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Chinese search engine files for US IPO; Qualcomm wants iPhone banned in China

TOP NEWS

* Sohu.com Inc.-owned online search and search-related services provider Sogou Inc. filed a registration statement with the SEC for a planned initial public offering of American depositary shares, representing Sogou's class A ordinary shares. Sogou, which intends to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SOGO, has not yet specified the number of ADSs or price range for the proposed offering.

* SoftBank Group Corp. has reached a broad agreement with Deutsche Telekom AG to merge its U.S. subsidiary Sprint Corp. with T-Mobile US Inc. to create a rival to America's top two wireless carriers, The Nikkei reports. The deal could be announced as early as this month. The merger agreement will not include any immediate asset divestitures, as both companies reportedly want to maintain most of their owned spectrum and cost synergies before regulators begin seeking concessions, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

* Qualcomm Inc. has filed lawsuits against Apple Inc. in China in a bid to block the manufacturing and sale of iPhones in the country, Bloomberg News reports. The San Diego-based chipmaker claimed Apple infringed three of its non-standard essential patents, which cover power management and a touch-screen technology called Force Touch that Apple uses in iPhones.

* Chinese film producer and distributor Bona Film Group Ltd. expects to raise 1.42 billion yuan through an IPO on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The company, whose investors include Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Tencent and Wanda, plans to use 820 million yuan to build theaters and the rest to invest in eight movies.

PAN-ASIAN NEWS

* Netflix Inc. is adding Indian and South Korean kids' originals to its programming slate, Andy Yeatman, head of Netflix's global kids' content, told The Hollywood Reporter. "Mighty Little Bheem" is set for release in India, while "Yoohoo & Friends" will air in South Korea. India, considered by Netflix as a "super priority market," will get increased investments in the development and production of original content, Erik Barmack, Netflix's vice president, International Originals, told The Economic Times (India). The streaming giant will reportedly commission four to five new original shows in the next six months.

JAPAN

* Toshiba Memory Corp. President Yasuo Naruke said at a news conference that Toshiba's flash memory unit plans to invest more than ¥300 billion a year to ramp up production, Jiji Press reports. Naruke mentioned that the annual amount may increase if new production equipment is introduced at the group's Yokkaichi plant earlier than currently planned.

* Nintendo Co. Ltd. is encouraging creators of violent video games to provide content for its Switch console as it attempts to shed the image of making family-oriented devices and compete with Sony and Microsoft to get more mature users, software developers told The Wall Street Journal.

* Japanese advertising company Dentsu Inc. said that its U.K. subsidiary Dentsu Aegis Network signed a joint venture agreement with the Moscow-based full-service media agency People & Screens. Dentsu aims to expand its business into Russia and Russian-speaking regions by capitalizing on People & Screens' key mobile capabilities.

* Apple supplier Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. will acquire a Sony Corp. plant located in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan with the aim of meeting growing demand for iPhone and other smartphone components, The Nikkei reports. Murata, plans to invest ¥30 billion to ¥40 billion including spending on new equipment to produce smartphone circuit boards, according to the report.

SOUTH KOREA

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Vice Chairman and CEO Kwon Oh-hyun will step down from the Samsung Group unit following the scandal that surrounded the company. Kwon will be resigning from the company's management board in March 2018.

* KT Corp. CEO Hwang Chang-gyu met with SpaceX Chairman Elon Musk to discuss partnership opportunities in self-driving vehicles and smart energy technology, Joongang Ilbo reports. KT and SpaceX will co-launch the Mugunghwa 5A satellite later this month in Florida, U.S.

* KT Corp. will run a virtual reality film theater at the Busan International Film Festival in cooperation with VR content provider Barunson. AT KT's VR Cinema, the audience can watch 23 VR films through VR headsets.

* The Australian Embassy in South Korea will hold a meeting on Oct. 16 with the Busan International Film Festival to discuss a joint movie production project between South Korea and Australia, Yonhap News Agency reports. The Australia-Korea Foundation, Australian Film Commission and Screen Producers Australia will attend the meeting as well.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* China Literature, Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s online publishing arm and China's largest e-book company, has completed the listing hearing for the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, TechNode reports, citing Hong Kong-based Chinese-language publication Sing Tao Daily. Analysts expect the share price to be revealed as soon as this week and the IPO to occur within the month.

* SINA Corp.'s social media unit Weibo Corp. is launching an augmented reality-enabled mobile app using Remark Holdings Inc.'s technology. The app, called SuiShouPai, which translates as "take a picture anywhere, anytime," uses 3-D facial-feature-tracking technology for its core augmented-reality feature.

* Alibaba Pictures appointed its CEO Fan Luyuan as chairman of the board to succeed Yu Yongfu. Fan, who joined Alibaba in 2007, will remain as CEO after the appointment, while Yu will remain as executive director.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Tata Teleservices plans to raise up to 200 billion Indian rupees that will be done through redeemable preference shares, non-convertible debentures in one or more tranches or through inter-corporate deposits or loans from the company promoters. A board meeting to finalize the decision is scheduled on Oct. 18.

