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Vodafone India, Idea conclude merger; Renesas mulls buying US chipmaker IDT


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Vodafone India, Idea conclude merger; Renesas mulls buying US chipmaker IDT


* Vodafone Group PLC said the merger of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular Ltd. is complete. A combined new entity, Vodafone Idea Ltd., will stay listed on Indian stock exchanges and brings together almost 408 million customers. The new entity is expected to topple Bharti Airtel Ltd. as India's top mobile carrier.

* Renesas Electronics Corp. confirmed that it is considering an acquisition of U.S. semiconductor manufacturer Integrated Device Technology Inc. as part of an expansion effort. Nikkei Asian Review reported that the Japanese chipmaker and IDT are in negotiations on a deal that could be worth more than US$6 billion.


* Rakuten Inc. agreed to acquire the entire stake in Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange everybody's bitcoin Inc. for a consideration of ¥265 million. Rakuten will acquire 5,100 shares of everybody's bitcoin through its subsidiary, Rakuten Card Co. Ltd. The group will acquire the shares from the exchange's parent company, Traders Investment Inc.

* LINE Corp. launched LINK, its own cryptocurrency that will be available on its digital asset exchange BITBOX in September. The company also created LINK Chain, a blockchain network that allows seamless integration of decentralized cryptocurrency apps.

* Innovation Network Corp. of Japan, a government-backed tech investment fund, collected ¥769.4 billion in the nine years since its 2009 launch, which is 2.4 times more than the amount it invested, Jiji Press reports. INCJ intends to invest about ¥1.1 trillion by the time it ends operations in March 2025, aiming to bring in ¥2.2 trillion. The success of its ¥2.2 trillion goal reportedly hinges on reconstruction efforts of Japan Display Inc., INCJ's main funding recipient.


* In accordance with Korea Communications Commission's regulations, Facebook Inc. assigned an officer in charge in South Korea to protect young users of the social media platform from illegal and harmful content, ET News reports.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. are set to select 5G equipment suppliers within this month, Yonhap News Agency reports. The companies are expected to pick about two to four suppliers each.

* Korea Post, the postal service of South Korea, is poised to launch its mobile payment application, The Korea Economic Daily reports. Post Pay will be initially available for holders of Korea Post banking accounts and member stores, and will be expanded later on to other payment platform users.

* LG Uplus will apply augmented reality technologies to SPOTV professional baseball, which will be aired on its U+ Pro Baseball application and video streaming service U+ Video Portal from Sept. 4 to Sept. 30, News 1 reports. Viewers who watch the game via AR broadcasting can check play data such as pitching speed and trajectory in graphics in real time.


* Chinese regulators plan to curb the number of online games in response to growing concerns about online addiction and health issues among children in the country, Bloomberg News reported, citing a government statement. Regulations released by the country's Ministry of Education detail how parents should monitor the usage of electronic devices and encourage their children to engage in more outdoor activities. These aim to address growing accounts of myopia among children and adolescents in China.

* Baidu Inc. invested 50 million yuan to set up Dulian Internet Technology (Hainan) Ltd., a new company which will focus on the research and development of blockchain technology, The Economic Observer reports. Baidu Vice President Xiang Hailong will become president of the new company.

* Samsung Display Co. Ltd. sent samples of potential folding displays to Chinese phone makers OPPO Electronics Corp. and Xiaomi Corp., Sina reports. The new display prototypes are reportedly different from the soft OLED display. The two Chinese manufacturers also developing their own foldable displays, the report said.

* China Unicom reached a new strategic partnership with Co. Ltd. unit Suning Electronics China to open databases from both sides and share data involving merchandising, financial statuses, supply chains and logistics arrangements, Sina reports. The two companies will then make use of the data to launch smart retail shops to boost their online-to-offline businesses.


* Xiaomi is migrating local users' data to the cloud infrastructure of Amazon Web Services Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s Microsoft Azure located in India from servers in Singapore and the U.S. According to The Economic Times (India), Xiaomi is the first major smartphone maker to initiate such a migration.

* India's Telecom Commission cleared the norms for telcos to conduct network trials before commercially launching their mobile services and capped the testing period to 180 days, Press Trust of India reports.

* Chinese smartphone maker Shenzhen Oneplus Science & Technology Co. Ltd. is looking to strengthen its offline presence in India by opening large-format experience stores and small-format authorized stores across key cities, BusinessLine reports. OnePlus is also considering setting up a research and development facility to enhance product development.

* Manav Sethi, chief marketing officer of Balaji Telefilms Ltd.'s over-the-top platform ALTBalaji, has resigned, Television Post reports.


* Philippines-based Globe Telecom teamed up with Inc. to provide its subscribers with access to Amazon Prime Video and Twitch Prime. The offer is eligible for Globe Telecom's postpaid subscribers, who will have six months' free access to Prime Video and Twitch Prime. Subscribers can then use the services for 150 Philippine pesos per month.

* Singapore's Personal Data Protection Commission issued updated guidelines to enhance consumer protection against the unjustified collection, use and disclosure of individuals' National Registration Identity Card, or NRIC numbers. Under the updated guidelines, it will be illegal for organizations to collect, use, disclose or retain NRIC unless required by the law.

* Malaysia's Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the ministry will issue an official statement regarding sales and service tax charges imposed on mobile prepaid reload cards, Malay Mail reports. The minister's statement follows several complaints by consumers over getting less than their original prepaid mobile reload value due to the deduction of SST.

* Thai telco Advanced Info Service PCL launched a new partnership with bike-sharing platform Mobike and the Thai Ministry of Public Health. Under the tie-up, AIS will provide a narrowband internet of things network to connect over 10,000 ministry staff with the Mobike network, which aims to reduce congestion, pollution and travel costs.

* Singapore-based advertising company Netccentric Ltd. extended outgoing CEO Desmond Kiu's employment contract to Dec. 31, 2018. Kiu was originally set to step down as chief executive on Sept. 1.

* In other AIS news, the Thai telco began live broadcasts of the Thailand PVP E-Sports Championship. The tournament is being broadcast via AIS Play and AIS Playbox from Sept. 2 to Sept. 14.

* CAT Telecom PCL launched market sounding activities to attract investors to public-private partnerships at Digital Park Thailand, Prachachat reports.


* NEXTDC Ltd. plans on investing A$2.25 billion to build data centers on three new sites in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth in Australia, The Australian Financial Review reported.

* Nine Entertainment Co. purchased the remaining 40% stake in news website Pedestrian TV for an undisclosed sum, The Australian Financial Review reports. The transaction reportedly values Pedestrian TV at around A$100 million.

* The Melbourne City Council is considering legal action against Telstra Corp. Ltd. for attaching unapproved digital billboards on its phone booths to generate advertising revenue, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

* Telstra's board will nominate telecommunications industry veteran and former member of Deutsche Telekom AG Board of Management Niek Jan van Damme as non-executive director of the board at the company's annual general meeting in October.


Data Dispatch: Labor Day box office slows but still expected to outperform last year: The Labor Day weekend is expected to be slow at the turnstiles compared to the rest of the summer season, but two debut films and a strong holdover should push it well above the prior year.


Global Multichannel: Asia-Pacific video landscape reshaped as subscription OTT strengthens foothold: A study of 12 markets in the Asia-Pacific region sheds light on a fast-growing subscription video-on-demand sector reaping greater shares of the entire video service economy and positioned to grow side by side with multichannel incumbents.

Ikrama Ranjha, Joji Sakurai, 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.