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Facebook's China ad sales push; Sony channels sale; Tencent's gaming investment

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MediaTalk | Season 2
Ep.1: Broadcast's Big Year


Global M&A by the Numbers Q4 2023

Facebook's China ad sales push; Sony channels sale; Tencent's gaming investment


* Facebook Inc. is forming an engineering team in Singapore that will focus on creating ad-buying tools for the Chinese market, Reuters reports, citing three sources. Confirming the news to Reuters, Facebook said the new team will include product and "business integrity" sub-teams. The team is intended to serve customers in Asia and global advertisers.

* Sony Corp. agreed to sell its three entertainment channels to former Sony Pictures Television Inc. executives Andy Kaplan and George Chien, Variety reports. The channels included in the transaction are Sony's AXN-branded channels in Southeast Asia, Animax and South Korea's Sony One entertainment channel. Kaplan and Chien will operate the channels under KC Global Media, a company that the executives launched.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. invested an undisclosed amount in Japanese game developer PlatinumGames. The company, known for titles such as Astral Chain and Babylon's Fall, will use the funding to expand from game development into self-publishing. PlatinumGames said it hopes the partnership with Tencent will allow it to gain a wider global perspective.


* NTT Docomo Inc. and NTT DATA Corp. announced a partnership to develop artificial intelligence-powered solutions that automate telephone operations. The Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. units plan to offer the solutions from April.

* In other NTT Docomo news, the wireless carrier will work with Deutsche Telekom AG-owned edge computing company MobiledgeX Inc. to carry out a proof of concept in Tokyo that will demonstrate a solution that uses multi-access edge computing for global delivery of applications.


* LG Electronics Inc. and Switzerland-based software company Luxoft Holding Inc. will establish a joint venture in Santa Clara, Calif., in the first half of 2020, ZDNet Korea reports. The joint venture will develop digital cockpit and rear-seat entertainment systems based on LG's webOS Auto platform.


* Tencent Holdings and China Unionpay Co. Ltd. agreed to collaborate on integrating the QR code systems in their mobile payment platforms to allow their respective customers to transfer or spend money using the same scan code, Caixin reports, citing sources familiar with the matter.

* TikTok updated its guidelines to give users more transparency and clarity on the platform's code of conduct and restrictions. The app said it would remove misinformation that could cause harm to an individual's health or wider public safety, as well as content distributed by disinformation campaigns. According to Reuters, TikTok's previous rules on misleading content appeared to focus mostly on scams, barring users from creating fake identities and posting false information to make money, but did not mention misinformation or disinformation campaigns.

* Megvii Technology Co. Ltd. plans to launch its Hong Kong IPO during the first week after the Lunar New Year, with an aim to raise US$500 million, Tencent News reports. The Beijing-based facial recognition startup is still on the U.S. government's Entity List.

* Baidu Inc. updated the structure of its artificial intelligence business, according to NetEase News. The new AI group is still led by technology chief Wang Haifeng and has increased focus on areas including internet of things, video streaming and mapping.

* NetEase Inc. launched its online digital game store called Fever Games, TechNode reports. Fever Games said it would focus on offering Chinese players imported single-player and multiplayer PC titles at "more competitive prices."


* India plans to tweak proposed regulations for monitoring digital content in a way that the measures apply only to major social media companies, Reuters reports, citing two government sources. The original proposal would have forced all tech players to deploy automated tools to check for unlawful content and to appoint an officer for round-the-clock coordination with law enforcement.

* Eros Now, an over-the-top South Asian entertainment platform owned by Eros International PLC, entered into a content partnership with Eurostar Group, a United Arab Emirates-based digital retail company. The partnership allows users from the Indian sub-continent and locals across Gulf Cooperation Council countries to access Eros Now's content library.

* India's 5G field trials are seeing further delays as private telecom players Bharti Airtel Ltd., Vodafone Idea Ltd. and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. want more time beyond the Jan. 10 deadline to submit their respective proposals, a senior executive told The Economic Times (India).

* Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd.'s video-on-demand service SonyLIV appointed Manish Aggarwal as head of growth and monetization of its digital business. Before joining the company, Aggarwal was principal cluster head of advertising sales in Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.


* M1 Ltd. struck an agreement with the Singapore Institute of Technology to jointly research and develop advanced artificial intelligence deep learning algorithms and methodology to improve the planning, operations and maintenance of large and complex mobile networks.

* Malaysian telco Maxis Bhd. recorded 2.96 Gbps single-user peak speeds from its C-band spectrum trial. The test was part of the 5G Malaysia Demonstration Projects that aim to facilitate, develop and foster 5G use cases in a live but controlled environment.

* Telekom Malaysia completed a stand-alone dedicated 5G network test on both C-band and 700 MHz spectrum simultaneously on a converged 5G core network, The Edge Markets reports.

* Thailand-based broadcaster MCOT PCL is branching out into podcasts and other digital platforms to generate more revenue from new business lines, The Standard reports. The company's main businesses are TV and radio.


* Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd. said a small part of its network in southeastern Australia has been "adversely affected" by the bushfires, but the company was able to top up generators and bring in satellite base stations to provide communication in the affected areas. The telco also activated a range of initiatives for customers, firefighting volunteers and staff, which include a dedicated customer hotline and financial assistance policy.

* Sprint Corp. is partnering with Telstra Corp. Ltd. to launch its Curiosity internet of things platform in Australia during the first half of 2020.


Iran may test US corporate cyber defenses as nation braces for retaliation: An Iranian cyberattack is seen as high on the list of possible threats from Tehran after the U.S. assassinated Iranian military chief Qassem Soleimani in Iraq on Jan. 3. "The first and most likely target is data," said one cybersecurity researcher.


Global Multichannel: Australian fiber set for long-term gains: Since overtaking DSL as the dominant fixed broadband platform in Australia, NBN-led fiber deployments are continuing to reach more households across the market and gaining increased shares.

Joji Sakurai, Hyegyu Park, Frances Wang, Kevin Osmond and Wil Hathaway contributed to this report.

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