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In This List

Samsung's India investment; SK Broadband, t-broad deal update; Tencent expansion

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Samsung's India investment; SK Broadband, t-broad deal update; Tencent expansion

TOP NEWS

* Samsung Display Co. Ltd. is looking to set up a factory and invest in India, in line with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s plan to increase production in the country, Reuters reports, citing a regulatory filing. The investment will be about 35 billion rupees in loans. Samsung Electronics also intends to transfer a parcel of land in Noida to its display unit.

* The Korea Communications Commission conditionally approved the merger of broadband provider SK Broadband with cable TV operator t-broad Holdings Co. Ltd. According to The Korea Herald, the regulator cleared the US$4 billion transaction under 14 conditions and three suggestions, which requires the merged entity to protect user rights. The merger still needs final approval from Korea's Ministry of Science and ICT.

* TiMi Studios, one of Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s mobile game developers, will triple its U.S. headcount this year to accelerate international expansion, TiMi Studios Director Vincent Gao told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

JAPAN

* Netflix Inc. said 21 animated movies from Japanese art house Studio Ghibli will become available on the platform globally beginning Feb. 1. Studio Ghibli films will be subtitled in 28 languages and dubbed in up to 20 languages.

* SEGA Games Co. Ltd. signed an intellectual property licensing agreement with Taiwanese game developer Loftstar Interactive Entertainment for SEGA's "Yakuza Online" game. Under the deal, Loftstar will develop local versions of the PC and smartphone game for the Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong markets.

SOUTH KOREA

* Samsung Electronics named Roh Tae-moon as its new mobile head as part of the company's annual senior executive reshuffle, according to various media reports, citing a company statement. Roh previously served as head of mobile development at Samsung. Cheun Kyungwhoon, head of Samsung's network business, will become president.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. claimed it demonstrated the world's first standalone 5G data session on its multivendor commercial 5G network, Electronics Weekly reports. The company plans to roll out 5G SA services in the first half of 2020.

* LG U+ successfully demonstrated connecting core equipment, base station and other equipment made by different manufacturers based on 5G stand-alone standards to provide 5G services, Newsis reports. The company also successfully tested network slicing and mobile edge computing technologies.

GREATER CHINA (MAINLAND CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN MARKETS)

* Tencent Holdings Chairman Pony Ma reduced his ownership in the company by selling 5 million shares worth about HK$2 billion. Ma's interest in Tencent has dropped to 8.53% from 8.58%.

* In more Tencent news, the company will ramp up its overseas investments and in industries such as smart retail, Reuters reports, citing President Martin Lau.

* Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd. refused to comment on reports that the company is building a gaming department with 1,000 staff in a bid to launch two games in the spring. According to a source cited by Do News, the TikTok owner acquired sole distribution rights to several games.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and digital mapping company TomTom NV signed a deal allowing the Chinese smartphone maker to use the latter's maps, traffic information and navigation software in developing its smartphone apps, Reuters reports.

* British Telecom and Vodafone Group PLC plan to express their views to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson that banning Chinese equipment manufacturers will stunt the country's digital economic growth, Sky News reports. Johnson is likely to allow the use of Huawei equipment for 5G development, according to London's The Guardian.

* Beijing will accelerate the deployment of its 5G networks for commercial use by creating roadmaps for 5G product development and setting up a 5G research institute, China News Service reports. The government will also introduce policies to support the development of connected cars, big data and 5G.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* The Competition Commission of India approved the sale of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.'s tower arm to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP, The Economic Times (India) reports, citing Press Trust of India. Under the US$3.7 billion transaction, Brookfield and its institutional partners will acquire a 100% stake in Reliance Jio Infratel Pvt. Ltd., which operates approximately 130,000 towers.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Vietnam-based telecom operator Viettel plans to launch commercial 5G mobile services in June, Reuters reports, citing a company statement. The military-run wireless carrier said it would launch the next-generation network using its own equipment and software. The statement came after Viettel conducted its first trial video call on its 5G network.

* Indonesian wireless carrier PT Indosat Tbk is partnering with Alibaba Cloud Computing Co. to expand its portfolio of cloud computing products, Bisnis reports.

* Advanced Info Service PCL unveiled a research project that aims to improve the communication of medical teams in remote areas. The Thai telco will conduct the research in partnership with several hospitals.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Vodafone New Zealand Ltd. is introducing electronic SIM cards into its 2020 device and wearable roadmap. The company plans to have eSIM functionality available for its postpaid customers mid-2020 onwards.

FEATURED NEWS

Data Dispatch: Netflix expected to shake off new streaming competition in Q4'19: Netflix will report its fourth-quarter 2019 earnings Jan. 21. While analysts are split on a valuation for the company, they generally do not yet expect to see an impact from competitor Disney+.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Networks: Premium output deals future upset by SVOD launches: We focus on where premium network output deals are today and where they are headed with studio streaming service launches.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai, Ed Eduard and Wil Hathaway contributed to this report.

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