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Alibaba, Pac-12 ink sports content deal; Toshiba Memory to go public in 3 years

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Alibaba, Pac-12 ink sports content deal; Toshiba Memory to go public in 3 years

TOP NEWS

* Pac-12 Conference tapped Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to distribute Pac-12 Networks sports content via the tech giant's linear and digital channels, as part of an expanded partnership. Under the deal, Alibaba will bring 175 live U.S. university sports events and 100 hours of original content to audiences in mainland China every year, beginning in the fall until 2024, Pac-12 said Oct. 5. The content will be streamed through Alibaba's platforms such as over-the-top service Youku Tudou Inc.

* As expected, Bain Capital LP, the U.S. private equity firm that won the bidding war for Toshiba Corp.'s chip unit, said it plans to bring its new acquisition to an IPO in three years, The Nikkei reports. Bain Capital is also working to reach a speedy settlement with Western Digital, the manufacturing partner of Toshiba opposing the sale, Japan Today reports.

* Ramesh Abhishek, a top official at India's Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, said the government is considering Apple Inc.'s request for concessions for assembling iPhones in the country, according to Reuters. Apple is also seeking permission to open its own retail stores in India where it currently sells iPhones through resellers.

PAN-ASIAN NEWS

* CBS Corp. unit CBS Studios Inc.'s CBS Studios International sold several of its shows to Asian markets, World Screen reports. In Japan, Tokyo Broadcasting System secured scripted format rights to "The Good Wife," while "Wheel of Fortune" was licensed to Sri Lanka's EAP Broadcasting Company. Malaysia's Astro TV also scored broadcast rights to "The Doctors."

* Uber Technologies Inc., in a move to expand its presence in Asia, plans to further its collaboration with taxi companies in the region, The Nikkei reports.

JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA

* Toshiba Corp. says it was hit by another foreign investor lawsuit over a massive inflated profits scandal that erupted two years ago. The suit seeks ¥21.8 billion, bringing the total amount of damages sought to ¥139 billion.

* Hitachi Vantara Corp., Hitachi Ltd.'s new digital innovation unit, announced it has appointed Brad Surak as chief product and strategy officer and John Murphy as vice president for offerings management. The appointments are intended to support the company's industrial Internet of Things and services portfolios. Surak moves to Hitachi from GE Digital LLC and Murphy from IBM Corp.

* SoftBank Group Corp. and U.S. data analytics startup Findability Sciences Inc. have launched a Tokyo-based joint venture offering low-cost predictive services for areas ranging from food prices to equipment maintenance needs, The Nikkei reports. SoftBank holds a 51% share in the venture, also called Findability Sciences, and its U.S. partner 49%.

* The Seoul High Court is speeding up the appeal case of Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong and could make a ruling by the end of December, Financial News reports. The court is currently going through a pretrial process and the case will gain traction from Oct. 12 with three hearings scheduled to set up the reasons for appeal from both sides before the interrogation of witnesses begins.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Xiaomi Inc.'s founder and CEO Lei Jun announced on his microblog that the company shipped more than 10 million units of smartphones globally in September, adding that there is still tight supply for some phone models.

* Alibaba Group denied that Joseph Tsai, the company's vice chairman, is in advanced discussions to acquire a stake in the Brooklyn Nets, Reuters reports, citing spokesperson Jennifer Kuperman. Two sources told Reuters earlier that Tsai wanted a stake in the National Basketball Association team, which valued it at about US$2.2 billion.

* The Communications Authority of Hong Kong announced that it will not investigate the acquisition of fixed communications service carrier Hutchison Global Communications Holdings Ltd. by private investment firm I Squared Capital. The regulator said it was satisfied that the merger was unlikely to cause a "substantially lessening competition effect" in the market, and hence would not violate either the Competition Ordinance or the Telecommunications Ordinance.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Peter Zhai, president of Huawei India Consumer Business Group, said Huawei Technologies will be the first company to push out 5G phones and infrastructure in India when the 5G network is ready, The Hindu Business Line reports.

* Apple and Reliance Industries are expanding their local partnership that will see Reliance Digital and Reliance Jio distributing iPhones to over 2,000 points of sale, a person aware of the plans told The Economic Times (India).

