* Twitter Inc. said a malicious code was inserted into its app by a "bad actor that could have compromised several Android users' information worldwide, including in India," Mint reported. The social media company recommended users to update to the latest version of the app for Android since the issue reportedly did not impact "Twitter for iOS."
* The Trump administration's reported plans to restrict non-U.S. companies from supplying Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. would impact the Chinese company's production capacity and equipment quality if implemented. While the government has not confirmed discussions about extending the supply ban to include foreign-made shipments that use more than 25% of U.S. technology, analysts at Jefferies Equity Research wrote in a Dec. 1 report that this threshold is "highly controversial" as it would be difficult to determine which products it covers.
* Mitsubishi Corp. and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. are jointly acquiring a 30% ownership stake in Dutch digital mapping company, HERE Technologies. The companies will co-invest in HERE via their new jointly owned holding company, COCO Tech Holding BV, in the Netherlands. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020.
* The U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice's antitrust division said in a court filing that blocking the T-Mobile US Inc. merger with SoftBank Group Corp.'s Sprint Corp. will harm consumers, Bloomberg News reported. A multistate lawsuit by 13 state attorneys general plus Washington, D.C. alleges the deal would harm innovation and lead to higher prices for consumers.
* The board of NTT's mobile unit, NTT Docomo Inc., approved the company's plan to acquire the shares it did not already own in docomo Healthcare Inc. from Omron Healthcare Co. Ltd. The operator would make the share purchase Jan. 28, 2020. NTT intends to absorb docomo Healthcare as a wholly owned unit through a simplified merger, effective April 1, 2020. The transaction's details were not disclosed.
* NTT Docomo completed trials in Thailand and Singapore to expand the global adoption of Japanese mobile network equipment for 5G communications and advanced network services. The company carried out the trials in partnerships with Denki Kogyo Co. Ltd. and Advanced Info Service PCL in Thailand and AGC Inc. and StarHub Ltd. in Singapore.
* Rakuten Inc. launched Rakuten Ready, its mobile ordering and payment service in Japan. Rakuten said the new service will allow companies to integrate preordering and payment services compatible with Rakuten ID on their websites and mobile apps.
* LG U+ agreed to sell its payment gateway business to fintech firm Viva Republica Co. Ltd. in a deal valued at about 365 billion South Korean won, The Korea Herald reported. Under terms of the agreement, the company will first spin off its payment gateway business and sell its entire stake in the unit to Viva Republica by the first half of 2020.
* The Ministry of Science and ICT in South Korea will improve network interconnection practices, Digital Daily reported. The regulator will also revise its policy by the end of December. Interconnection charges will continue to be based on traffic, but the Ministry will expand the range that does not incur charges among KT Corp., SK Broadband and LG U+ to alleviate the cost burden.
* In other Ministry of Science and ICT news, the ministry will establish a science technology cooperation hub in Stockholm, Sweden, in the second half of 2020 to strengthen collaboration with Nordic countries, E Daily reported. The government will also work on designing and developing joint research programs to explore the global market.
* Joh Sung-wook, the chairperson of the South Korean Fair Trade Commission, said that the regulator will probe anti-competitive behavior among semiconductor manufacturers, Newsis reported.
GREATER CHINA (MAINLAND CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN MARKETS)
* The board of DouYu International Holdings Ltd. authorized a share repurchase program under which the company may repurchase up to US$100 million of its ordinary shares in the form of American depositary shares during a period of up to 12 months, beginning Dec. 20.
* Huawei expects its smartphone shipments in 2019 to hit 230 million units in total, GSMArena reported, citing Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group. Huawei in October reportedly said it had shipped 200 million units despite missed sales owing to the U.S. ban.
* China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. and Huawei agreed to cooperate on virtual reality technology and services, Sina reported. As part of the partnership, Huawei’s VR headset "VR Glass" will reportedly be available for purchase at Unicom business halls.
* The Cyberspace Administration of China issued a new regulation aimed at cyberbullying, deepfaking, as well as "human flesh searches." The regulator said content and service platforms should improve the systems of user registration and account management, while content providers should avoid producing, copying or publishing gossips and scandals.
* The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television of China approved a new batch of 53 games for distribution.
* Lenovo Group Ltd. reached a partnership with Tianjin Tianbao Infrastructure Co. Ltd. to build a 1.8 billion yuan innovation park.
INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA
* Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. rolled out its VoWi-Fi service to users in three telecom circles in Kerala, Maharashtra and Kolkata, TelecomTalk.com reported. The service reportedly works on any broadband operator.
* Facebook Inc. shut down two unconnected networks of accounts, pages and groups for engaging in "foreign and government interference" on its platform and on Instagram LLC's photo and video-sharing social networking service. Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook's head of cybersecurity policy, said in a Dec. 20 blog post that the social media company removed 610 accounts, 89 Facebook pages, 156 groups and 72 Instagram accounts that originated in Vietnam and the U.S.
* Indonesian telecommunications company PT Indosat Tbk completed the sale of 2,100 telecommunications towers to PT. Dayamitra Telekomunikasi, a subsidiary of state-owned operator Telkom Indonesia, CNBC Indonesia reported. Indosat earlier sold 1,000 towers to PT Profesional Telekomunikasi Indonesia.
* The Indonesian ministry of communications and informatics will eradicate violations of intellectual property rights in 2020, and act against the streaming services of pirated films, CNN Indonesia reported.
* Thai state-owned telco CAT Telecom PCL renewed its interest in taking part in next year's 5G auction, despite opposition from private telecommunications companies, Matichon reported. CAT Telecom said it also plans to write to the regulator to oppose removing the 700 MHz band from the auction.
* Thai state-owned telco TOT PCL is seeking applications for a new president to succeed Monchai Noosong, who stepped down in November, Prachachat reported.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Pacific Equity Partners made a conditional, nonbinding offer to fully acquire Australia-based media and entertainment company Village Roadshow Ltd. for A$3.90 per ordinary share. The offer is worth about A$618.5 million, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data. Crimson Bidco Pty. Ltd., an associate of the private equity firm, and Village Roadshow's biggest shareholder Village Roadshow Corp. Pty. Ltd. also agreed on a call option covering about 37.1 million shares, or a 19% stake in Village Roadshow.
Data Dispatch: Disney's 2019 profits go sky-high with latest 'Star Wars': After scoring six movies that exceeded $1 billion at the worldwide box office, Disney is set to cap its record year with "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker."
Economics of Advertising: Broadcast network delivery shows slight increase in October: This analysis of Nielsen's 24-hour C3 household delivery data includes schedule breakouts by broadcast network.
Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai, Ed Eduard and Patrick Tibke contributed to this report.
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