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German envoy slams China web policies; Xiaomi to invest US$3.5B in Wuhan


According to Market Intelligence, December 2022


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German envoy slams China web policies; Xiaomi to invest US$3.5B in Wuhan


* Germany's ambassador to China Michael Clauss slammed the country for broadening internet restrictions ahead of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in Beijing on Oct. 18. In a statement, Clauss criticized the country over the recent blocking of Facebook Inc.'s WhatsApp and plans to ban virtual private networks.

* Xiaomi Inc. CEO Lei Jun Xiaomi said the company will invest 23 billion yuan in the construction of a new regional headquarters in Wuhan, capital of China's central Hubei province, Yicai Global reports.

* India's rising number of smartphone users and improved internet infrastructure has sparked a rush for local video content, according to key industry players at the Broadcast India Show 2017 in Mumbai.

* The demand for better customer experiences is driving digital transformation among technology, media and telecom companies, executives from Havas SA, Globe Telecom and CNN Philippines said at Digicon 2017 in Manila, the Philippines.


* Toshiba Corp. resumed NAND flash production at its Japanese facilities after work was suspended for three to six weeks due to ransomware attacks, DIGITIMES reports, citing sources at channel distributors.

* Japan's three megabanks — Mizuho Bank Ltd., Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. — will start testing a new peer-to-peer money transfer service that uses mobile phone numbers, The Nikkei reports.

* Japanese film production and distribution company Toho Co. Ltd. reported a 38% jump in net profit to ¥22.8 billion for the period from March to August thanks to "Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!" as well as positive sales of package software for "Your Name" and "Shin Godzilla."

* Rakuten Inc. began accepting registrations for Rakuten NBA Special, a monthly subscription service which offers access to selected live NBA games for ¥972 through its video-on-demand service Rakuten TV. This is part of its partnership with the National Basketball Association Inc. which gives Rakuten the league's exclusive distribution rights in Japan for all live NBA games.


* South Korean company YG Entertainment, through its investment unit, is investing an undisclosed sum in Singapore-based Gushcloud Entertainment as it expands to Southeast Asia, Variety reports. YG will reportedly open its own offices in Southeast Asia in the same building as Gushcloud.

* Naver Corp. officially launched its web browser Whale. The new web browser features smart functions such as Omni Tasking, Smart Pop-up and Quick Search to enhance user experience. The company plans to introduce a mobile version of its web browser in December. Meanwhile, Naver also showcased nine robots powered by ambient intelligence at its annual developers' conference Deview 2017.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will launch a smart location tracker called Connect Tag. Utilizing the narrow band IoT technology, Connect Tag allows users to track the location of their children, pets, and personal belongings.

* LG Electronics Inc. sponsored the New York Film Festival to promote its premium smartphone LG V30. During the festival, six film directors presented short films recorded by LG V30.

* Kakao Corp. will change the name of its mobile taxi reservation service from Kakao Taxi to Kakao T in order to expand to other transportation-related services. The company plans to launch taxi reservations, driver reservations, navigation and parking-related services this month.


* Baidu Inc.'s streaming service iQiyi has selected three U.S. banks to help manage its planned U.S. initial public offering in 2018, Reuters reported, citing a report by Thomson Reuters' International Financing Review. The Chinese service will get the help of Bank of America, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs to manage the IPO, which is worth about $1 billion.

* Apple Inc. delivered the first shipment of its iPhone X model from China, Yicai Global reports, citing Xinhua News Agency. The initial shipment reportedly contained 4.65 million devices and is destined for the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. launched Mate 10, its smartphone series with an integrated AI chip, the Kirin 970, in a bid to compete with rivals Samsung and Apple. The Huawei Mate 10, priced at €699, will be available in late October in more than 15 countries, including Singapore and Australia, according to CNBC.

* Bo Liefeng, former senior AI scientist at Inc., joined JD Finance to become the company's principal scientist for its AI lab, Yicai Global reports, citing a company announcement.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s online payment platform Alipay chose Eleme as its default in-app food delivery service, Economic Daily reports.

* Momenta, a Beijing-based self-driving technology developer, completed a series B2 fundraising round for an undisclosed sum, Lieyunwang reports.


