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Tencent Music to postpone US IPO; Vodafone Idea moves to recover bank guarantees

TOP NEWS

* Tencent Music Entertainment Group is postponing its planned initial public offering due to the recent sell-off in global markets, people familiar with the offering told The Wall Street Journal. According to the sources, the music arm of Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. is reportedly worried that the market turmoil could affect the IPO pricing and decided to push back the debut and wait for several weeks instead.

* Vodafone Idea Ltd. has moved India's telecom tribunal to recover bank guarantees worth 33.22 billion Indian rupees, paid to secure government approval for its merger with Vodafone Group PLC unit Vodafone India, The Economic Times (India) reported, citing a petition copy. The newly formed telco called the bank guarantees demand "arbitrary, discriminatory, illegal and unenforceable."

JAPAN

* Dentsu Inc. agreed to acquire a 100% stake in U.K.-based business-to-business market research company B2b International Ltd. through its U.K. unit Dentsu Aegis UK Ltd. The terms of the deal were not provided.

* In other Dentsu news, its venture arm Dentsu Ventures Global Fund I invested in California-based systems developer Pixel Labs Inc. as part of its strategy to expand in the U.S.

* Tokyo-based e-commerce website Kakaku.com Inc. invested an undisclosed sum in Singapore-based artificial intelligence-powered restaurant management and customer engagement technology platform TabSquare Pte Ltd.

* Toshiba Memory Corp. appointed Stacy J. Smith as its new executive chairman effective Oct. 1. Smith is a former CFO at Intel Corp.

SOUTH KOREA

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. will launch a new social virtual reality service titled Oksusu Social VR on Oct. 12. The new service will allow users to create a virtual space and invite people to watch content in the virtual community.

* LG Electronics Inc. added Google LLC's Assistant Korean service to its smart TV models including OLED TV AI ThinQ and Super Ultra HD TV AI ThinQ.

* CJ ENM CO. Ltd. will open a new esports arena and studio in Los Angeles, ZDNet Korea reports. The company will produce and distribute live esports events in collaboration with local esports studios.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. unveiled its first smartphone with four rear cameras. The Galaxy A9 was launched on Oct. 11 at a company event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Baidu Inc. partnered with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to co-develop mobile edge computers for 5G networks, Sina reports. The MEC will be based on Baidu's over-the-edge platform.

* Chinese video streaming platform Bilibili Inc. formed an esports company, Caixin reports. Esports is one of the most popular sectors among young Bilibili users.

* Shanghai-based electric-car maker WM Motor Technology Co. Ltd. used AI technology of Beijing-based startup SenseTime Group Ltd. in its newly launched SUV WM EX5, Sina reports. The car will not start until the driver gets verified through SenseTime's facial recognition technology.

* Chinese music streaming platform NetEase Cloud Music signed a copyright licensing agreement with Korean company Loen Entertainment.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Dutch telco VEON terminated its proposed US$2.55 billion acquisition of Global Telecom Holding SAE's assets in Pakistan and Bangladesh. The move follows recent events regarding the Pakistani rupee, as well as the supposedly forthcoming disapproval of the deal from Global Telecom's minority shareholders. In September, VEON also terminated the sale of Jazz's tower business to Tanzanite Tower Ltd. after the deal failed to secure all necessary regulatory approvals.

* In other Huawei news, Huawei consumer business group launched the EMUI 9.0, an intuitive interface for its mobile phones, with several features, BusinessLine reports.

* Google India posted a 30% increase in revenues in fiscal year 2018, The Economic Times (India) reports. The Indian unit of the California-based tech behemoth more than doubled its business over the last three years, indicating strong digital media spends on the search engine's local business.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Thailand's True Corp. petitioned the Administrative Court to overturn a decision ordering the telco to pay 94 billion baht in damages to TOT PCL for a breach of contract dating back to 2004, Prachachat reports. TOT claimed True failed to deliver high-speed ADSL internet services as per the terms of their contract.

* In other TOT news, the Thai telco applied to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society for an extra 1 billion baht to upgrade Thailand's fixed-line phone network, by switching from 9-digit numbers to 10-digit numbers, Prachachat reports.

* True Axion Interactive, a joint venture formed by Thai telco True Corp. and Canada's Axion Ventures Inc., will invest 300 million baht in building a new studio to develop its upcoming video game 'Invictus,' Matichon reports.

* Indonesian ride-hailing company PT Go-Jek Indonesia launched its new mobile marketplace product called Go-Deals, which allows users to access various promotions and deals from more than 800 merchants.

* Singaporean ride-hailing company GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. launched two new car-hailing services, GrabCar Plus and Rent a GrabCar, in Indonesia, Deal Street Asia reports. GrabCar Plus is a premium version of the regular car-hailing service GrabCar, while Rent a GrabCar is a service that allows passengers to visit multiple destinations in a single booking and have the vehicle for a set duration of time.

* Gaming hardware manufacturing company Razer Inc., which is dual-headquartered in San Francisco and Singapore, launched the Razer Raiju Mobile and Razer Hammerhead USB-C ANC along with its Razer Phone 2.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Auckland-based telco Spark New Zealand Ltd. launched a broadband plan, dubbed Unplan, that flexes the billing price based on monthly usage.

* Fixed-line communications infrastructure provider Chorus Ltd. deployed very high bit rate digital subscriber line 2, or VSDL2, vectoring technology in New Zealand to help improve the broadband experience for its users in partnership with Nokia Corp., ZDNet reports.

* Telstra Corp. Ltd. Chairman John Mullen defended multimillion-dollar bonuses to departing executives ahead of the telco's upcoming annual general meeting, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

* Australia's Essential Media Group has appointed Brendan Dahill as its general manager and executive producer, C21 Media reports.

Featured News

Tencent investing in Bilibili; India's Jio, ZEEL strike new content deal: Tencent Holdings will invest in Chinese online entertainment platform Bilibili, while Indian telco Reliance Jio struck a new content deal with Zee Entertainment Enterprises after a disagreement over pricing earlier.

Featured Research

Multichannel Trends: Local video sub declines offer a path to delimit higher streaming-only levels: Kagan's analysis of MediaCensus' second-quarter data shows areas of deep legacy multichannel video subscriber losses in the last four years.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Nicole Kim, Frances Wang, Ed Eduardo 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.