* Flipkart is in discussions to acquire a large minority stake in Indian ticketing platform BookMyShow at a potential valuation of US$500 million to US$700 million, three people familiar with the matter told Mint.

* Apple is looking at launching Apple Pay in India at some point, Eddy Cue, senior vice-president at Apple, told Mint, but did not provide a specific date. The company is reportedly looking to partner with established players like Paytm instead of creating a new payment vehicle.

* The Cellular Operators Association of India is favoring a steep increase in international termination charges to 3.50 rupees a minute against the current 53 paise per minute, COAI Director General Rajan Mathews told Press Trust of India.

* The Supreme Court of India wants to set up a regulatory system that would make public transport authorities, including app-based ride-hailing services such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Ola, accountable for any breach of women's safety, The Asian Age reports.

* Bharti Airtel Ltd.'s direct-to-home unit Airtel Digital TV is partnering with LG Electronics India to offer its online and satellite TV content to the latter's customers until Oct. 31, Press Trust of India reports.

* More than 99% of Idea Cellular Ltd. shareholders voted in favor of the merger between Idea Cellular and Vodafone India, Press Trust of India reports, citing a regulatory filing. The telcos have reportedly sought the approval of the National Company Law Tribunal and would need to gain the approval of the Department of Telecom.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission has banned drone filming countrywide from Oct. 12 onward, Khaosod reports. A drone may still be flown on an ad hoc basis if permission is granted in advance. A violation of the rule may result in five years imprisonment or a fine of 100,000 baht or both.

* Singapore Press Holdings plans to shut down its news and digital content site AsiaOne in November, Yahoo News reports. The AsiaOne team will be re-deployed to the Straits Times Digital team.

* Social entertainment company M17 Entertainment expanded its live streaming offerings to Malaysia and Thailand, Digital News Asia reports. Earlier this year M17 introduced its live streaming platform in Taiwan, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Japan.

* South Korea's Lotte Cinema is looking to expand its cinema business to Indonesia, a Lotte Group insider told Variety. Company executives reportedly met with Indonesian government ministers and are carrying out a feasibility study on the country.

* Five Indonesian telcos have passed the selection criteria to participate in a bid to use the 2.3 GHz telecommunications frequency, Antara reports. The five companies are PT Telekomunikasi Selular, PT Hutchison 3 Indonesia, PT Indosat Tbk, PT XL Axiata Tbk, and PT Smart Telecom.

* Thailand-based telco The White Space Co. Ltd., a mobile virtual network operator of the low-cost Penguin SIM, struck a deal with state telco TOT Public Co. Ltd. to provide its 3G service on TOT's 2100 MHz band from November onward, Prachachat reports. Currently, the Penguin SIM only operates on the 850 MHz band of CAT Telecom.

* Garena Malaysia, an e-commerce and gaming technology company, partnered with Malaysian telcos DiGi, Maxis and Hotlink to offer free monthly internet for customers to play Garena's games, TechNave reports.

* Cambodia banned the film "Kingsman: The Golden Circle," alleging that the film portrays the Southeast Asian country in a negative light, Variety reports.

* Thailand's Ministry of Digital Economy and Society revealed that TOT Public Co. Ltd. has so far installed high-speed internet in 18,916 villages across the kingdom, Thairath reports. The ministry expects all 24,700 villages in the project to be covered by December of this year.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched a formal inquiry into the proposed merger of FOXTEL and FOX SPORTS Australia Pty Ltd. to consider the impact of the merger on the acquisition and supply of sports content, the supply of fixed line and mobile broadband services and the supply of telecommunications services.

* CBS Corp.'s takeover of Ten Network Holdings Ltd. looks certain after Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon passed up the chance to challenge the acquisition before an Oct. 13 court deadline, The Australian reports.

* Snap Inc. struck a multiyear deal with the Victoria Racing Club to produce Snapchat stories throughout the Melbourne Cup Carnival, The Australian Financial Review reports.

FEATURED NEWS

Conference Chatter: Indian OTT giants unfazed by original content push from Netflix, Amazon: India's leading over-the-top services, Hotstar and Voot, are unfazed by the aggressive push into local original content by the likes of Netflix and Amazon's Prime Video, executives said at the Media360 conference in Mumbai.

Data Dispatch: Major programmers, content distributors on track for YOY revenue, EPS growth: Most major media companies are expected to report year-over-year improvements in top and bottom lines, despite declining subscriber bases and a soft advertising market.

MarketWeek: TV stocks get pummeled amid Trump comments, carriage disputes, ad worries: TV stocks traded down across the industry as President Donald Trump called for the revocation of a broadcaster's license, Charter and Viacom fought for a carriage contract, and analysts expressed doubt about TV advertising growth.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: 5G, revenue repatriation and sports could alter evolution of TV: A panel of Wall Street analysts and industry executives gathered Oct. 11 at the Digital Hollywood conference in Los Angeles to discuss the future of TV.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Nicole Shiwon Kim, Frances Wang, Wil Hathaway and Kevin Osmond 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.