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SoftBank invests another US$2B in WeWork; Alibaba buys German analytics startup


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SoftBank invests another US$2B in WeWork; Alibaba buys German analytics startup


* U.S.-based coworking giant WeWork Cos. Inc. secured an additional US$2 billion investment from SoftBank Group Corp. The latest SoftBank investment is in addition to a previous US$4 billion investment. Altogether, SoftBank and related entities have invested more than US$10 billion in WeWork.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. acquired Berlin-based streaming analytics startup Data Artisans GmbH in a €90 million deal. The two companies will continue to jointly develop Apache Flink, which processes large volumes of data, enabling users to gain real-time insights into streaming.

* Shares in Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. fell after the smartphone and semiconductor manufacturer said it expects fourth-quarter 2018 earnings to decrease sharply from the previous three-month period "amid mounting macro uncertainties." Samsung's earnings from its memory business fell significantly quarter over quarter due to weaker-than-expected demand, while mobile profits declined due to increased marketing expenses in a "stagnant and fiercely competitive" market.

* Samsung Electronics outlined its vision for the company in 2019, and next-generation 5G wireless technology will play a starring role. HS Kim, president and CEO of the consumer electronics division at Samsung Electronics, reiterated the company's commitment to launch a 5G phone in the first half of 2019.


* KDDI Corp. announced an investment in U.K.-based big data startup GeoSpock Ltd. The investment will be made through its unit KDDI Open Innovation Fund 3. Financial details were not disclosed.

* In other KDDI news, the Japanese telco partnered with AT&T Inc. to provide 4G connectivity to Toyota Motor Corp. and Lexus vehicles in the U.S., The Nikkei reports.

* LINE Corp. set up a joint venture with Japanese medical information company M3. Under the tie-up, the two companies will launch an online medical business using LINE's messaging app for medical consultations and examination.


* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. and U.S-based Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. have agreed to form a joint venture that will develop broadcasting solutions based on the ATSC 3.0 standard. The venture, which will be jointly funded and managed by the two companies, is expected to begin operating in the first quarter of 2019.

* KT Corp. is set to operate a 5G bus, where passengers can experience 5G services, Digital Times reports. The telco's media service GiGA Live TV and various virtual reality content will be provided on a running bus, along with some other 5G-based services that are going to be launched in March.


* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. filed a lawsuit against U.S. tech firm InterDigital Inc. for allegedly failing to license its patents in China fairly, Reuters reports.

* Baidu Inc.'s video streaming platform iQIYI Inc. entered into a partnership with Nreal, a Hangzhou-based startup focusing on virtual reality technologies, Caijing reports. A major part of the partnership is to explore possibilities to use Nreal's smart glasses on iQIYI's hologram videos.

* Baidu will test its driverless technology in Arizona, U.S., beginning February for customers including Walmart Inc., South China Morning Post reports.

* Alibaba-backed bike-sharing service ofo is dissolving its remaining overseas businesses, Caijing reports. Ofo operates in countries including Singapore, the U.S. and France.


* India's Supreme Court issued a contempt notice against Reliance Communications Ltd. Chairman Anil Ambani over the company's failure to settle dues with Ericsson worth 5.5 billion Indian rupees, The Economic Times (India) reports. The court also refused to exempt Ambani from personal appearance in the next court hearing after Ericsson declined to accept RCom's partial payment.

* ZTE Corp. is requesting the Indian government's permission to participate in the country's 5G trials, The Times of India reports. The Chinese telecom network supplier has written to the government to ask for a chance to showcase its technology and network equipment for 5G, which is expected to roll out in India sometime after 2020.


* Equinix Inc. plans to build its fourth data center in Singapore. The company will invest US$85 million, and the data center is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2019.

* Singtel's mobile payment solution Dash, in partnership with the United Nation's Capital Development Fund, will launch remittance services from Singapore to Myanmar by March 2019.

* MediaCorp Pte. Ltd. expanded Oliver Chong's role to head of marketing and communications, Marketing Interactive reports. Chong joined the Singaporean media company in August 2018 as head of consumer marketing.

* Thailand will sign a memorandum of understanding on cyber and digital cooperation with Australia on Jan. 10.


* Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd. CEO Iñaki Berroeta said the federal government's ban on Huawei Technologies reinforces the need for a merger between Vodafone and TPG Telecom Ltd. to create the scale to build a third 5G network that can compete with Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd. and Telstra Corp. Ltd., The Australian Financial Review reports.

* Vodafone New Zealand Ltd. will increase its broadband prices by NZ$3 per month from February. According to Stuff, the price hike comes as new CEO Jason Paris consults its staff on a major restructure to get the company's finances in better shape for a planned IPO in 2020.


Analysts: ACC Network launch to be boosted by large fan base, local ad prospects: The addition of Fios TV marks the second major linear distributor ESPN has lined up for the ACC Network, which kicks off in August.


Economics of TV & Film: Top 20 most read Economics of TV & Film articles in 2018: OTT's growing impact on the film and television market and Disney's motion picture dominance were a few of the hot topics among the wide-range of articles featured in Economics of TV & Film in 2018.

Multichannel Trends: A look at Verizon's new set-top box: Fios TV subscribers can now take advantage of 4K high dynamic range content and voice search, while content apps could pave the way to more over-the-top content from Verizon.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Frances Wang, Kevin Osmond 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.