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Facebook sues South Korean regulator; Vodafone NZ to fully acquire Farmside

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Investment Banking Essentials: February 21

Facebook sues South Korean regulator; Vodafone NZ to fully acquire Farmside


* Facebook Inc. filed a lawsuit against the Korea Communications Commission to cancel the regulator's order and suspend its effect until the ruling for the case comes out, Yonhap News Agency reports. The social media giant was fined 396 million South Korean won in March for allegedly slowing down access to its services for SK Telecom Co. Ltd., SK Broadband and LG Uplus Corp. subscribers.

* Vodafone New Zealand Ltd. is set to gain full ownership of Farmside, the rural broadband and satellite arm of New Zealand operator TeamTalk Ltd. This comes after TeamTalk agreed to sell its remaining 30% stake in BayCity Communications Ltd., trading as Farmside, to Vodafone New Zealand for NZ$3 million. In April 2017, the Vodafone Group PLC unit acquired a 70% stake in Farmside for NZ$10 million in cash.

* Businesses in Hong Kong have yet to perfect the balance between cloud and artificial intelligence adoption versus risk control implementation, as the hype surrounding the new technologies reaches fever pitch in the city-state.


* Japan Display Inc., an LCD joint venture between Sony Corp., Toshiba Corp. and Hitachi Ltd., reported a net loss of ¥247.2 billion for the year ended March 31, compared to a net loss of ¥31.7 billion in the year earlier. The company said it expects consolidated net sales in the current financial year to increase by 10% to 20%.

* Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. said it achieved a 100 Gbps wireless transmission using a new system called Orbital Angular Momentum multiplexing. The system mounts data signals on electromagnetic waves generated by combining OAM with current multiple-input multiple-output technology.

* NTT DOCOMO announced it will launch my daiz, an artificial intelligence virtual assistant for smartphones and tablets, May 30 in Japan.

* Sony will discontinue the production of PlayStation Vita game cards in North America and Europe by the end of fiscal 2018, Kotaku reports. Digital distribution for Vita games will continue.


* NAVER Corp. invested 18.4 billion won in Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd., which will see Naver owning about a 0.03% stake in the Chinese ride-hailing company, The Korea Economic Daily reports.

* KT Corp. and Siemens AG will work together to develop and pilot test smart plant initiatives as well as design plant-specific artificial intelligence, augmented reality, drone and mobile-based services, Money Today reports.

* SK Telecom is partnering with Macquarie to launch a smartphone leasing business in South Korea, ZDNet Korea reports.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will add new colors — burgundy, red and sunrise gold — to its Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus smartphones, which will be launched soon, Digital Daily reports.


* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said it made strategic changes in some of its digital media and entertainment units to further integrate businesses. Yang Weidong, president of video-streaming platform Youku, is now also in charge of Ali Music. Meanwhile, Alibaba Pictures President Fan Luyuan also took up the role of president of live-event ticketing platform Damai.

* China Mobile Ltd.'s Beijing unit and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. inked a memorandum of understanding on joint innovation in big video and premium networks, with plans to collaborate on building high-quality home broadband.

* Simei Media Co. Ltd. partnered with Zhejiang Radio and Television Group's internet arm to invest 50 million yuan in a short video business joint venture, wherein Simei Media will own 49% of the joint venture through an investment of 24.5 million yuan. The joint venture will leverage Simei's content creation capability and Zhejiang Radio and Television's distribution channels.

* The Tianjin Development and Reform Commission launched a 100 billion yuan fund that will be used to develop technology projects including artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and smart cars.

* XGimi Technology Co. Ltd. partnered with Baidu Inc. to set up an AI lab to design smart projector TVs, Sichuan Online reports.


* Only 700 out of Telenor India's 1,400 employees will be absorbed by Bharti Airtel Ltd., a source told The Economic Times. Confirming the move, Airtel said "not all people from Telenor India will find meaningful roles within Airtel." News of the layoffs comes shortly after Bharti Airtel completed its acquisition of Telenor ASA's India unit.

* Shares and bonds of Reliance Communications Ltd. plummeted after an Indian court ordered that the telecom operator be placed in insolvency proceedings, according to Bloomberg News. The insolvency petitions were filed by Ericsson AB, a creditor seeking to recover 11.6 billion Indian rupees in unpaid dues from the embattled telecom operator.

* Facebook is rolling out a series of updates, which will be initially available in India and eventually to users around the world, to its Stories and Camera features. The new features include voice posts, stories archive and the ability to save photos and videos directly on Facebook, Venture Beat reports.

* Zee Media Corp. Ltd appointed former ABP News Network CEO Ashok Venkatramani as managing director for three years, effective July 1.

* SWOO, a global livestreaming platform established in the Middle East, launched its celebrity-hosted live video-streaming game show "SWOO TRIVIA SHOW" in India.


* Netflix Inc. signed partnerships with Indonesian telcos PT XL Axiata TBK, PT Hutchison 3 Indonesia and Lippo Group-owned Bolt. Under the tie-ups, unlimited or designated amounts of content from Netflix and other participating over-the-top video providers will reportedly be offered to subscribers without additional tariffs.

* Singapore Press Holdings formed a joint venture with China's Target Media Alpha and three other investors. The joint venture, in which Singapore Press will have a 21% shareholding, will provide advertising services.

* Google Inc. will launch a Thai-language version of the Google Assistant artificial intelligence tool, which is expected to go live around May 27, Manager reports.

* Telenor Myanmar Ltd. appointed Amaresh Kumar as its chief marketing officer. Kumar previously served as chief product officer at Telenor India. He succeeds Joslin Myrthong and will start in his new position later this month.

* Telkomsel signed a memorandum of understanding with mobile devices distributor company PT Erajaya Swasembada Tbk to launch a bundling plan which offers various smartphones bundled with data, free voice call services and SMS.

* Thailand's Ministry of Digital Economy and Society is preparing to launch a state-controlled big data institute and is offering high salaries to attract the best data scientists, Prachachat reports. The ministry also launched a new Data Protection Knowledge Center, a temporary cybersecurity agency under the authority of the Electronic Transactions Development Agency.


* Telstra Corp. Ltd. won a court battle against Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd., after the Supreme Court of Victoria ordered Optus to take down advertising materials that claim its network is better than Telstra.


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Joji Sakurai, Myungran Ha, 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.