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VEON offers US$2.6B for GTH assets; Alibaba, Tencent back China Media Capital

TOP NEWS

* Netherlands-based communications and technology company VEON submitted an offer to acquire Global Telecom Holding SAE's businesses in Pakistan and Bangladesh for US$2.55 billion. The transaction will be financed in part by the sale of its 50% stake in Wind Tre SpA to CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd. VEON said the deals are part of a renewed focus on emerging markets as the company streamlines its portfolio and is a step ahead to enhance shareholder value.

* China Media Capital raised 10 billion yuan from investors including Chinese tech giants Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., as well as real estate company China Vanke Co. Ltd., Reuters reported.

JAPAN

* Baidu Inc. teamed up with SoftBank Group Corp. subsidiary SB Drive Corp. to enter Japan's autonomous vehicle market, The Nikkei reports. The two parties reportedly plan to start vehicle testing by the end of the year.

* Tokyo-based interactive marketing provider Cyber Communications Inc. said it entered into a partnership with Chinese short video app Tik Tok to strengthen the latter's content and advertisements.

* Internet Initiative Japan Inc. and Hirata Corp. on Sept. 1 will jointly launch Cognitive Factory, a solution that promotes digital transformation at manufacturing sites and enables a shift towards smart factories.

SOUTH KOREA

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is reportedly using LG Electronics Inc. battery cells for its Galaxy A and Galaxy J smartphones. The company is currently receiving supplies from Samsung SDI Co. Ltd., Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and LG Chem Ltd. Digital Daily reports, citing sources.

* KT Corp. launched Blice, a web platform where writers can upload their work for sale. The company applied its blockchain technology to the platform to enhance data protection for writers and consumers.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. developed 5G NextGen Core, an equipment that enables transmission of data between 5G base stations and internet servers.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Taiwanese chipmaker United Microelectronics Corp. said a Chinese court barred the sale of products made by U.S.-based competitor Micron Technology Inc. The Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court issued a preliminary injunction against Micron, prohibiting the chipmaker from selling 26 of its DRAM and NAND-related products, including hard drives and memory sticks, in China.

* Alibaba Group reached a partnership with French conglomerate Bolloré in areas of cloud computing, digital transformation, clean energy, mobility and logistics. The Chinese tech giant also launched an artificial intelligence-powered copywriting tool, which uses deep learning and natural language technologies to generate copy for products.

* Xiaomi Corp. was sued by an individual for patent infringement ahead of its IPO, Technode reports. The lawsuit was reportedly filed at the Beijing Intellectual Property Court and would affect up to 12 Xiaomi phones.

* Tencent Games tightened its limit on how much money children can use in games, National Business Daily reports. Credit card owners of junior accounts will be notified when more than 500 yuan is spent in a month. Meanwhile, Tencent-owned social media platform WeChat will begin charging a fee of 0.1% on credit card repayments from Aug. 1, according to South China Morning Post.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Uber Technologies Inc. is in talks with Careem Networks FZ LLC to merge their Middle Eastern ride-hailing services, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. Careem operates in at least 10 countries, including Pakistan.

* India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology asked WhatsApp Inc. to stop spreading spreading fake messages on its platform, The Economic Times reports. In a statement, the ministry said that there have been "instances of lynching of innocent people" because of "irresponsible and explosive messages" circulated on the Facebook Inc.-owned platform.

* Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime Video will launch seven blockbuster titles from July 10 to July 17, including "Raazi," "102 Not Out" and "Dunkirk," Television Post reports. Amazon Prime Music will also launch specially curated playlists in several Indian languages including Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Punjabi.

* Indian Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said the government is not causing any delays in the ongoing merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular Ltd., according to The Economic Times.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission launched a probe involving the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission for misappropriation of funds amounting to 25 million ringgit, New Straits Times reports.

* The Indonesian Communication and Informatics Ministry blocked the Chinese video sharing app Tik Tok for its negative content for children, Bisnis.com reports.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission approved the auctions of nine 5 MHz licenses for the 1800 MHz spectrum band and one 5 MHz license for the 900 MHz spectrum band, Post Today reports. The reserve prices for the licenses have been lowered to 12.47 billion baht and 35.99 billion baht, respectively.

* Tri Indonesia failed to obtain an e-money license due to its foreign shareholding structure, Kompas reports. Under Indonesian central bank rules, e-money license holders should have a local shareholder owning at least 51% of company's total shares.

* Super Broadband Network Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Advanced Info Service PCL, has resumed broadcasting the 2018 World Cup games on its platforms after a court order to stop airing the FIFA games has been reversed.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Jason Pellegrino, managing director of Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. Australia and New Zealand, is leaving the company to become CEO of Domain Holdings Australia Ltd.

* FOXTEL is aiming to launch its direct-to-consumer sports streaming offering in November, sources told The Australian Financial Review.

FEATURED NEWS

China's reserve rate cuts intensify banks' small-company credit risk: The recent spate of reserve rule changes will lead many lenders in the country to increase their exposures to small businesses, a customer segment prone to high nonperforming loan levels.

Data Dispatch: 'Ant-Man' gets a good buzz going ahead of July 4th holiday: "Ant-Man and the Wasp" comes flying into theaters July 6. And though he may be the smallest of Marvel's super heroes, Ant-Man's box office potential is quite large.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: Profile: Youku (China): In terms of paying subscribers, Youku is the trailing member of the three dominant players in the Chinese streaming video market.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Nicole Shiwon Kim, 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.