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Baidu plans $1B IPO for iQiyi; Honda in car tech talks with Alphabet unit

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Baidu plans $1B IPO for iQiyi; Honda in car tech talks with Alphabet unit


* Chinese internet giant Baidu Inc. is planning an IPO for its video-streaming site iQiyi, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Baidu is considering a listing in Hong Kong or the U.S. in 2017, and expects the flotation to raise about US$1 billion, valuing iQiyi between US$4 billion and US$5 billion.

* Honda R&D Co. Ltd. began talks with Alphabet Inc. unit Waymo about adding the latter's self-driving technology to Honda vehicles, the Honda Motor Co. Ltd. unit said. Under the proposed partnership, Honda will initially provide vehicles modified with Waymo's technology, which will join Waymo's fleet undergoing tests in four U.S. cities. The deal could also allow Honda researchers and Waymo engineers to work together in developing other automated driving technologies.


* Singaporean telco and media company StarHub Ltd. launched services over the Asia-Pacific Gateway submarine cable network to increase its bandwidth. The network links Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam, with data connection capacity exceeding 54 Tbps.


* Sharp Corp. is acquiring Slovakian TV manufacturer Universal Media Corp. Slovakia s.r.o. in a €85 million deal, marking a re-entry into Europe's TV market under new ownership by Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., Kyodo News reports. Sharp is buying back its brand after licensing its TV business to Universal Media in 2014 as part of restructuring. Hon Hai is widely known as Foxconn Technology Group.

* Mitsubishi Electric Corp. developed an artificial intelligence system for crowd surveillance using deep learning technology, according to The Nikkei. The corporation plans to commercialize the technology in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.


* South Korean cable TV operator D'Live sold a minority share of its entertainment subsidiary iHQ to global media group A&E Television Networks LLC, Chosun Biz reports. The two will reportedly collaborate on digital business such as original content production, global distribution and OTT.

* South Korean chipmaker SK Hynix will invest 3.16 trillion South Korean won in its home country and China to boost memory chip production. According to Reuters, most of the investment will go toward the construction of a new plant to produce NAND flash chips used for long-term data storage.

* The South Korean government will introduce guidelines for mobile phone makers on device recall planning and how to cooperate with mobile carriers, Yonhap News Agency reports. The guidelines, expected to be ready by the end of this year, are in response to the recent Galaxy Note 7 recall crisis by Samsung Group unit Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

* South Korean internet giant Naver invested in machine learning and hardware startups Elice, Nexpress and Buzzmusiq, with an eye toward a technology partnership in the future, E Daily reports. Naver has also invested in nine other startups so far via its D2 Startup Factory accelerator.


* Anhui Xinke New Materials canceled its deal to buy an 80% stake in Midnight Investments, owner of Los Angeles-based Voltage Pictures, specifying the investment firm's failure to provide necessary documentation in a Shanghai Stock Exchange filing. The company moved to acquire Hong Kong's Pegasus Entertainment instead.

* California-based virtual reality firm Jaunt Inc. struck a deal with Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi Inc. to develop VR projects, 36 Kr reports. Under the terms of the agreement, Xiaomi can invest in Jaunt's VR content, and the Chinese version of Jaunt's app will be available in select Xiaomi device models.

* Chinese bicycle brand Forever will supply bike-sharing service U-Bicycle as it expands in China, China Daily reports. U-Bicycle plans to offer 2.8 million bikes in 52 cities across China in 2017, with at least 100,000 of those in Shanghai.


* Fox Networks Group, a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox Inc., added Bangkok Bank to its blacklisted creditors, citing the bank's failure to honor its obligations as guarantor to media firm GMM Grammy and former cable TV operator CTH in Thailand, The Nation reports. Bangkok Bank reportedly owes US$71 million to Fox in compensation for failed programming deals with CTH and GMM Grammy, but has not responded to any correspondence from Fox in more than 10 months.

