* Vietnam said Facebook Inc. violated its new cybersecurity law by allowing users to post anti-government comments on the platform, Reuters reports. Vietnam's Ministry of Information and Communication said the social media giant also allowed personal accounts to upload posts containing "slanderous" content, anti-government sentiment and defamation of individuals and organizations.
* The Philippines' transport regulator denied PT Go-Jek Indonesia's application to launch a ride-hailing service in the country due to ownership issues, Reuters reports. January Sabale, head of communications at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, said Google LLC-backed Go-Jek can get a local partner that will own at least 60% of the ride-hailing entity to comply with the law.
* A volatile 2018 took a sharp bite out of FAANG stocks — those of Facebook, Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. — and analysts are bracing for what could be another rough year for big tech.
* NTT DOCOMO Inc. partnered with Tokyo-based tech venture H2L Inc. The two companies are planning to capitalize on H2L's body-sharing technologies, which uses sensors to communicate information from human body movements to create virtual reality images, new services and businesses.
* In other DoCoMo news, the mobile unit of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. has set up a test lab called DoCoMo 5G Open Lab OKINAWA in Naha City. With the new facility, DoCoMo seeks to boost its collaborations with other companies across industries in a bid to create new 5G-related businesses.
* LG Corp. will team up with Microsoft Corp. to strengthen its autonomous and connected vehicle business. Microsoft's Azure cloud and artificial intelligence technologies will be applied to LG's Advanced Driver Assistance Systems to accelerate its ability to learn road and traffic patterns.
* LG Electronics Inc. is partnering with Silicon Valley startup Landing.AI to enhance the artificial intelligence capabilities of LG products. Under the tie-up, the companies will also develop collaborative business models.
* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. plans to turn itself into an intermediate holding company within the year to strengthen the competitiveness of its subsidiaries, Digital Times reports. To achieve this goal, the telco has to own at least 30% of SK Hynix Inc., meaning the company will need to acquire about a 10% greater stake in the semiconductor company.
* Hello Mobile, the mobile virtual network operator brand of CJ Hello, launched a new mobile plan that offers access to Hello TV's video-on-demand content, Digital Daily reports. Subscribers of the new mobile plan get a fixed amount of Hello TV coins monthly to watch shows and movies.
CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN
* Chinese authorities have clamped down on two education apps that allegedly contain inappropriate content, South China Morning Post reports. The Office of Combating Pornography and Illegal Publications ordered HDzuoye to close its mobile app and pay a fine of 50,000 yuan. Similarly, Namibox was asked to pay a penalty of 80,000 yuan and was ordered to remove problematic parts of its app.
* Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Riot Games Inc. will form a new joint venture, 36Kr reports. Based in Shanghai, the 50/50 joint venture will run Riot's "League of Legends" businesses in China, including events and peripheral products. The joint venture will be led by Tencent director Jin Yibo and Riot's China manager Leo Lin.
* China Netcasting Services Association published new regulations on bite-sized short videos, which are popular among young Chinese internet users. According to the association, platforms hosting short videos should invite government bodies and mainstream media to open accounts and employ a strong censorship team.
* Bayerische Motoren Werke AG will integrate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s Tmall Genie voice assistant in selected models in China by 2019-end.
* Baidu Inc. introduced OpenEdge, its open-source edge computing platform, at the Consumer Electronics Show 2019, TechCrunch reports.
* Intel Corp. subsidiary Mobileye NV signed a contract with Beijing Bus and Beijing Beytai Electromechanical Equipment M&T, Netease News reports. The three companies will commercialize self-driving technologies in buses based on Mobileye's L4 solution.
* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. launched an AI-backed data switch called CloudEngine 16800, Caijing reports. The built-in AI chip will improve the existing AI processing capacity from 50% to 100%.
INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA
* Bharti Airtel Ltd.'s tower arm Bharti Infratel Ltd. expects to complete its merger with Indus Towers Ltd. in the first quarter of the new financial year, starting April 1, The Economic Times (India) reports.
* Amazon Prime Video added Punjabi movies to its content offerings, Television Post reports. The streaming platform currently offers content in English, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu.
* Alibaba Cloud Computing Co. opened its second data center in Indonesia. The two data centers aim to provide higher capacity and strengthen disaster recovery capabilities.
* Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd. is working with City Broadband Sdn. Bhd., a subsidiary of local electricity company Tenaga Nasional Bhd., to offer a bundle of content and broadband services, The Star reports. The Malaysian pay TV operator is experimenting with this business as its new source of income.
* Microsoft (Thailand) Ltd. will support the country's national e-library efforts, Manager reports. The tech company will take care of the back-end and develop the app, chatbot and e-learning platform.
* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said its Net Pracharat free internet service for lower-income households will begin May 1, Kom Chad Luek reports. Letters will be sent out to qualifying families on Jan. 16 to inform them of their right to the service.
* Thailand's Ministry of Digital Economy and Society is proposing 22 new projects to further develop the fiber optics infrastructure in the country's eastern provinces with a budget of 17.91 billion baht, Krungthep Turakij reports. The development is aimed at supporting the government's Eastern Economic Corridor roadmap.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Vodafone Hutchison Australia Pty Ltd. is considering using the spectrum it acquired in the December 2018 auction to provide fixed wireless broadband services that can compete with the national broadband network, The Australian Financial Review reports. The company's decision to deploy an alternative service would depend on whether NBN Co Ltd.'s wholesale price stays at current levels.
Q&A: Kwesé iflix CEO: Localized strategy key to rivaling Netflix, Amazon in Africa: S&P Global Market Intelligence spoke with Mayur Patel, CEO of Kwesé iflix, about the group's original content roadmap and its growth strategy for the coming year.
Consumer Insights: How many SVOD services is enough?: Survey data shows that most online households use more than one online subscription video service.
Economics of Advertising: Newspaper advertising revenue 10-year projections: Analysis of the newspaper industry with estimated advertising revenue from 1984-2028.
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.