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Infosys to invest in a new software facility; Axiata unit receives US$20M

TOP NEWS

* Indian software service provider Infosys Ltd. will build a software development center in Noida, India, with an initial investment of about 7.5 billion rupees, Channel News Asia reports, citing Infosys CEO Salil Parekh. The 2.7 million-square-foot facility will reportedly accommodate 5,000 staff.

* Malaysian telco Axiata Group Bhd.'s Axiata Digital Advertising Sdn Bhd. received an investment of US$20 million from Japanese conglomerate Sumitomo Corp. The investment will support the business expansion and growth of Axiata Digital Advertising.

JAPAN

* SoftBank Group Corp. and Yahoo Japan Corp.'s joint venture PayPay Corporation announced its partnership with India's digital payment service provider Paytm to launch PayPay, a barcode-based smartphone payment service. With the launch expected by the end of the year, Yahoo Japan will terminate its current payment platform Yahoo! Wallet.

* Rakuten Inc. said July 27 that it will execute an absorption-type merger with its wholly owned subsidiaries Golden Eagles I Inc. and Handa Kikaku Corp. to improve the units' efficiency and reduce maintenance and management costs. Meanwhile, the company disclosed in a separate same-day release that it appointed Shunsuke Konno as the company's new executive officer for its global ad division.

* KDDI Corp. will form a capital and business alliance with Tokyo-based investment-related educational mobile app operator Finatext Ltd., The Nikkei reports. Fintext is reportedly raising ?6 billion via private equity placement with KDDI. With the tie-up, KDDI seeks to increase users for its financial services.

* In other KDDI news, the telco plans to stop offering four-year smartphone payment plans after a government watchdog said last month the contract poses antitrust problems, The Nikkei reports.

SOUTH KOREA

* SK Hynix Inc. gained more than 3.5% on July 27 after the company announced a $1.6 billion share repurchase plan and said it would invest 3.5 trillion won in a new semiconductor fabrication plant at its headquarters in Icheon, Gyeonggi-do. Construction of the site will begin in late 2018 and is expected to be completed in Oct 2020.

* LG U+ will partner with podcast platform Podbbang to provide content through its Uplus video portal, Maeil Business Newspaper reports. The telco's video portal currently provides over 200,000 pieces of various genres including films, animations and documentaries.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. recorded a quarterly revenue of 4.154 trillion won, a 4% decrease from the previous year. The operating profit dropped by 16.7% to 346.9 billion won, while the net income increased by 47.6% to 914.3 trillion won.

* In other SK Hynix news, the semiconductor company said its revenue, operating profit and net income reached all-time highs in the second quarter amid favorable market demand.

* LG Electronics Inc. will release its premium smartphone model dubbed LG Signature Edition on Aug. 13, Yonhap News Agency reports. Limited to 300 units, the new model is priced at 1.99 million won, and has a 256GB storage.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Video-sharing platform Bilibili Inc. was removed from smartphone app stores in China following criticism from state-owned China Central Television (CCTV)(CN) for streaming inappropriate content. A Bilibili spokesperson said the ban will be effective for one month, preventing new users from downloading the app, but will not affect existing users.

* The Hainan government announced to invest 12 billion yuan before 2020 for 5G infrastructure in the province and to launch pre-commercial 5G trials next year, Hinews reports. The authority aims to provide 5G services in all cities, major tourist attractions and transportation hubs in 2020.

* PPTV, an online TV channel by PP Sports, a sports media platform in China owned by Suning Holdings Group Co. Ltd., secured three years of exclusive copyright partnership with French soccer tournament Ligue 1, Yicai reports. PPTV has already secured copyrights of the Premier League, Bundesliga, and the AFC Champions League.

* Tetsuro Tokoro, managing director of Sony Interactive Entertainment HK, announced in an event that the upcoming game FIFA 19 will include all 16 football teams from the Chinese Super League, Apple Daily reports.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Alphabet Inc.'s YouTube LLC will launch original content programs for international audiences in India, Japan and other countries, Reuters reports. The contents will cover a wide range of genres including music documentaries, reality series and talk shows.

* Indian mobile-based bus service provider Super Highway Labs Pvt. Ltd.'s web platform Shuttl raised US$11 million in funds generated from investments by Dentsu Inc.'s venture fund, Amazon Alexa Fund and Amazon.com Inc.'s local unit, Mint reports.

* In other Dentsu news, the Indian unit of the Japanese advertising agency, Dentsu Webchutney Private Ltd. named Pravin Sutar as its executive creative director, Afaqs reports. Sutar will be based in Mumbai, India.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Singapore-based ride-hailing app GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. stated that the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) employs double standards in opposing its acquisition of Uber Technologies Inc.’s business in Southeast Asia, The Straits Times reports. Grab claims that CCCS' requirement to stop Grab's arrangement for its drivers, taxi operators and car rental fleets to work exclusively with Grab, is not imposed on other firms with similar exclusivity.

* Thailand's Bangkok Mass Transit System Public Company Ltd. or BTS is testing a new frequency range for its railway signalling system, Krungthep Turakij reports. The metropolitan railway company came under fire after its newly installed system ground to a halt due to being too close to mobile-phone frequency ranges.

* In other Axiata Bhd news, the telco is expected to record a non-cash financial loss of 1.5 billion to 3 billion Malaysian ringgit in its second-quarter 2018 results, according to an announcement on the Malaysian Stock Exchange.

* Thai telco Advanced Info Service PCL or AIS, is hosting the "Thailand PVP E-Sports Championship Powered by AIS" from July to September, Siam Turakij reports. The winner will represent the country at the PVP E-Sports Championship in Singapore in October 2018.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Telstra Corp. Ltd. announced a string of changes in its executive ranks, which includes the departure of Joe Pollard from her role as chief marketing officer, and the promotions of Brendon Riley and Robyn Denholm as CEO of Telstra InfraCo, and chief financial officer and head of strategy respectively.

FEATURED NEWS

MarketWeek: Wall Street unfriends Facebook, changes channel on Nielsen amid earnings misses: A slew of earnings reports fueled big movement in the technology, media and telecommunications space for the week ended July 27, particularly sending shares in Facebook and Nielsen to record lows.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Networks: NBCU cable networks grow cash flow by 12.5%: Comcast's second-quarter earnings report showed solid growth at NBCUniversal's cable networks.

RECENT EARNINGS

Airtel's Q1 profits fall 73.5% following Telenor acquisition: Bharti Airtel's managing director and CEO for India and South Asia, Gopal Vittal, is optimistic about the telco’s completed acquisition of Telenor's India unit despite the company reporting a steep decline in net profits.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Emily Lai, Nicole Kim, Edwin Kalisaran and Ailawil Hathaway 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.