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India fines Google; Samsung heir released from jail

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India fines Google; Samsung heir released from jail

In this biweekly Asia-Pacific Regulatory Spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of significant recent regulatory events in the region.

TOP NEWS

* The Competition Commission of India imposed a fine of 1.36 billion Indian rupees on Google Inc. for "search bias." The Indian regulator on Feb. 8 said the Alphabet Inc. unit was found to have abused its dominant position in online general web search and web search advertising services in India.

* An appeals court in South Korea suspended Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong's jail sentence over charges of corruption, paving the way for Lee's swift return to the company. Reuters reported Feb. 4.

* Two Republican senators — Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton and Florida Senator Marco Rubio — introduced legislation that would stop the U.S. government from buying or leasing telecommunications equipment from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp. over spying concerns, Reuters reported Feb. 7.

JAPAN AND SOUTH KOREA

* Minister Yoo Young-min of the South Korean Ministry of Science and ICT met with local IT companies, including Naver Corp. and Kakao Corp., to explore areas for deregulation and address the complaints of the local companies that they are disadvantaged compared to foreign companies in the country, ZDNet Korea reported Feb. 13.

* South Korean authorities are investigating Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee for suspected tax evasion amounting to 8.2 billion South Korean won and using bank accounts held by employees that contained 400 billion won, Reuters reported Feb. 7.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* China's Ministry of Culture will shut down online shows that spread fake information or wrongful values in the next two months, Xinhua News reported Feb. 13.

* Chinese authorities in the Beijing and Guangdong province launched an investigation against video streaming platforms, including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s Youku, Baidu Inc.'s iQiyi.com Inc. and Haokan, and Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s Tencent Video, for allegedly spreading violence and thrilling content, Sina reported Feb. 12. The government said it will take severe actions against indecent content in the next two months.

* The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television launched a new online game review platform for trial to enhance the efficiency of the review procedure and to keep a file of all the games that were sent in for review, 36Kr reported Feb. 12.

* China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television will be selecting 5,000 movie theaters across the country to establish a "People's Cinema Line" that will be assigned to play state-funded "main melody" films and are required to implement various strategies to attract audiences, China Film Insider reported Feb. 9, citing Ent Group.

* China started an internet cleansing project carried out by the Ministry of Public Security, targeting cybercrimes, People's Daily reported Feb. 8.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Banglalink, a wholly owned subsidiary of VEON and Global Telecom Holding SAE in Bangladesh, on Feb. 13 said it is buying additional spectrum and 4G/LTE license in an auction by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.

* The Delhi High Court called the Competition Commission of India's decision to investigate U.K.-based Vodafone Group Plc, the parent company of Vodafone India, for failing to provide interconnection to Indian telco Reliance Jio an "abuse." The High Court issued notices to both CCI and Jio asking for their replies on Vodafone's challenge of the CCI order, Press Trust of India reported Feb. 12.

* India's Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha said radio waves above 3000 MHz will be put up for sale in the upcoming spectrum auction, Press Trust of India reported Feb. 7.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Indonesia's Minister for Communication and Informatics, Rudiantara, said the Indonesian government would adopt a "light touch regulation" for digital economy sector, where innovations are let to flourish first before they are regulated, Investor Daily reported Feb. 13.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* The Australian Senate voted down political party Australian Greens' motion for a parliamentary inquiry into net neutrality protections in Australia, Computerworld (Australia) reported Feb. 13.

* Australia's Attorney-General Christian Porter rejected media companies' push for parliament to restart its review of new treason laws after Porter proposed changes to the laws, The Australian reported Feb. 14.