* Reliance Communications Ltd. is reportedly renegotiating its deal with Canadian investor Brookfield to sell its 100% stake in its tower business instead of a previously agreed 51% stake, sources told CNBC-TV18.

* Moody's said the termination of the Reliance Communications and Aircel Ltd. merger is "credit negative for RCom because the merger was crucial to a debt reduction plan."

* The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is urging the government to consider its "free data" suggestion to make the internet more accessible to people residing in rural regions, The Economic Times (India) reports.

* India has greenlighted Chinese smartphone maker OPPO Electronics Corp.'s request to open single-brand retail stores in the country, Reuters reports.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Singapore-based Singtel said it will bring Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc.'s latest smartphone Pixel 2 XL to Singapore as its official telco partner.

* Matthew Collier, the chief executive of Y&R Indonesia, will leave the advertising agency at the end of this month to be the head of iflix Sdn. Bhd.'s Indonesian unit, Mumbrella reports. Matthew will replace Cam Walker, who resigned after 18 months with the Malaysia-based subscription video-on-demand company.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will postpone auctions of 1800MHz and 850MHz spectra until a new board of commissioners is appointed to serve a six-year term, Krungthep Turakij reports. A provisional board will take over on Oct. 6, but will not be authorized to auction the spectra or alter any of the auctions' existing details.

* Indonesia's PT Smartfren Telecom Tbk said it will participate in the auction of either 2.1 GHz or 2.3 GHz frequency, Indotelko reports. The basis price for the 2.1 GHz frequency will be 296.74 billion rupiah, while the bid for 2.3 GHz frequency will start at 366.72 billion rupiah.

* Justin Kintz, senior director of policy and communications at UBER Technologies Inc., said he hopes Thailand will join other Asian countries in fully legalizing and regulating ride-sharing services, The Nation reports.

* Thai telcos Advanced Info Service Public Co. Ltd., True's TrueMove H and Total Access Communication Public Co. Ltd., or Dtac, each confirmed that the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus will be on sale in their respective stores from Nov. 3, Brand Inside Asia reports.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull secured the support of federal and state governments to establish and utilize facial recognition technology to scan passport, visa, citizenship and driver's license images for "suspects or victims of terrorism or other criminal activities", while maintaining "robust privacy safeguards," according to a communiqué from the Council of Australian Governments.

* Telstra Corp. Ltd. secured an exclusive telco partnership with Google to provide the new Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones in Australia, which will be available for preorder on Oct. 20, iTWire reports, citing Nick Broomfield, general manager of Telstra Mobile Devices.

* The Australian Broadcasting Corp. will be axing its evening news program "Lateline" and Australian journalist Stan Grant's "The Link," The Sydney Morning Herald reports. The move is part of an overhaul of the ABC's current affairs schedule. "Lateline" host Emma Alberici will remain with the national broadcaster and will assume a senior news and current affairs role.

* IBM announced it is acquiring Vivant Digital Business, an Australian digital and innovation agency, which will fold into the former's digital transformation division IBM iX, in an effort to expand the unit's strategy and design capabilities.

FEATURED NEWS

Conference Chatter: Social media influencers represent growing force in advertising: The roaring trade between marketers and social media influencers with a large and engaged fan base has been the hot topic at this year's Festival of Marketing in London.

Data Dispatch: Trump foreign cash tax proposal's outsize implications for tech sector: A provision in the Trump administration's tax reform outline regarding cash held overseas by U.S.-based companies has significant implications for the information technology sector, including Apple and Microsoft.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: DTH, mobile OTT to shape Philippine pay TV market: Rising digitization, demand for flexible viewing options, low fixed broadband penetration and a substantial share of low-income households are changing the Philippine multichannel market, boosting direct-to-home and mobile over-the-top services.

Wireless Investor: Australian government initiates mobile expansion to the outback: Although the mobile penetration rate of Australia reached 116.64% by the end of 2016, rural communities in the country's arid interior are not yet covered by two of the three incumbent mobile network operators.

Economics of Advertising: WPP, other ad agencies warn of potentially turbulent times ahead: Major ad agency holding groups such as WPP, Omnicom Group, Publicis Groupe and Interpublic Group largely saw strong results throughout 2015-2016, but 2017 is shaping up to be far more challenging.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Nicole Shiwon Kim, Emily Lai, Wil Hathaway 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.