* The U.S. made a final pitch to the U.K. ahead of the latter's upcoming decision on whether to include Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. in its 5G network build-out, Reuters reports, citing sources. A spokesman for Huawei said British lawmakers confirmed that the Chinese company's equipment will not be deployed in networks used for intelligence sharing.
* Japan Display Inc. terminated its capital and business alliance deal with the Suwa consortium after the parties failed to reach a final agreement on the investment by Dec. 31, 2019. The embattled display maker said it is still in talks with Ichigo Asset Management Ltd. for up to ¥90 billion in funding and hopes to complete the fund procurement within the next couple of months.
* The video game division of Tencent Holdings Ltd. will increase its publication of mobile versions of well-known titles, a spokesperson for subsidiary TiMi Studios told S&P Global Market Intelligence. Tencent is hoping this will support a monetization strategy called game-as-service, which encourages in-game purchases and other continuing revenues from titles that are often initially free.
* KDDI Corp. said it is now a recognized partner of optical character recognition related software provider ABBYY Japan and started selling the 'FlexiCapture (R)' and other OCR-related ABBYY products in Asia, North America, Europe and Australia. ABBYY's FlexiCapture (R) platform is designed to accurately recognize text on paper documents in a variety of formats and languages and extract specific data fields from it.
* NTT Docomo Inc. introduced a rate plan for voice over LTE-compatible mobile phones aimed at children under 12 years old. The plan is priced at ¥500 per month.
* Samsung Group, whose leader is facing bribery charges, appointed external experts to a new oversight panel that will monitor potential misconduct at its group companies, Reuters reports. The compliance panel will comprise seven members: two from legal circles, two from academia, two from civic groups and one from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.
* SoftBank Group Corp.-backed online retailer Coupang Corp. is eyeing an initial public offering in 2021, Bloomberg News reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The Korean company has already begun work on tax structuring in preparation for the public listing next year.
* Korea's parliament passed three revision bills on personal data laws: the Personal Information Protection Act, Credit Information Act and Information and Communications Network Act, ZDNet Korea reports. The amendments aim to clarify rules on data usage and data safety.
GREATER CHINA (MAINLAND CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN MARKETS)
* Huawei is in talks with lenders to raise about US$2 billion via loans and bond sales outside China, The Information reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The fundraising is partly aimed at showing that the Chinese company can still get financing from international banks despite being blacklisted by the U.S.
* In more Huawei news, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., introduced a bill that would prevent the U.S. from sharing intelligence with countries that allow Huawei to operate 5G network technology within their borders, according to Reuters.
* A subsidiary of Chinese online services platform 58.com Inc. is seeking an initial public offering in the U.S. at up to a US$2 billion valuation after closing a private fundraising round, Bloomberg News reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
* Bilibili Inc. is reportedly looking to invest 1.8 billion yuan in livestreaming, but the company declined to confirm the news, according to Sina.
* Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd. rebranded its short video app Huoshan to link it more closely to Douyin ahead of the platforms' combination, TechNode reports. Following the rebranding, the Douyin Huoshan Version will continue to operate independently and receive increased support from ByteDance.
* WeChat introduced a feature that will allow Chinese students studying in Korea to pay their tuition fees through the social media app's payment platform, according to TechNode, which cited Tencent News.
INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA
* Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. will deploy two submarine cable systems connecting Singapore and Europe to give Indian internet users faster data speeds, The Economic Times (India) reports, citing an industry source. The India-Asia-Xpress will connect Mumbai and Chennai to Singapore and interconnect with countries toward the west coast of the U.S., while the India-Europe-Xpress will connect Mumbai to Europe and interconnect to the east coast of the U.S. The cables are expected to be operational in two years or early 2023.
* Sony Pictures Networks India Pvt. Ltd. appointed Raj Mohan Srinivasan as chief information officer. Srinivasan, who has over 30 years of industry experience, previously worked for global technology companies such as IBM and Oracle.
* Indonesia's Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs is partnering with Netflix Inc. to advance the local film industry through various development programs, KrASIA reports, citing local media outlet Detik. The video streaming platform committed to investing US$1 million for collaboration programs.
* Singapore's Democratic Party asked a court to overturn a government order to put correction notices to its online posts, marking the first legal challenge to the city-state's fake news law. According to Reuters, the action comes after the manpower ministry rejected the opposition party's request to cancel the notices on an article on its website and Facebook Inc. posts that discussed white-collar jobs.
* State-owned wireless carriers TOT PCL and CAT Telecom PCL have collected the paperwork needed to join Thailand's 5G spectrum auction, Krungthep Turakij reports. The companies have until Feb. 4 to submit their application and confirm their participation.
* Telekom Malaysia collaborated with local tourism authorities to introduce a tourist SIM card called unifi Travel Pass, New Straits Times reports. The tie-up also includes providing broadband connectivity to tourists, as well as campaign promotion through global, domestic and digital assets.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* Australia-based Blast Movement Technologies Pty. Ltd. has been acquired by Hexagon AB for an undisclosed amount. Sweden-based Hexagon provides IT solutions for geospatial and industrial landscapes, while Blast Movement is a provider of blast movement monitoring solutions and analysis for open-pit mines.
* SKY Network Television Ltd. launched an NZ$10 million initiative to support grassroots sport and rising talent in New Zealand. The Sky Sport Next initiative will go live in cooperation with the New Zealand Sport Collective.
Conference Chatter: CES 2020: $1B esports industry challenging traditional sports: This year's CES played host to a range of esports panels where experts in the industry weighed in on its rapid growth, as well as its chances to take on traditional sports.
Economics of Internet: Global Video, OTT Index: Kagan provides links to its video provider operational tracking and programming spreadsheets, video-on-demand and over-the-top library data and analysis, and OTT company and country reports.
Joji Sakurai, Hyegyu Park, Frances Wang, Kevin Osmond and Wil Hathaway contributed to this report.
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