* Indian tower company GTL Infrastructure Ltd. and its associate Chennai Network Infrastructure Ltd. are in advanced talks to refinance its residual debt of 48 billion rupees, which is expected to save 2 billion rupees in interest costs per year, sources close to the development told The Hindu Business Line. GTL is reportedly in discussions with four global banks to underwrite the refinancing at 3% to 4% lower than current contractual interest rates.

* Apple plans to add more Indian content to Apple Music, Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president for internet software and services, told The Economic Times (India).

* Competition in the Indian telecom industry is forecast to stay intense in the next 12 to 18 months amid consolidation activity among the country's leading operators such as Bharti Airtel Ltd., Vodafone India and Reliance Jio, Press Trust of India reports, citing Moody's.

* Bharti Airtel launched the Online Store, which offers premium smartphones bundled with monthly plans, IANS reports. The Online Store services are available in 21 Indian cities, with more to be added in the future.

* Cheetah Mobile Inc. appointed Johnny Li, its vice president for sales and business development, to head the company's advertising business in India, according to Indian Television.

* The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India will be issuing a consultation paper on easing rules that govern spectrum holding caps by month-end, The Economic Times (India) reports. Relaxing holding limits could ease the M&A process for the telecom industry.


* Iflix, a Malaysia-based video-on-demand provider, added eight new content channels to its platform including ABC Studios, Disney Pixar and Marvel, The Malay Mail reports.

* Foreign telcos, including Telstra Corp. Ltd. and China Telecom Corp Ltd., are eyeing the Philippine telecom market, several industry and government sources told The Philippine Star.

* Circles.Life, a Singaporean mobile virtual network operator, is offering a free 20GB of mobile data a month as a way to capture 3% to 5% market share by 2019, The Straits Times reports. The company is also planning to launch its service in Indonesia next year.

* Thailand's Digital Economy Ministry said the cremation ceremony of King Bhumibol will be broadcast live to 177 countries worldwide, RYT9 reports.

* Thailand's Ministry of Tourism and Sports said it is in talks with the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society about developing a tourism database, Prachachat reports.


* Vodafone NZ launched Vodafone TV, a cloud-based service which brings Sky TV, free-to-air and a range of online and app-based entertainment services, including Netflix, together in one system.

* NZME Ltd. and Fairfax Media Ltd.'s New Zealand unit have begun their appeal against the Commerce Commission's rejection of their planned merger, Radio New Zealand reports.

* Two minor shareholders of Ten Network Holdings Ltd. — Yunfeng Du and David Gubbay — have failed in their attempt to postpone the Oct. 31 hearing related to the transfer of Ten shares to CBS Corp., The Sydney Morning Herald reports.


Conference Chatter: The purchasing power driven by virtual, augmented reality tech: Retailers and vendors are benefiting from augmented reality as a means to help convert demonstrations into sales transactions in select categories.

The Week Ahead: What Denmark's deregulation could mean for US telecom policy: In 2011, the Danish government dismantled its telecom regulator, and some believe the U.S. should follow suit.


Technology: Even without OTT video Nintendo Switch will outsell other consoles: Increasing competition for the attention of gamers from PCs, streaming media players and mobile devices are contributing to a significant shake-up in the worldwide game console market.

Broadcast Investor: Streaming services scooping up big four affiliates as competition grows: Virtual service providers such as Hulu with Live TV, DIRECTV Now and PlayStation Vue are racing to add live local stations to bolster channel lineups and lock in subscribers.

Technology: Italy's Fastweb relying heavily on VDSL Profile 35b: Over the last year, Italy's Fastweb has deployed over 3 million very high bit-rate digital subscriber line Profile 35b lines that are a speedier version of vectored VDSL2, delivering broadband speeds of up to 200 Mbps over existing copper.


Netflix wraps up big Q3 as execs discuss M&A, competition, price increases: Netflix drove plenty of headlines in recent months with its first acquisition, a price increase and increased competition from companies like Disney, and executives fielded all topics during an Oct. 16 earnings conference call.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Nicole Shiwon Kim, Frances Wang, Wil Hathaway and Kevin Osmond 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.