe, Hong Kong and Macau under one holding entity. The creation of the new telecommunication infrastructure company, which will be called CK Hutchison Networks Holdings, is expected to be completed in late 2019 or early 2020.
* Baidu acquired a 37.4% stake in online reading app Qimao Novels, KrASIA reported, citing a corporate information document. Qimao offers readers free access to any novel on its platform and derives revenue from advertisers.
* Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd. has announced to set up a joint venture with British oil and gas company BP PLC, to build electric-vehicle charging infrastructure in China, Tencent reported. The service will be provided to both Didi Chuxing and other drivers. The joint venture aims to significantly expand the network through the new entity.
* Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed Chinese video game publisher iDreamSky Technology Holdings Ltd. and MY.GAMES, a unit of Russian internet company Mail.ru Group Ltd., are teaming up to expand their presence across the global gaming market, Reuters reported. The long-term partnership will see the two companies cross-publishing games in their local markets while working to release a game titled "War Robot" in China, subject to license approval.
* Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. is planning to hire at least 3,000 engineers at home by the end of 2019 in a bid to accelerate the development of chips tailored to artificial intelligence and 5G mobile networks, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. The company is expected to invest at least US$10 billion every year through 2022 to realize its goal of mass production of 3nm chips.
INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA
* Anshu Prakash has taken over as the new secretary in India's Department of Telecommunications from Aug. 1, replacing Aruna Sundararajan who retired July 31, The Economic Times (India) reported.
* Apple Inc. will open its largest franchisee-run outlet in Mumbai, India, on Aug. 2, The Economic Times (India) reported. The store will showcase Apple's entire range available in India as well as sell third-party products such as Apple accessories and health and fitness products.
* Ericsson's Chief Technology Officer for Asia-Pacific Magnus Ewerbring has encouraged India to drive the 5G process at the earliest so that consumers and industries can reap the full benefits of 5G, The Economic Times (India) reported.
* GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd., in collaboration with NTUC Income Insurance Co-operative Ltd., launched a microinsurance plan called "Critical Illness: Pay Per Trip." The plan, designed for driver partners, offers a flexible pay-per-trip micro premium and accumulative coverage proposition.
* The Thai Minister for Digital Economy and Society urged state-enterprise CAT Telecom PCL to branch out into cybersecurity, cloud and other relevant businesses, RYT9 reported. The minister also wants the telco to handle the government's cloud project.
* Singtel has announced that beIN Media Group LLC's beIN SPORTS channel will be available on Singtel's CAST mobile video app and Singtel TV CH 109. The channel will feature football leagues, including Spain's LaLiga, France's Ligue 1, Major League Soccer of the U.S. and Australia's A-League.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* ASX-listed SpeedCast International Ltd. said it will provide communications and onsite information technology support services at four operations camps for South Africa-based Sasol Ltd.'s oil and gas exploration and well delivery camps operating in Mozambique through local entity Speedcast Mozambique Lda.
Broadcasters call Locast 'ruse' to aid AT&T, DISH in heated retrans spats: A spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters said the group is confident the courts will side with station owners and "sustain the economic viability of local broadcasting." But a Locast lawyer said its services are "expressly permitted."
Do you download SVOD content to view later? Why?: Nearly half (46%) of the subscription video-on-demand users we surveyed have downloaded a video from an SVOD streaming service for offline viewing, with about 22% doing so weekly.
Verizon's Q2 net income down 4%, revenues also down YOY: Total operating revenues in the second quarter were US$32.07 billion, down 0.4% from US$32.20 billion in the second quarter of 2018.
Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai, Ed Eduard and Wil 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.