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TDK to acquire Apple supplier; Alibaba lands back on piracy list

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TDK to acquire Apple supplier; Alibaba lands back on piracy list


* TDK Corp., a Japanese electronic parts firm, announced it will acquire U.S. motion sensor maker InvenSense Inc. in a US$1.3 billion deal as it strives to boost its strength in the Internet of Things. Stocks of InvenSense, which makes sensors for Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., soared 17% after the announcement, MarketWatch reports.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has been placed back on a U.S. list of marketplaces linked to counterfeit and pirated items, Bloomberg News reports. The Chinese e-commerce giant returned to the annual list by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative four years after it was removed, and following a request by several trade groups. Alibaba said it was "disappointed" by the decision, adding that it has been doing "real work" against counterfeiters.

* India's Reliance Communications Ltd. inked a deal with Canada's Brookfield Infrastructure LP to sell a stake in its telecom tower business. Under the terms of the deal, Reliance Communications will receive an upfront payment of 110 billion Indian rupees, or about US$1.6 billion, which RCom said will be used to cut its debt load. RCom's telecom towers will be demerged into a separate new company that will be 100% owned and independently managed by Brookfield Infrastructure.


* Japan Display Inc. will receive up to ¥75 billion, or about US$637 million, in financial backing from government-affiliated investment fund Innovation Network Corp. of Japan as it seeks to prop up the struggling display maker amid fierce industry competition, Jiji Press reports. Japan Display is a partnership between Sony Corp., Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi Ltd.

* TIS Inc., a Japanese system integration firm, said it is investing in Unirobot, a Tokyo-based startup developing a social robot that uses artificial intelligence to carry out personalized conversations with human users. The robot, called Unibo, is designed to recognize facial characteristics and conversation content.


* South Korean telco SK Telecom Co. Ltd. is partnering with Ericsson AB and Qualcomm Inc. to test a 5G NR network and devices. Prototypes will be ready in the second half of 2017, after which the three companies will test them based on global standards.

* South Korean media group CJ E&M converted its multiscreen OTT platform, TVing, into a free-of-charge service, Financial News reports. With this change, the company reportedly aims to acquire a broader user base and tackle the global OTT market, starting in Southeast Asia.

* The Korea Communications Commission took action against SK Telecom and internet giants Naver and Kakao over breaches of user security, Yonhap News Agency reports. SK reportedly was fined 30 million South Korean won for lacking a firewall, while Naver and Kakao got warnings for not coding users' geolocation data.


* Chinese metal company Anhui Xinke bought a 29.9% stake in Hong Kong movie producer and cinema operator Pegasus Entertainment Holdings Ltd. from its founder, Hong Kong actor-producer Raymond Wong, for HK$194.1 million. Wong will retain a 19.49% stake in the company after the deal and lose status as the controlling shareholder.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is negotiating its planned purchase of Israeli startup HexaTier, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer will reportedly use HexaTier to set up an R&D center in Israel for databases in the cloud.

* China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television issued a new regulation requiring users to be licensed before streaming content, Xinhua News Agency reports. Social media platforms like Weibo and WeChat will be responsible for audio and visual content uploaded by users without a license and also must monitor uploaded content, specifically prohibiting the streaming of user-generated programs featuring political news.

* WeChat, the Chinese social media and messaging platform owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd., updated its iOS version to enable in-app photo editing, National Business Daily reports. This followed an earlier move to enhance video-sharing features and is reportedly aimed at securing its market share while other apps try to add in social networking functions.


* Legal representatives from 15 Thai media companies, including Thaicom Public Company Ltd., GMM Grammy and 21st Century Fox Inc.'s Fox Networks Group, submitted an appeal to the Central Bankruptcy Court opposing a bankruptcy petition filed by former cable TV operator CTH, The Nation reports. The 15 legal counsels filed a motion of no confidence against CTH's proposed rehabilitation plan after the company suffered 21.45 billion Thai baht in losses and had its broadcasting license revoked.

* Nokia Corp. partnered with Indonesian telco PT Telekomunikasi Selular to launch a trial for Narrowband Internet of Things, or NB-IoT, in 4G LTE networks, Detik reports. The current trial is focused on automated communication services for smart city infrastructure, but the results can be used to implement technologies in logistics, agriculture and manufacturing.

* U.S.-based tech services company Itron Inc., through its Indonesian joint venture subsidiary PT Mecoindo, signed a contract with Indonesian state-owned utility company PT PLN to supply an additional 500,000 smart electricity payment meters. Earlier this year, Itron signed a contract for an undisclosed sum to supply PLN with 635,000 payment meters.

* Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha used executive order Section 44 of the country's interim constitution to give more flexibility to digital TV operators struggling to pay annual auction fees, Prachachat reports. The move allows digital TV operators to split the fee payments into six installments instead of three, in addition to a 1.5% interest charge.

* The Philippines' House of Representatives approved two bills aimed at renewing the franchises of mobile operator Smart Communications and broadcaster GMA Network for another 25 years, The Philippine Star reports.

* The Bank of Thailand and the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission unveiled a range of security measures designed to protect customers from fraud when making financial transactions via mobile phone, Manager reports. The two agencies called on mobile operators to enforce strict ID checks whenever a customer requests to change their phone number, SIM card or personal subscription details.

* Indonesian telco PT XL Axiata Tbk formed a partnership with instant messaging app Catfiz Messenger, developed by Indonesia's PT Dunia Catfish Kreatif Media, Indotelko reports. The collaboration will allow Axiata users to use Catfiz's unlimited chat services outside of their data quotas.


* Ericsson AB and Telstra Corp. Ltd. have teamed up to deploy indoor and outdoor small cells to further enhance the Australian telco's 4G coverage in both rural and urban areas. The new agreement will enable Telstra to increase small cell rollout across the country.

* In other Telstra news, the Australian operator started blocking piracy and torrent sites in response to a federal court directive, the International Business Times reports. However, torrent users have managed to bypass the block by configuring their computers to use alternative domain name systems.

* New Zealand software company Vend raised NZ$13 million to expand its operations, The Australian reports. Vend provides cloud-based software for traditional retailers, with a network of global partners including Xero Mobile Inc., Square, Apple Inc. and PayPal Inc.


* Inc. is partnering with Pritish Nandy Communications, a Mumbai-based media company, to develop original Indian content, Television Post reports. PNC will produce a 10- to 12-part series titled "4 More Shots Please" for Amazon's Prime Video service.

* Pakistani mobile operator Mobilink tapped Anjum Rahman to become its new director for communication and sustainability, Propakistani reports. Rahman, who takes over for Omar Manzur, will assume the post starting Jan. 2, 2017.


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Joji Sakurai, Sunny Um, Emily Lai, 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.