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In This List

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Brookfield to buy Jio's tower unit; Dentsu to restructure; Viu exits India

TOP NEWS

* Reliance Industries Ltd. sealed a deal to sell the tower arm of its mobile unit Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. to Canada-based Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP for 252.15 billion Indian rupees. The companies entered into binding agreements for Brookfield and its institutional partners to acquire 100% of the equity in Reliance Jio Infratel Pvt. Ltd., which operates about 130,000 towers.

* Dentsu Inc. will lay off approximately 11% of its employees in seven markets under a restructuring of its underperforming international businesses, which led the Japanese company to lower its earnings forecast for the fiscal year ending Dec. 31. The company set its revised net profit outlook at ¥6.2 billion, down from the ¥35.8 billion announced in August. The restructuring will affect Dentsu's operations in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Singapore and the U.K.

* Viu, a video streaming service owned by Hong Kong's PCCW Media Ltd., is shutting down its India operations amid intense competition in the country's overcrowded streaming market, The Economic Times (India) reports. A company executive said the decision was due to the heavy investments needed to operate in the South Asian country. Arun Prakash, chief strategy officer of Viu, said the company would rather invest in other Asian markets where they are among the top five players. All Viu India employees will be handed out a three-month severance package.

JAPAN

* KDDI Corp. and convenience store operator Lawson Inc. formed a business and capital alliance to promote smartphone payments and combine their customer loyalty point programs. KDDI, which operates the 'au' Wallet point service, will acquire 2.1% of Lawson shares and take a 20% stake in Loyalty Marketing Inc., the company running Lawson's Ponta point program.

* NTT Docomo Ventures Inc. invested an undisclosed sum in Trend Express, which provides Japanese companies with marketing support for the Chinese market. Under the tie-up, the services of Trend Express and NTT Group will be linked. The two companies will also jointly create new services.

SOUTH KOREA

* Netflix Inc. will premiere its Korean original series "My Holo Love" on Feb. 7, 2020. The love triangle drama will be released globally.

* Kt M mobile Corp., the mobile virtual network operator subsidiary of KT Corp., launched two new 5G data plans that do not require a set contract period, ZDNet Korea reports. The plans offer 8GB of 5G data for 55,000 won and 200GB of 5G data for 77,000 won, respectively.

GREATER CHINA (MAINLAND CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN MARKETS)

* Wu Ken, the Chinese ambassador in Berlin, said there would be consequences if Germany decides to exclude Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. as a 5G equipment supplier, Bloomberg News reports. Wu told an event hosted by the Handelsblatt newspaper that the company was under no obligation to hand over data to Beijing authorities and reminded the importance of the Chinese market to Germany's car industry.

* Lenovo Group Ltd. founder Liu Chuanzhi plans to step down as company chairman, according to LatePost. Liu will reportedly announce his retirement this week.

* Hong Kong's Television Broadcasts Ltd. will lay off 10% of its workforce amid heavy losses, Apple Daily reports. TVB Chairman Chan Kwok-keung is expected to step down in January 2020 and divest all his shareholding in the company.

* Meng Wei, formerly the managing director of China International Capital Corp. Ltd., joined Shanghai-based game developer Giant Interactive Group Inc. as CFO, Tencent News reports.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. introduced a new social app called Deng Yu, which allows users to share posts and comments without disclosing their identities, Sina reports. This is the fifth social app Tencent has launched this year, and the company's first venture into anonymous apps.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Vodafone Idea Ltd. and Bharti Airtel Ltd. employees are seeking jobs elsewhere as their employers grapple with massive losses and statutory dues, recruiters told The Economic Times (India). Employees are unsure of their future in the companies, a reason why they are looking for other opportunities.

* Indian digital education platform Embibe purchased 90.5% equity shares in local education technology company Funtoot for a cash consideration of 716 million Indian rupees. Subject to Funtoot achieving agreed milestones, Embibe plans to fully acquire Funtoot by purchasing additional equity shares worth up to 100 million rupees.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* English-language newspaper operator Bangkok Post PCL said its board approved the sale of several company assets, including its printing plant, distribution center, office building and the leaseback of the office building. Proceeds from the sale will be used to improve the company's cash flow. The assets are estimated to be worth up to 1.68 billion baht, according to Brand Inside.

* Singtel appointed Lee Theng Kiat as a nonexecutive director of the board and chairman designate effective Jan. 15, 2020. Lee currently is chairman of Temasek International (Europe) Ltd. and is concurrently the executive director of Singtel's parent company, Temasek Holdings (Pte.) Ltd.

* Sleek, a Singaporean cloud-based corporate service provider, raised US$5 million in an extended seed round co-led by an Asia-focused private investment company. The financing, led by private investors Pierre Lorinet and Fabio Blom, will help the company expand its tech team and build new features for clients.

* Thailand's Broadcasting and Telecommunications Research and Development Fund for the Public Interest announced a budget of 300 million baht to support public projects, according to The Reporter Asia.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* EBay Inc.-owned classifieds ads operator GumTree.com Ltd. is in talks to acquire Australian automotive online marketplaces Carsguide and Autotrader for less than A$100 million, The Australian Financial Review reports, citing sources.

FEATURED NEWS

Data Dispatch Asia-Pacific: SoftBank Vision Fund valuation drops, Asia investments dip: Following the failed IPO of WeWork, the Japanese conglomerate saw the fair value of its fund drop in the quarter to September, data from S&P Global Market Intelligence showed.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Advertising: Media Trends: Kagan presents its annual look at trends in media, including a focus on patterns in consumer spending on entertainment and other related services.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai, Ed Eduard and Wil Hathaway contributed to this report.

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