* The Thailand Foundation for Consumers called on the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission to impose per-second call tariffs on 1,800 MHz and 900 MHz spectrum holders, per the terms of current licensing agreements, Prachachat reports. The consumer group said many mobile customers are angry about paying more expensive per-minute call tariffs, with call times rounded up to the next minute by operators.

* Timi, a Vietnamese peer-to-peer lending platform, received an undisclosed sum in Series A funding from an unnamed Singaporean investor, The Nation reports. Timi has revealed few details of the investment, but confirmed that the total value was a seven-figure sum in U.S. dollars.

* Indonesian telco PT Smartfren Telecom Tbk restructured its US$100 million debt to improve the company's financial standing, Indotelko reports. Through this restructuring, Smartfren extends its debt maturity for one to three years.

* A provincial court in Thailand ordered the rearrest of a student activist facing charges of insulting the monarchy and violating the Computer Crime Act, after an investigator claimed he broke bail by continuing to post offensive content online, Manager reports. Jatupat Boonpattararaksa was initially arrested for sharing a British Broadcasting Corp. article referring to King Vajiralongkorn's divorces and extramarital affairs.

* Singapore Press Holdings announced the appointment of Andrew Lim Ming-Hui as independent director as well as a member of the audit committee and nominating committee, The Straits Times reports. He will start Jan. 1, 2017.


* Vodafone Group Plc subsidiary Vodafone NZ has added Barbados, Bermuda, Haiti and the British Virgin Islands to its 4G roaming map, reaching a total of 102 roaming destinations.

* New Zealand-based cloud software company Vend raised NZ$13 million with the backing of Square Peg Capital, Seek Ltd. co-founder Matt Rockman, PayPal Holdings Inc. co-founder Peter Thiel's Valar Ventures and TradeMe founder Sam Morgan, The Australian reports.

* Telco giant Telstra Corp. Ltd. is estimating that Australians will use 1.1 million GB of mobile data on Christmas Day, the Australian Associated Press reports. That is reportedly double last year's consumption.

* RotoGro, a Canadian cannabis-tech company, is preparing for an Australian Stock Exchange listing in January 2017, capitalizing on Australia's recent legalization of the manufacturing of medical cannabis, The Australian reports.


* The Islamabad High Court gave its approval to the Mobilink-Warid merger, Propakistani reports. The merged mobile service entity will provide 3G and LTE services to more than 51 million customers in Pakistan.

* Vodafone India is teaming up with Eros International's OTT service Eros Now, Telecompaper reports. The partnership will see Vodafone Play subscribers get access to more than 14,000 Bollywood and regional movie titles.

* Reliance Industries Ltd. unit Reliance Jio lost its fixed-line president, The Economic Times (India) reports. Vijay Jain, who served the Indian telco for two years, reportedly left to join the advisory board of an unnamed company.

The Daily Dose will not appear Dec. 26 and 27 due to the observed holidays for Christmas and Boxing Day in Hong Kong. The next Dose will be sent out Dec. 28. Please visit our website for the latest news updates, or check us out at


CAPITAL Letters: Music streaming is booming without boomers: Awareness could help bridge the boomer gap between music consumers and providers.

Q&A: Cybersecurity exec: Most attacks are never reported to the public: Following a range of high-profile hacking and data breach cases, S&P Global Market Intelligence spoke to Ian Mann, CEO of cybersecurity company ECSC Group.


Technology: As video resolution increases, compression and video optimization bring down bandwidth requirements: As the march to higher resolution video continues and with greater amounts of Ultra HD and 360-degree video for virtual reality being produced, network bandwidth requirements to deliver video increase as well.

Broadcast Investor: Broadcast public trading multiples: TV and radio stocks push towards new 52-week highs in December: With a newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership ban repeal moving through Congress, along with other proposed deregulatory moves led by a Republican-controlled FCC under a Trump presidency, some TV and radio stocks traded near new 52-week highs as of Dec. 21.

Joji Sakurai, Sunny Um, Emily Lai, Patrick Tibke and Kevin Osmond 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.