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ByteDance forming live streaming platform; Philippines rejects Go-Jek's appeal

TOP NEWS

* Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd., parent company of news and information content platform Jinri Toutiao, is building a live streaming platform to expand sources of income outside advertising, 36Kr reported. The new platform's content will be collated from its existing short video apps including Douyin, Xigua Video and Huoshan.

* The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board of Philippines has rejected an appeal of Google LLC-backed ride-hailing app PT Go-Jek Indonesia against a ride-hailing license ban due to its failure to meet local ownership criteria, Reuters reported. A Go-Jek spokesman reportedly said the company will now explore other options.

* Music streaming giants Spotify Technology SA and YouTube LLC have entered a heavily entrenched market in India, where increasing average revenues per user will be tough, analysts say.

* China's technology, media and telecom, or TMT companies are increasingly choosing to list on the Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. due to Hong Kong's newly adopted listing rules, optimistic valuations and low legal costs, experts say.

JAPAN

* KDDI Corp., SoftBank Corp. and Rakuten Mobile Network Inc. teamed up with TEPCO Power Grid Inc. to launch trials of base station site and equipment sharing using TEPCO PG infrastructure. SoftBank Corp. is the mobile unit of SoftBank Group Corp., while Rakuten Mobile is a subsidiary of online marketplace Rakuten Inc.

* NVIDIA Corp. is working with SoftBank Group and South Korea's LG U+ to deploy cloud gaming servers in Japan and South Korea this year, Reuters reported.

SOUTH KOREA

* South Korean market analysts called on the country's display companies to accelerate execution of their plans to switch existing LCD panel production lines to organic light-emitting diode panel lines, The Korea Herald reported. The analysts believe that while Samsung Display Co. Ltd. has the ability to easily switch to the new technology, LG Display Co. Ltd. could find it hard to embrace the new technology because of its over-reliance on LCD business.

* Kakao Corp.'s fintech arm Dunamu Inc. rolled out Luniverse, a blockchain service platform that will aid IT companies and startups to develop blockchain-based services, Korea JoongAng Daily reported. The platform offers cloud-based solutions to build, host and maintain a blockchain.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s messaging app WeChat shut down more than 2,500 user accounts and over 1,000 group chats since the beginning of the year over illegal credit and loan activities, TechNode reported.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.'s Huawei Cloud is upgrading its presence in Hong Kong with blockchain and AI services, Hong Kong Economic Times reported. The company said it will deploy blockchain services in the city's financial and logistics industries, with AI services including optical character recognition, natural language processing and video analysis to be available at the end of this month.

* In other Huawei news, the company will build a new 1 billion yuan innovation center in the Chinese city of Chongqing, Shanghai Securities News reported. The facility will cover AI development, big data, cloud computing, blockchain technology and internet of things.

* Zhihu, the counterpart of Quora Inc. in China, launched a new membership system wherein select members will receive increased access and new features such as an advanced keyword search function and the ability to post images in the comments section of articles, TechNode reported.

* The government of Sichuan province will consider 5G, ultra-HD video streaming, internet security and the Beidou Navigation Satellite System as its primary focus areas in technology for the next few years, National Business Daily reported.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Reliance Industries Ltd. Chairman Mukesh Ambani settled the debt owed by Reliance Communications Ltd. to Ericsson, a bailout which saves his brother, RCom Chairman Anil Ambani, from imprisonment, The Economic Times (India) reported. The dues are worth 5.8 billion Indian rupees.

* Xiaomi Corp.'s Indian business received two investments worth more than US$500 million in January and March this year, according to filings at India's Ministry of Corporate Affairs accessed by Inc42. The company will reportedly use the capital to enter the white goods sector and expand its Mi Home retail stores.

* Google struck a content licensing agreement with the Indian Performing Right Society to enable the Alphabet Inc. unit to use the copyright group's repertoire across YouTube LLC and related services, Television Post reported.

* Discovery Communications India inked a content-sharing agreement with news and local content app Dailyhunt, BusinessLine reported. Under the multiyear partnership, the Discovery Inc. unit launched a video destination called Discovery Plus on the home page of Dailyhunt's app, while Dailyhunt will have access to the content library and upcoming titles of Discovery.

* Star India Pvt. Ltd.-owned video streaming service Hotstar launched Hotstar VIP, a new subscription service worth 365 Indian rupees a year, that offers exclusive new content under the Hotstar Specials label and coverage of live sporting events, Television Post reported.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Southeast Asian ride-hailing app GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. has launched financial services in the region. The new offerings include micro-insurance products, postpaid and installment payment services, as well as an online check-out payment method for online sellers.

* Malaysia-based video streaming service iflix Sdn. Bhd. announced a partnership with Philippines-based Black Ops Studios Asia to co-produce original films set in the Philippines. The studio is set to produce at least one film and one series for iflix originals, to be released before the end of the year.

* MediaCorp Pte. Ltd. secured the broadcasting rights in Singapore for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.

* Thailand's True Incube Co. Ltd. teamed up with Korea Venture Investment Corp., LINE GAMES Corp. and the newly formed joint venture True-Kona to set up a private equity fund in the Cayman Islands. The fund will seek investment opportunities in gaming and tech firms. True Incube invested around 187 million baht in the fund, giving it a 26% stake.

* Thai state-owned operator CAT Telecom PCL will invest 30 million baht in developing a smart port on the Chao Phraya River near its head office in Bangkok, Krungthep Turakij reported.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Atlassian Corp. PLC penned an agreement to acquire Texas-based agile planning software provider AgileCraft LLC for A$234 million, CRN reported. Atlassian anticipates the acquisition to add A$1 million to A$2 million in its revenue in the 2019 financial year.

* Three New Zealand telecommunications providers have written an open letter to Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Google to address the lack of authority over content being uploaded and shared on social media platforms, ChannelLife Australia reported. Vodafone Mobile NZ Ltd, Spark New Zealand Ltd. and 2degrees asked the social media giants to become a part of an urgent discussion at an industry and government level to find a solution to this issue.

* U.S.-based cybersecurity company BitDefender LLC expanded its presence in Australia and New Zealand by leasing a new office location and appointing Vaughn Madeley as its Australia and New Zealand director, according to ChannelLife Australia.

* Wisetech Global Ltd. is seeking to raise up to A$280 million from investors to strengthen the company's financial position for further acquisitions, The Australian reported.

FEATURED NEWS

Q&A: Virtual reality exec: The future of VR lies in 'gigantic enterprise market': Joe Michaels, chief revenue officer of virtual reality hardware company HaptX, says the most certain virtual reality outlook is the shift to spatial computing for enterprise applications, representing an opportunity as big as the internet itself.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Technology: Q4’18 Apple review: challenges in China lead to a rare miss for Apple: Apple cited macroeconomic factors and fewer-than-expected iPhone upgrades as reasons for the less than stellar fourth quarter as shipments across all Apple product lines declined.

Joji Sakurai, Emily Lai, Ed Eduard and Patrick Tibke 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.