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Huawei in 5G licensing talks; SoftBank's WeWork rescue; China Unicom fund

TOP NEWS

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is in early-stage discussions to license its 5G network technology to some U.S. telecom providers, Vincent Pang, senior vice president and director at the Chinese company, told Reuters. The telecom equipment provider received interest in both a long-term partnership or a one-off transfer, although it would still be "a long journey" before any transaction is finalized, Pang reportedly said.

* WeWork Cos. Inc. shareholder SoftBank Group Corp. is working on a financing package for the coworking giant that could value the company at less than US$8 billion, a substantial drop from the US$47 billion valuation reported earlier in 2019, Bloomberg News reports, citing people with knowledge of the financing talks.

* China Unicom is setting up a 10 billion yuan fund to provide financial support to the video production, smart homes and smart devices industries, Sina reports. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Baidu Inc. and Huawei are some of the companies who have pledged to join the fund.

JAPAN

* NEC Corp. and Sumitomo Corp. signed a ¥20 billion contract to develop a satellite for Vietnam that will help predict severe weather and survey the resulting damage, The Nikkei reports. The Vietnamese government plans to launch the earth observation satellite in 2023.

* WarnerMedia LLC's HBO Max struck a licensing agreement with Studio Ghibli to add the Japanese animation house's titles to its platform, with HBO Max to become the U.S. streaming home to the entire Studio Ghibli film library, Advanced Television reports. Studio Ghibli titles to be offered on HBO Max's 2020 launch include "Spirited Away," "My Neighbor Totoro," "Princess Mononoke" and "Howl's Moving Castle."

* Tokyo-based digital marketing service company toBe Marketing Co. Ltd. raised about ¥570 million through a private equity placement with investors including NTT Docomo Ventures Inc., Hakuhodo DY Future Design Fund and Salesforce Ventures.

SOUTH KOREA

* LG U+ selected Ericsson as a 5G radio access network vendor. Ericsson will supply services for LG U+'s 3.5 GHz non-stand-alone 5G network.

* In more LG U+ news, the mobile carrier formed a strategic partnership with China Telecom Corp. Ltd. to cooperate on 5G businesses, ZDNet Korea reports. The companies will co-produce augmented reality and virtual reality content, develop 5G service solutions and technologies, and work on cloud games and other services.

* Korea Investment Holdings Co. Ltd. plans to reduce its stake in KakaoBank of Korea Corp. to below 5% from 50% in compliance with local financial regulations, Yonhap News Agency reports. Korea Investment Holdings plans to sell its 29% ownership in the digital bank to wholly owned unit Korea Investment Value Asset Management Co. Ltd. The company also plans to sell another 16% stake to Kakao Corp., which owns 18% of KakaoBank.

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

* Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook met the chief of China's market regulator one week after the iPhone maker pulled HKmap.live, an app that helped Hong Kong protesters track police movements, from its App Store. According to Reuters, China's State Administration for Market Regulation Chief Xiao Yaqing and Cook discussed topics including Apple expanding its investment in China, consumer rights protection and fulfilling corporate social responsibility.

* Chinese online game developer Changyou.com Ltd. formed a special committee to review and evaluate a nonbinding proposal from its parent company Sohu.com Ltd. to fully acquire Changyou.com. The committee consists of independent directors Xiao Chen and Charles Chan.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. on Oct. 18 officially opened its first flagship experience store in Shanghai, one of the largest of its kind in Asia, The Paper reports. The store displays the smartphone maker's full range of mobile products, with a space for 5G technology demonstrations.

* Speaking at the World Internet Conference, Xiaomi Corp. founder Lei Jun said the company plans to launch more than 10 5G smartphones in 2020, with models meant for the high, middle and low-end price tiers, Tencent News reports.

* TCL Corp. will issue 2 billion yuan of corporate bonds before the end of 2019 as the first tranche of its 9 billion yuan plan of issuance. The notes will bear an annual interest of 4.2%.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* India is considering censoring streaming platforms such as Netflix Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.' Prime Video over complaints that the services offer shows with obscene content or that which disrespects religious beliefs, a senior government official told Reuters. Though it is possible the government will decide against any regulation, several other options are being explored, which include a self-regulation code without government interference, a government-monitored code or measures requiring platforms to obtain content approval in advance.

* Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd.-owned video app TikTok appointed Nikhil Gandhi as head of its India operations, Television Post reports. Gandhi joins TikTok from Indian broadcaster Times Network, where he served as president and COO.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* The Indonesian government issued a new regulation aimed at blocking illegal smartphone imports, Jakarta Globe reports. The new regulation, which takes effect on April 2020, will require all handsets to have a unique 15-digit international mobile equipment identity, or IMEI, registered to a government database. Under the directive, local mobile operators will deny service to all devices not registered with the government database.

* Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. will cut 5% of its media division's staff by November-end as part of a restructuring, Today Online reports. Around 130 employees will be affected due to the restructuring, of which about 70 will be retrenched. The lay-offs include non-contract renewals and retirements.

* Netflix is collaborating with Philippines-based Globe Studios to bring "Dead Kids" exclusively to the streaming service. The film is a story based on true events that touches on friendship, coming-of-age, thriller and crime. "Dead Kids" is set to premiere on Netflix later this year.

* First Media, the pay TV service of Indonesian internet provider PT Link Net Tbk, launched three new sports channels as part of its offering, Tribun reports. First Football Pack will allow users to watch sporting events such as UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

* Thailand-based telco Advanced Info Service PCL entered a partnership with Facebook Inc. unit Facebook Gaming, Manager Online reports. In the initial stages of the tie-up, AIS will offer promotions that will boost traffic to the Facebook Gaming platform.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Seven West Media Ltd. agreed to sell its Pacific Magazines business to Bauer Media Pty. Ltd. for a cash consideration of A$40 million. Subject to the approval of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

* New Zealand-based Mediaworks Holdings Ltd. is pursuing a sale of its TV business Mediaworks TV Ltd. A sale would include the Three channel and the Flower Street property hosting MediaWorks TV's head office and studios, with a buyer getting a lease-back option to continue TV operations in the location. MediaWorks Chairman Jack Matthews said tough competition among free-to-air TV operators, "alongside the structural hindrances we operate under," negatively impacted the company's TV business.

* Morningstar Australasia Pty Ltd., an Australian subsidiary of Morningstar Inc., acquired Cuffelinks, a privately owned publisher of investment commentary. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

* Spark New Zealand Ltd. promoted Stefan Knight to company CFO, effective March 1, 2020. Currently serving as finance lead partner, Knight has been with the company since 2003. The telco also named Leela Gantman as replacement for outgoing corporate relations director Andrew Pirie. Gantman, who was most recently external relations director for beverage company Lion in Australia, will begin in her new role at Spark in January 2020.

FEATURED NEWS

Data Dispatch: 'Mistress of Evil' looks to hex 'Joker' in box office debut: The Oct. 18 weekend saw two sequels challenge the box office dominance of Warner Bros.' "Joker," with forecasters expecting Disney's "Maleficent" to be the fairest of them all.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Philippines TV market adapting in the face of ad declines: Lower ad placements have impacted the Philippines' leading general entertainment terrestrial networks since 2016, eroding advertising revenues on traditional TV platforms.

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.