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ZTE seeks US$10.7B credit line; SoftBank in talks to invest more in WeWork

TOP NEWS

* ZTE Corp. is looking to secure financing reportedly worth US$10.7 billion as it tries to recover from a crippling row with U.S. regulators. According to London's Financial Times, the Chinese company applied for a US$4.7 billion credit line from Bank of China and US$6 billion from the Shenzhen branch of China Development Bank. In a bid to revamp the company's leadership, one of the conditions in ZTE's settlement deal with the U.S. Commerce Department, the telecommunications equipment maker also nominated seven new directors to its board.

* New York-based WeWork Cos. is in talks to receive a "multibillion-dollar investment" from SoftBank Group Corp., a transaction that could value the coworking giant at US$35 billion to US$40 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources. The new funding round would reportedly be led by SoftBank's technology-focused investment vehicle, SoftBank Vision Fund.

JAPAN

* Fuji Television Network Inc. is partnering with German TV broadcaster ZDF to co-produce the 10-episode football drama series "The Window," scheduled to be completed in 2019.

* NEC Corp. said that it would open an NEC DX factory in Kawasaki, Japan, where clients can experience manufacturing processes using artificial intelligence and internet of things.

* KDDI Corp. said it successfully completed a transmission test which showed that drones can take 4K videos when connected to 5G networks.

SOUTH KOREA

* South Korea's first auction for 5G spectrum will begin on June 15, with the starting price reportedly set at approximately 3.3 trillion won. Frequencies in the 3.5GHz band and 28GHz band will be auctioned off to bidders which include SK Telecom Co. Ltd., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp., according to Financial News.

* Samsung NEXT, a Samsung Group arm that invests in tech startups, announced the launch of a new venture fund aimed at developing early-stage startups in artificial intelligence technologies. The Samsung NEXT Q Fund will provide seed and Series A financing to startups solving AI problems, as well as those using AI to solve computer science problems.

* CJ E&M launched Global TVING, a global version of its over-the-top service TVING. It will offer a range of original series, including the third season of music show "Produce 101." Global TVing is available for PCs, or via Android and IOS mobile apps around the world except in China, Japan and South Korea, Rapid TV News reports.

* SK Broadband and LG Uplus will air the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches in real time on their respective streaming platforms Oksusu and U+ Video Portal, E Daily reports.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Baidu Inc. and China Mobile Ltd. announced a partnership to collaborate on artificial intelligence, 5G and big data. The two companies will work together in the areas of image recognition, voice recognition and natural language processing to leverage AI in telecommunications using Baidu's algorithms, as well as in autonomous driving, intelligent devices and connected homes. China Mobile will also offer discounted data plans for 13 Baidu products.

* IQIYI Inc. said it appointed Ctrip.com International Ltd. CEO Jane Sun as an independent director and a member of the audit committee of the company's board. The company also named Haifeng Wang, senior vice president of Baidu and general manager of Baidu's AI Group, as a new director of the board.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. added a new function on the search box of its messaging app WeChat, that allows users to shop on JD.com Inc., Technode reports.

* Chinese short video app Tik Tok will improve its privacy settings by adding functions such as account deletion, private messaging and parental control by next month. The privacy upgrade comes after concerns were raised about underage children exposing their identities on the platform, according to South China Morning Post.

* Huawei and Chinese AI startup Malong Technologies jointly launched a product recognition AI-enabled new retail solution. The product combines Huawei's ICT infrastructure solution with Malong's ProductAI visual product recognition platform.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* India's telecom department will ask for a bank guarantee amounting to a little over 21 billion Indian rupees from Idea Cellular Ltd. for one-time spectrum charges as a precondition to approve its merger with Vodafone India, a person aware of the matter told Mint.

* Reliance Jio will raise about 20 billion Indian rupees from bonds that would have a tenor of three years and will be sold on the exchange with a coupon of 8.7%, market insiders told The Economic Times. The move comes shortly after the Reserve Bank of India recently raised the policy rate.

* Bangladesh-based mobile operator Robi Axiata announced that it has deployed more than 6,000 4.5G and 4G+ base transceiver sites covering 500 subdistricts across the country.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Singapore's BIGO Technology Pte. Ltd. launched its esports viewing app Cube TV in Thailand, Prachachat reports.

* Indonesian telco Smartfren teamed up with video streaming app KLIX TV to allow its customers to watch all 64 matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup for a one-time fee of 99,000 rupiah, Kontan reports.

* Two StarHub Ltd. executives are leaving the company, Marketing Interactive reports. Chief Marketing Officer Howie Lau resigned to join the public sector, while Vice President of Brand Experience Oliver Chong will assume a marketing role at another company.

* GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. is in discussions with Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing for self-driving partnerships, KR Asia reports, citing 21jingji.

* Advanced Info Service PCL announced a smart city collaboration with Thai real estate developer Property Perfect, Samsung and Chinese bike-sharing company Mobike. Located in Bangkok, the smart city will use the Thai telco's narrow-band internet of things network to support technologies such as smart street lighting, smart security and smart transport.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australia will help finance and build an undersea communications cable to the Solomon Islands, after the latter was convinced to drop its contract with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. due to cybersecurity concerns, The Straits Times reports.

* Equinix Inc. said Vocus Group Ltd.'s Australia Singapore Cable will be accessible in its international business exchange data centers in Singapore and across six metros in Australia.

The Daily Dose will not appear on Monday due to the Tuen Ng Festival holiday in Hong Kong. The next Dose will be sent out June 19. Please visit our website for the latest news updates, or check us out at https://twitter.com/SPGMarketIntel.

FEATURED NEWS

Conference Chatter: E3 2018: Nintendo's new Switch titles draw massive crowds: Nintendo drew massive crowds at its E3 2018 booth largely due to excitement over the Switch and new titles that will be launching on the device.

AT&T to ramp up its sports holdings following Time Warner deal: Consolidation among some of the biggest players in sports rights in the U.S. is shrinking the pool of eligible bidders on future rights deals to a handful of large companies with extensive resources.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Global markets update — Australia, India, Philippines, Bolivia: Kagan published updated Global Multichannel & Broadband analysis for four markets.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai, Ed Eduard and Patrick Tibke 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.