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SoftBank invests US$1B in WeWork; Qualcomm settles antitrust case in Taiwan

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SoftBank invests US$1B in WeWork; Qualcomm settles antitrust case in Taiwan

TOP NEWS

* Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. invested US$1 billion in WeWork Cos. in the form of a convertible bond. The funding will allow WeWork to raise its existing cash to US$4 billion, the Financial Times reported. SoftBank has the option to convert the bond into WeWork stock once the flexible workspace provider closes its next round of equity fundraising. SoftBank previously participated in an investment round for WeWork, which raised US$500 million.

* QUALCOMM Inc. settled an antitrust case with the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission and agreed that the agency would retain a NT$2.73 billion fine the company previously paid, far less than the agency was seeking. The telecommunications semiconductor-maker will also work on technology initiatives in Taiwan, including 5G collaboration, over a period of five years. The investments are valued at about US$700 million.

JAPAN

* Dentsu Inc. announced that it will begin exploring an overhaul of its group holding structure, with changes likely to take place in January 2020. The decision to launch the process was made at a meeting of the company's board of directors.

* The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will allow drone deliveries of goods in underpopulated islands and mountain areas of Japan as early as this month, Asahi reports. The ministry is relaxing requirements for drones to fly within the range of human sight.

SOUTH KOREA

* KT Corp. won a contract worth 53 billion won to build an optical cable network in the Philippines. The telecom service provider signed the contract with local internet service provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc. to build the 1,570-kilometer range of the cable network in Luzon Island.

* LG Uplus Corp. acquired an OPNFV verified program certificate for its network function virtualization platform that is key to the commercialization of the 5G network, Yonhap News Agency reports. The platform enables one network to provide various services.

* Kakao Corp.'s Kakao Investment made an investment in block chain service provider Cosmochain, Financial News reports. The investment details were not revealed. Cosmochain is set to release its cosmetics social network service app Cos Me on Aug. 20.

* Samsung Group unit Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. unveiled the new smartphone model Galaxy Note 9 in New York. The smartphone features a stylus pen named S Pen supported by Bluetooth Low Energy technology, and a deep learning-based camera. Preorders in South Korea will start Aug. 13.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. affiliate Ant Financial is in talks to invest in Bangladeshi ride-hailing and bus ticketing platform Shohoz, people familiar with the matter told KrASIA.

* Three major Chinese video streaming platforms — iQIYI Inc., Youku Tudou Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd.-owned Tencent Video — and six movie production companies jointly announced they will comply with China's recent pay cut policy to movie stars, offering up to only 1 million yuan for one episode.

* China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology published a guideline to push Chinese companies to adopt cloud services. It expects 1 million more companies to use cloud computing services in 2020.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd. said its board of directors approved a plan to raise additional funds worth up to 200 billion Indian rupees through either redeemable preference shares, nonconvertible debentures in one or more tranches or inter corporate deposit.

* Reliance Communications Ltd. said it will sell spectrum in the 800 MHz band across 22 circles to Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. The transaction is part of the company's ongoing asset monetization plan.

* Facebook Inc. is considering filtering or removing content "that could be seen as problematic" in India, people aware of the matter told The Economic Times (India). The move comes at a time when the Indian government is drafting laws that enables it to ask social media companies to immediately take down content that can lead to violence.

* Reliance Jio is slated to launch a broadband service bundled with internet-based TV programming starting at about 500 rupees a month, or half of what cable operators charge for similar services, The Economic Times (India) reports, citing a person familiar with the plan. The Indian telco is reportedly planning to roll out Jio GigaFiber on Nov. 7, initially in the metros and around 80 markets.

* India may postpone 4G and 5G spectrum auctions to late 2019 in a bid to provide relief to the financially stressed telecom sector, a government official told The Economic Times (India), adding that the deferment will help "stabilize" the industry and that an early sale could affect demand for airwaves.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd., a Singaporean ride-hailing provider, entered into a strategic partnership with PT Bank BRIsyariah Tbk to provide financing facility scheme for GrabFood partners, IndoTelko reports. GrabFood, the food and beverages delivery arm of Grab, aims to support its partners to develop their business operations through the scheme.

* Telkomsel, an Indonesian telco, spent approximately US$1 million to deploy 5G technology infrastructure for the 2018 Asian Games, Kontan reports. As a partner of the event, Telkomsel will provide 5G technology networks with support from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and some unnamed Korean vendors.

* Thailand's CAT Telecom PCL will partner with entertainment company Workpoint Entertainment PCL to broadcast live coverage of the 2018 Asian Games via satellite TV, Prachachat reports. The coverage will be available in HD quality, transmitted via CAT's main satellite station.

* Thai data service provider True Internet Data Center Co. LTD. will launch a new joint venture with BBIX Inc. Japan, an internet exchange point service provider, Prachachat reports. The new company will be named BBIX (Thailand), and will act as a domestic and international data exchange center.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. plans to expand its partnership with several start-up companies in Indonesia, Antara News reports. Tencent will target different industries such as tourism, technology, internet, music and online gaming.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission will consider amending the terms of the 900 MHz spectrum auction after no bids were submitted, Prachachat reports. The NBTC said that under new terms it may be possible for Total Access Communication Public Co. Ltd to continue its mobile services on the 900MHz spectrum after its concession expires on Sept. 15.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Australian broadcaster beIN Sports Australia will partner with Malaysian streaming service iflix Sdn. Bhd. to air European soccer live to iflix subscribers in Cambodia starting Aug. 10, Mumbrella reports. BeIN Sports Australia is a unit of beIN Media Group LLC.

* New Zealand-based telco Spark New Zealand Ltd. announced a bundle package for customers who preorder the Samsung Note9. Customer who preorder the phone before Aug. 24 and buy on 24-months interest free basis with an eligible Spark pay monthly plan, will receive a free Samsung wireless charger along with NZ$321 account credit.

FEATURED NEWS

Samsung to invest in AI, 5G; SoftBank to lead funding round for Alibaba unit: Samsung announced plans to boost AI, 5G investments over three years, while SoftBank's venture arm is moving to lead an investment round for an Alibaba unit.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of TV & Film: Kagan box office report, week 31: The summer box office slumped for a fourth-straight week in week 31. The current trend is a little unsettling considering that the weekly box office is trailing behind one of the worst summers in a decade.

RECENT EARNINGS

Fujifilm posts lower fiscal Q1 net income as costs rise: The revenues for the quarter decreased 1.2% to ?¥564.9 billion, from ?¥571.5 billion in the prior-year quarter.

Joji Sakurai, Kevin Osmond, Frances Wang, Nicole Kim 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.