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Hong Kong's GSR to invest in Overstock.com; India's PVR to buy SPI Cinemas

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Hong Kong's GSR to invest in Overstock.com; India's PVR to buy SPI Cinemas

TOP NEWS

* Hong Kong-based private equity firm GSR Capital agreed to invest up to US$270 million in blockchain startup tZero, a subsidiary of online retailer Overstock.com Inc., Deal Street Asia reports. The deal will see GSR owning up to an 18% stake in tZero. Additionally, GSR Capital will buy 3.1 million Overstock shares for US$104.55 million and purchase US$30 million in tZERO security tokens as part of the blockchain startup's initial coin offering. Upon deal completion, GSR's investment in Overstock and tZero will reach a total of US$404.5 million.

* Indian multiplex chain PVR Cinemas said its board agreed to acquire a 71.7% stake in SPI Cinemas Pvt. Ltd. for a total consideration of 6.33 billion Indian rupees. Under the terms of the proposed deal, PVR will issue 1.6 million equity shares for the residual 28.3% stake and will have the right to appoint three board members. The transaction is expected to close in 30 days, while the merger process is expected to be completed in the next nine to 12 months.

JAPAN

* SoftBank Group Corp. ruled itself out of the running to bankroll a deal to take Tesla Inc. private, Bloomberg News reports. In 2017, SoftBank reportedly discussed a possible investment in Tesla with its founder Elon Musk but is no longer interested, in part because it has already committed to backing General Motors Co.'s driverless car unit.

* Tokyo came first in a ranking of the world's most innovative cities, leveraging its strength in robotics and 3D printing to surge ahead of London and New York, according to Thomson Reuters Foundation.

SOUTH KOREA

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. said it is considering various options, including a corporate split of its over-the-top service Oksusu, to strengthen the company's media competitiveness. The company will make an announcement regarding the matter within one month.

* Kakao Corp.'s online bank service Kakao Bank is improving its anti-money laundering system, Digital Daily reports. According to a source, the company recently kicked off a system sophistication project and plans to complete it by early 2019.

* SK Broadband released the third season of its original series, "Level Up Project" on Oksusu on Aug. 13. The show follows the travel adventures of South Korean girl band Red Velvet. The company is also preparing an interactive live broadcasting of the program.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. removed Capcom Co. Ltd.'s video game "Monster Hunter: World" from its WeGame platform less than a week after it became available for download in China, the South China Morning Post reports. The title was reportedly pulled after authorities received "numerous complaints" about the game's content.

* Chinese audio service platform Ximalaya denied rumors about the company completing a financing round worth 4 billion yuan, Caijing reports. The company also said it currently has no IPO plans.

* Accenture PLC made a minority investment in Shenzhen-based artificial intelligence startup Malong Technologies. As part of the agreement, Accenture's Applied Intelligence and Malong will offer computer vision and product recognition capabilities to clients worldwide, as well as develop joint industry solutions.

* Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd. made its first strategic investment in Hangzhou-based electric vehicle manufacturer SKIO, according to STCN. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

* Anngic, a Shenzhen-based supplier of sensors for self-driving cars, raised 50 million yuan through its series A funding round, JRJ reports. The company will use the capital for research and development and talent recruitment.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* STAR India Pvt. Ltd.'s Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., parent company of Indian streaming platform Hotstar, received an investment worth 5.16 billion Indian rupees from Star US, The Economic Times (India) reports, citing financial documents sourced from business intelligence platform paper.vc.

* Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. will spend 10 billion rupees to build a greenfield data center in Kolkata, India, according to The Economic Times (India).

* Indian ride-hailing platform Ola appointed Ben Legg as managing director of its recently announced U.K. operations. Legg joins the ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd.-owned platform from New York-based global marketing technology company AdParlor, where he was CEO.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission opened the bidding for the construction of Zone C, the second phase of its national village broadband network, Manager reports. The NBTC has a budget of 19.7 billion baht for Zone C, which aims to provide free, high-speed internet to 15,723 remote villages.

* Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd. said it launched Malaysia's first live 4K ultra high definition broadcast, which is a preview of the company's plans to introduce a 4K Ultra HD set-top box and a 4K Ultra HD service later this year.

* XL Axiata is collaborating with South Korean smartphone maker Luna to launch a 4G smartphone series in Indonesia, Kontan reports.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* 7-Eleven Inc. said it purchased a majority stake in Australian alcohol delivery app Tipple. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

* FOXTEL CEO Patrick Delany was quietly reappointed chairman of Multi Channel Network Pty. Ltd., according to The Australian Financial Review. Delany stepped down as Multi Channel's chairman after he was appointed chief executive of Foxtel in January.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is expected to face some restrictions in its bid to roll out Australia's 5G mobile network, but a full ban of the telecom equipment maker will be unlikely, an industry source told The Australian.

FEATURED NEWS

Privacy Matters: Tech firms face data disruption amid Privacy Shield uncertainty: As the legal mechanism that underpins information flows between Europe and the U.S. is under threat, the transfer of data across the Atlantic could become increasingly complex for U.S. tech companies such as Facebook, Alphabet and Twitter.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Advertising: Outdoor digital inventory outlook: aggressive plans in place for 2018: With uptick in ad revenue from digital segment, Lamar and OUTFRONT have chalked out aggressive digital rollout plans to capitalize on the segment's revenue potential in 2018.

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