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South Korea probing Google, Dolby; Xiaomi venturing into consumer financing

TOP NEWS

* South Korea's Fair Trade Commission launched a probe against global companies including Dolby Laboratories Inc., Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC and Booking Holdings Inc.'s Agoda Co. Pte. Ltd. for possible antitrust violations, Korea JoongAng Daily reports.

* Xiaomi Corp. is looking to enter the consumer finance and business-to-business lending space, The Economic Times (India) reports, citing a regulatory filing. The company's new subsidiary, Xiaomi Financial Services India, is reportedly planning to get the Reserve Bank of India's approval to operate as a nonbanking financial company in the country.

JAPAN

* Yahoo Japan Corp. announced it is launching trials of an AI technology that scans drive recorder footage for information such as gasoline stand prices and empty parking spaces. The information is then converted into text and displayed on platforms such as Yahoo! MAP and Yahoo's car navigation app.

* LINE Corp. plans to launch a smartphone app that combines its Clova Auto service with Toyota Motor Corp.'s navigation platform, MarkeZine reports. Clova Auto is a spinoff of LINE's Clova AI assistant and allows drivers to perform tasks such as programming home appliances, checking weather reports and sending LINE messages.

* KDDI Corp. and Hitachi Ltd. jointly developed a biometric technology that verifies identity via palm print, ZDNet Japan reports. The Public Biometrics Infrastructure technology allows users to unlock their smartphone or tablet by taking an image of their palm using the device's camera.

SOUTH KOREA

* SK Broadband is set to launch music services on its media streaming platform Oksusu, ZDNet Korea reports. The company aims to turn music services into viewing experiences by providing mobile-tailored vertical screen video content, live performance video footage from multiple camera angles and show content in virtual reality.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. and its equipment supplier Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. jointly completed the first call in a 5G test bed, which is a final procedure to check data transmission in the same environment as commercial services, The Kyunghyang Shinmun reports. The test used a 100 MHz band in the 3.5 GHz range, and the technologies and equipment used were in compliance with 3GPP standards.

* CJ Hello will launch the Razer Phone 2, a smartphone developed by gaming hardware company Razer Inc., in South Korea on Nov. 30, ET News reports. The device is likely to retail for around 1 million won, and will be the first gaming-specialized smartphone to be introduced in the country.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is building a regional headquarter in Nanjing, the capital city of China's Jiangsu province, Sina reports. With a total investment of about 8.1 billion yuan, the construction is expected to be completed in September 2023. The new facility will localize Alibaba's core businesses which include internet of things, cloud and fintech.

* Weibo Corp. acquired its livestreaming partner Yizhibo, TechNode reports, citing local media. Yizhibo, whose business has been integrated into the microblogging platform, has reportedly moved into Sina's office.

* Alibaba-owned video streaming platform Youku Tudou Inc. inked a deal to become a media partner of the Chinese Basketball Association, Xinhua reports. Under the tie-up, Youku will livestream all CBA events in the next two years.

* Beijing-based mobile security solutions provider Zhizhangyi Technology completed a 200 million yuan series B funding round led by Gaocheng Capital, China Money Network reports.

* China Unicom is testing a reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer network in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, C114 reports. The test shows China Unicom is pushing the adoption of all-optical network in China.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* The founders of Indian ride-hailing app Ola – Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati – received the approval of Competition Commission of India to acquire an additional 6.72% stake in Ola's parent ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. The acquisition is being made through Singapore-incorporated Lazarus Holdings, a special purpose vehicle which will be used as an investment holding company, The Economic Times (India) reports.

* Mumbai-based mobile gaming company Nazara Technologies Ltd. is planning to make a slew of acquisitions as it prepares to go public in 2019. According to The Economic Times (India), Nazara is reportedly in late-stage discussions to buy at least four companies, particularly in the real money gaming space, in India and Africa.

* Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. hired former Twitter Inc. India country director Taranjeet Singh to become chief revenue officer and business head of new projects for its streaming service ZEE5, exchange4media reports.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* StarHub Ltd. CEO Peter Kaliaropoulos is looking at ways to further cut costs through infrastructure sharing, Bloomberg News reports. Kaliaropoulos said the company may reach a commercial agreement on network sharing in 2019 or earlier. The move comes after the Singaporean telco announced plans to let go nearly 300 full-time employees amid intense competition.

* PT Sarana Menara Nusantara Tbk, through its subsidiary Protelindo, inked an agreement with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to increase its loan facilities to 300 billion rupiah from 200 billion rupiah. The Indonesian company, which invests in companies that owns and operates telecommunication towers, declared that the increase in loan facility would have no material impact on its operational, legal or financial conditions.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Outgoing Fairfax Media Ltd. CEO Greg Hywood has emerged as a possible candidate to replace Justin Milne, who recently stepped down as chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Corp., according to The Australian.

* Paul Murphy, CEO of Australia's Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, told The Australian that further cuts to Nine Entertainment Co.'s editorial staff following its merger with Fairfax Media would be "sorely felt" at both companies. Murphy's comments are in response to a report saying Nine will review its staffing needs once its merger with Fairfax completes.

The Daily Dose will not appear tomorrow due to the Chung Yeung Festival holiday in Hong Kong. The next Dose will be sent out Oct. 18. Please visit our website for the latest news updates, or check us out at https://twitter.com/SPGMarketIntel.

FEATURED NEWS

Data Dispatch: Bearish stock run pressures Netflix to show Q3 subscriber growth after Q2's miss: As Netflix prepares to report its third-quarter financial results Oct. 16 amid unusually bearish market sentiment on the stock, analysts said the company faces pressure to show that its big expansion and content investments are paying off.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Technology: Streaming media device ships slow as OTT streaming shifts to smart TVs: The market for streaming media devices is becoming increasingly murky as smart televisions continue to become more ubiquitous and consumers have fewer older televisions in need of an upgrade with a streaming media device.

The Best Of: Kagan research and analysis, editor's picks: Presenting the editor's top picks from Kagan's exclusive research and analysis for the week ended Oct. 12.

Joji Sakurai, Myungran Ha, Frances Wang and Ed Eduard 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.