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Playstation Vue's potential sale; Nokia pullback in China; TikTok review request


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

Playstation Vue's potential sale; Nokia pullback in China; TikTok review request


* Sony Corp. is considering a sale of its streaming service Playstation Vue, The Information reports, citing people familiar with the situation. A sale of the service would include the company's technology and a subscriber list of about 500,000 households, sources said, adding that Sony selected Bank of America Merrill Lynch several months ago to explore the sale.

* Nokia Corp. executives said the company is weighing a pullback from bidding on 5G contracts in China amid intense competition that is driving down profit margins for the region. Speaking on an Oct. 24 earnings call, CEO Rajeev Suri said it would take years for 5G contracts in China to reach profitability. Given that time frame, the company may opt not to bid on certain contracts.

* Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., sent a letter to acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, urging him to assess the national security risks posed by TikTok and other China-based content platforms operating in the U.S. The duo expressed concern regarding Chinese companies being compelled to support and cooperate with intelligence work controlled by China's Communist Party.

* SoftBank Group Corp.'s decision to invest approximately US$9.5 billion in WeWork Cos. Inc. could make sticking to its US$38 billion Vision Fund 2 pledge much harder, analysts said.


* SoftBank Group will seek the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. for its US$9.5 billion funding package to take over cash-strapped coworking space provider WeWork, Bloomberg News reports, citing a person familiar with the matter.

* Rakuten Inc. has been hit with support requests from users unable to connect to its network in the first few weeks of its wireless service trial, the Nikkei Asian Review reports. Of the over 4,500 customers who received SIM cards as of Oct. 22, nearly 20% have yet to connect, the company said.

* OPTIMIND Inc., a Nagoya-based artificial intelligence startup, raised approximately ¥1 billion through a private placement with investors including KDDI Corp.'s KDDI Open Innovation Fund 3 and Toyota Motor Corp.


* South Korea's Ministry of Science and ICT plans to invest 13.3 billion won to localize telecommunications network equipment and device components, Yonhap News Agency reports. The ministry will select 10 components heavily dependent on overseas supply and provide small- and medium-sized companies with the necessary support to produce the imported components locally.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding with Bosch Rexroth Korea Ltd. to cooperate on developing industrial internet of things solutions and conducting data analytics business, Digital Daily reports. The carrier will provide telecom networks and data analytics platform while the engineering company will contribute its precision sensor and internet of things gateway capabilities.


* Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. acquired a 30-hectare land in Hsinchu Industrial City to set up its 3nm fabrication facility, C114 reports.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. launched its foldable 5G handset, Mate X, with a price tag of 16,999 yuan in mainland China. According to the South China Morning Post, the company will begin selling the new smartphone Nov. 15 via Huawei's e-commerce platform amid limited initial supplies. A spokesperson said the company has yet to finalize plans to sell Mate X in overseas markets.

* Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd.'s short video app Douyin is set to introduce Douchang, a karaoke mini-program that will allow users to sing along with music influencers on the platform through prerecorded music videos, KrASIA reports.

* Intel Corp. teamed up with Beijing-based cloud services provider Alauda and DHC Software Co. Ltd. for a strategic cooperation framework to develop smart businesses, Techweb reports. The alliance will leverage the partners' experience in cloud computing and cloud native technologies to enhance the convergence between hardware and software applications.


* India's Supreme Court ruled in favor of the government on the adjusted gross revenue case, or AGR. The apex court sided with the government stating all revenue from telecom companies will be used for calculating the AGR and rejected the argument of mobile carriers that the AGR should only include license and spectrum fees. Following the court's decision, shares of Vodafone Idea Ltd. and Bharti Airtel Ltd. fell in afternoon trade, according to The Economic Times (India).

* The proposed merger of Bharti Infratel Ltd. and Indus Towers Ltd. is now uncertain as some shareholders of Indus Towers are reluctant to extend the deal's closing date, The Economic Times (India) reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Indus shareholders Vodafone Group PLC and Vodafone Idea will only agree to the extension if the pricing mechanism is revised to safeguard the proceeds Vodafone Idea expects to receive on a possible exit. Bharti Infratel earlier said it will not be able to complete its merger with Indus by the Oct. 24 deadline due to pending government approvals.


* Netflix Inc. launched a new mobile plan in Malaysia that will allow users to access the streaming platform for 17 ringgit a month. The new pricing plan limits Netflix access to only one mobile device at a time, in standard definition quality.

* Andre Soelistyo, co-CEO of ride-hailing app PT Go-Jek Indonesia, said the company will likely go for a dual listing, with Indonesia as its primary destination, DealStreetAsia reports. However, the company has no immediate plans to be listed.

* LINE Corp.'s LINE TV revealed that its platform has reached 40 million viewers in Thailand, Brand Inside reports. The company is currently preparing to launch the LINE TV app on Android TV and Apple TV.

* Huawei partnered with Thai telco TrueMove H to sell the limited edition smartphone Huawei Y5 2019 exclusively at 7-Eleven convenience stores across Thailand, What Phone reports.


* New Zealand's Commerce Commission released a draft decision on how much telecom providers will pay toward the government's NZ$50 million Telecommunications Development Levy for 2018/19. The commission decided that Spark New Zealand Ltd., Vodafone NZ, Chorus Ltd. and 2degrees Ltd. will collectively pay over 90% of the tariff. The government uses the annual levy to pay for telecom infrastructure and services not commercially viable, including relay service for the hearing-impaired and broadband for rural areas. The commission expects to release its final decision in December.

* Australian Broadcasting Corp. Managing Director David Anderson confirmed that the company will reduce its staff due to the government freeze on the national broadcaster's budget. Under questioning about the impact of the budget suspension, Anderson told a Senate hearing that the freeze would result in job losses but did not give details as to how many will be affected by the job cuts.


Data Dispatch: Cable analysts see Q3 margins expanding as US broadband subs grow: Analysts also project that large U.S. cable operators will continue to experience the trend of shedding video subscribers.


Broadcast Investor: Broadcast deal market September — Almost nothing to report: September registered the lowest broadcast deal volume since December 2016.


Twitter's stock tumbles after Q3 miss driven by technical issues: Twitter CFO Ned Segal said an ad platform issue reduced revenue growth by three or more percentage points in the third quarter and could reduce growth by four or more percentage points in the fourth quarter.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai, Ed Eduard 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.