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SoftBank leads US$1.25B funding round; Foxconn's US plant operational by 2020


* Internet satellite startup OneWeb LLC raised US$1.25 billion in its latest funding round, led by Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. OneWeb, which was founded in 2012, said that the investment will help the company accelerate the development of a global communications network.

* Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company Foxconn Technology Group Co. Ltd., said its Wisconsin-based manufacturing facility is set to produce flat-screen panels by the end of 2020, The Associated Press reported. The construction of the panels will start later this year.

* Congress is out on recess this week, but the U.S. Federal Trade Commission will remain busy with a March 20 hearing on competition and consumer protection issues in U.S. broadband markets.


* Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry urged companies to check computer systems for potential glitches due to a change in the Japanese calendar which involves an era change in May, Jiji Press reported. Software and computer systems not compatible with the change in the new era are expected to cause problems in placing or receiving orders online.

* Sony Corp. developed new CMOS image sensor technology that offers imaging performance and miniaturization with back-illuminated pixel structure. The Pregius S technology targets equipment for smart factory automation and will be introduced at the Vision China 2019 event in March.


* The Financial Supervisory Service, National Information Society Agency and the Industrial Bank of Korea co-developed an artificial intelligence-based voice phishing detection app, named "IBK Phishing Stop," which is designed to fight voice phishing scams in South Korea, The Korea Herald reported. According to the report, the app's software can detect select keywords and phrases which are common in voice phishing schemes to identify fraud.

* Telco SK Telecom Co. Ltd. will open a 5G mobile edge computing open platform for its enterprise customers, The Fast Mode reported. The platform is reportedly capable of enhancing the response time in 5G data communications.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will open its second memory plant in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, in March 2020, The Korea Herald reported. Samsung Electronics is a unit of Samsung Group.


* Shenzhen Transsion Holdings Co., Ltd., a Chinese smartphone manufacturer, is looking to go public on Shanghai's new technology innovation board, the South China Morning Post reported. The company sells its phones under the brands Tecno, Infinix and Itel.

* Beijing Byte Dance Telecommunications Co. Ltd. has reportedly bought Shanghai-based mobile game developer Mokun Technology, the South China Morning Post reported. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

* 36Kr, a Chinese statistical resource company, refuted reports suggesting that the company is planning to raise at least US$100 million through an initial public offering in the U.S., Jiemian reported.


* Citing lack of consent from its lenders and the telecom department's approval, coupled with other factors, Indian telco Reliance Communications Ltd. abolished its asset sale plan with Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, The Economic Times (India) reported. The two companies had entered into the agreement in December 2017.

* Bharti Airtel Ltd. is in exploratory talks to combine its direct-to-home business Airtel Digital TV with Dish TV India Ltd., The Economic Times reported, citing two sources. A merger would result in a combined entity with more than 38 million subscribers and a 61% share of India's DTH market.

* Majesco, an insurance technology company, will acquire its parent company Majesco Ltd.'s India-based insurance software business. The business will be acquired by Majesco Software Solutions India Private Ltd., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Majesco. The transaction is subject to statutory approvals including approval of the shareholders of Majesco Ltd.


* Malaysian video on demand service iflix Sdn. Bhd. launched a sports linear channel called Zsports on iflixFREE and iflixVIP, according to a March 18 news release. The channel will be available from mid-March in Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

* Singaporean telco Singtel has expanded the reach of its cross-border mobile payment alliance, VIA, to Japan through a partnership with Tokyo-based mobile payment company Netstars Co., Ltd. Users of mobile wallets on VIA, including Singtel's Dash, AIS GLOBAL Pay, and soon Kasikornbank PCL's K Plus and Boost Malaysia, will be able to use their home wallets at Netstars' merchants, including airports, shopping malls, and others.

* The Malaysian Ministry of Communications and Multimedia is reviewing the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 to ensure that it is aligned with current developments, including international requirements on personal data protection and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, The Star reported.

* Thai telcos Advanced Info Service PCL, TrueMove H and Total Access Communication Public Co. Ltd. wrote to the country's telecom regulator asking for 900MHz license payment terms to be extended, Matichon reported.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said a 2,600MHz auction must take place in the third quarter to make way for 5G services, Krungthep Turakij reported.

* Singapore-based cybersecurity company Ensign InfoSecurity and U.S.-based IronNet Cybersecurity Inc. revealed plans for their joint venture Cyber Analytics Centre for Excellence. The companies will enhance the capabilities of local cybersecurity talents, strengthen cyber-related threat intelligence sharing and enhance research and development efforts. The joint venture aims to equip governments and organizations with cyber security and collective defense solutions.

* Malaysian telco Telekom Malaysia is planning to sell more buildings and land banks to materialize the value of its assets, The Star reported.


* Under round four of the Australian federal government's mobile black spot program, Telstra Corp. Ltd. is investing A$23.3 million to build 131 mobile stations and smart cells to eradicate black spots and enhance coverage customers residing in regional and distant areas.


Washington Watch: FCC's Rosenworcel calls for immediate investigation into Sinclair: Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Michael O'Rielly, who has long advocated for pushing more mid-band spectrum into the marketplace to help with 5G deployment, said he does not expect the FCC to have a mid-band auction in 2019.


Technology: Erosion of DTH pay TV subscribers causes decline in satellite set-top boxes: The year 2018 ended with worldwide satellite set-top box, or STB, shipments at an estimated 120.3 million units, a 13% decline from the year prior.

Economics of TV & Film: TV shows and movies based on real-life stories becoming increasingly common: Attorneys at the UCLA Entertainment Symposium debated the pros and cons of getting life story rights when producing movies and TV shows based on real-life events.

Joji Sakurai, Emily Lai, Ed Eduardo 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.