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Bharti Airtel unit plans US$1B London IPO; Sony revives Zee deal

TOP NEWS

* Airtel Africa Ltd. is planning to list on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in an effort to broaden its data and mobile money services across the African continent, Reuters reported. The telco, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Ltd., is reportedly planning to raise US$1 billion in a June equity offering. Airtel Africa is also looking to sell 25% of new shares in order to decrease its existing debts.

* Japan's Sony Corp. has reinitiated talks with Essel Group to buy a majority stake in Indian media company Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., CNBC-TV18 reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. In April, a potential deal between Zee Entertainment and Sony was scrapped due to differences in valuation.

* A Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. spokesperson said the company will not launch its own mobile operating system in June, calling speculation about such a launch an "internet rumor." The comment follows a May 28 news report by TechRadar that quoted Alaa Elshimy, managing director and vice president of Huawei Enterprise Business Group for the Middle East, as saying a Huawei-developed OS in development since early 2018 would launch "next month."

JAPAN

* Snap Inc. is holding talks with major music labels such as Sony Music Entertainment Inc. to let users add music to their posts on the Snapchat app, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.

* KDDI Corp. will increase its shareholding in its insurance arm au Insurance Co. Ltd. to 51% from 33.4%, making it a consolidated subsidiary, effective July 2. According to Sankei Biz, the move means KDDI is seeking to make financial services a new source of revenue.

* Sharp Corp. Chairman Tai Jeng-wu said the company is considering relocating the manufacturing of its laptops and other U.S.-bound products out of China in response to the latest tariff threats, The Asahi Shimbun reported.

* Deepcore Inc., the early-stage venture capital arm of SoftBank Group Corp., will set up a second fund in two to three years to invest in artificial intelligence startups, Bloomberg News reported.

SOUTH KOREA

* The chairman of the Korea Communications Commission requested the presidents of the country's top three broadcasting stations to comply with the 52-hour work week regulation, which will take effect in July for broadcasters, ZDNet Korea reported.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* The Cyber Administration of China ordered 14 short video platforms and four video streaming platforms to launch anti-addiction systems before June 1, TechNode reported. SINA Corp.'s Weibo, Beijing ByteDance Technologies Co. Ltd.'s Xigua Video and Bilibili Inc. are among the 14 short video platforms, while Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s Tencent Video, iQiyi Inc., Youku Tudou Inc. and PPTV are the four streaming platforms. Following its implementation, the anti-addiction system will limit the time underage users can spend in these apps and the content they can access, while users under 18 will be limited to educational videos.

* Huawei is assessing its partnership with FedEx Corp. after it accused the U.S. package delivery company of diverting two packages to the U.S. that were destined for Huawei addresses in Asia, Reuters reported, citing a Huawei spokesperson. The Chinese technology company cited images of FedEx tracking records to back up its claim.

* In other Huawei news, the telecom-equipment supplier is among the five companies that secured a license to test connected cars in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, AM810 reported.

* Qualcomm Technologies Inc. and Lenovo Group Ltd. teamed up to unveil "Project Limitless," a 5G PC powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx 5G compute platform. The platform also supports 4G connectivity.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* India-based animation company Toonz Media Group expanded its presence in Europe by purchasing a majority stake in Irish kids content producer Telegael Media Group, Variety reported. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

* Netflix Inc. named Monika Shergill head of series, international originals, for its Indian operations, The Economic Times (India) reported. Previously, Shergill was head of content for Viacom 18 Media Pvt. Ltd Digital Ventures' over-the-top service Voot.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Taiwan-based Pegatron Corp. signed a letter of intent with Indonesian electronics company PT Sat Nusapersada Tbk to invest up to 15 trillion rupiah to assemble chips for Apple Inc. smartphones, Reuters reported.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will provide free broadband internet access to low-income households for three years from July 1, Matichon reported.

* Singapore-based M1 Ltd. replaced its existing 19 mobile plans with one base plan to refine its mobile offerings. The initiative aims to offer more flexibility to customers by allowing them to personalize their subscriptions.

* Bangkok-based RMI Global Ventures and China-based Kingsoft Corp. have launched the ThaiWPS office software in Thailand, Prachachat reported. The developers have promised Microsoft Corp.-like user interfaces but a cheaper price tag to cater to local small and medium-sized enterprises.

* Indonesia's PT Telekomunikasi Selular tapped Dublin-based Openet to develop digital mobile services for the company. Under the tie-up, Telkomsel will utilize Openet's digital business platform to enhance its service offerings.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* News Corp Australia Pty. Ltd. is launching a new digital site called The Canberra Star, which will focus on Canberra news, issues and views, ABC reported. The launch comes a few weeks after local newspaper The Canberra Times was acquired by former Domain Holdings Australia Ltd. CEO Antony Catalano and Thorney Investment Group Australia Pty. Ltd.

* Uniti Wireless Ltd. announced the completion of an oversubscribed capital raising of A$15 million via placement of 15 million new ordinary fully paid shares at A$1 apiece to institutional and private shareholders.

FEATURED NEWS

Debate intensifying over best way to measure the gender pay gap: There is a growing question around how the gender pay gap should be defined. U.S. companies have thus far reported adjusted figures to account for differences in education and title, but there is a growing push for unadjusted median pay gap numbers.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Global markets update — Oman: Kagan has recently updated Global Multichannel and Broadband analyses for the Middle Eastern country Oman, as well as analyses for related operators.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Hyegyu Park, 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.