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Tencent Music shares soar at NYSE debut; SoftBank, Alibaba invest in Tokopedia

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Tencent Music shares soar at NYSE debut; SoftBank, Alibaba invest in Tokopedia

TOP NEWS

* Stock in Tencent Music Entertainment Group climbed 7.7% above the company's initial public offering price for its U.S. trading debut, ending Dec. 12 at US$14.00 per share. The music unit of Tencent Holdings Ltd., which began trading Dec. 12 under the symbol "TME" on the New York Stock Exchange, had priced its public offering at US$13 per American depositary share. The offering, which raised about US$1.07 billion before the exercise of the underwriters' overallotment option, ranks as the largest IPO in the music services and publishing industry since 2000.

* Indonesian e-commerce operator PT Tokopedia secured US$1.1 billion in its latest financing round led by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and SoftBank Group Corp.'s Vision Fund, with participation from SoftBank Ventures Korea Inc. and other existing investors. Tokopedia said it intends to use the funds to build its technology and infrastructure.

* Google LLC CEO Sundar Pichai told U.S. lawmakers that his company operates "without political bias," and he agreed to work with Congress in crafting federal privacy legislation aimed at governing how internet giants collect user data.

JAPAN

* SoftBank Group is planning to sell its stake in NVIDIA Corp. in early 2019, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The Japanese conglomerate's move reportedly comes at a time when Nvidia's shares continue to slide. The transaction could generate a profit of US$3 billion for SoftBank, the report said.

* Japan's Fair Trade Commission will set up an oversight panel to launch a large-scale investigation into foreign big data companies that deal with concentrated information from consumers and small businesses, Kyodo News reports. The companies that will be under investigation include tech giants Google, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc.

* NTT Communications Co. Ltd. will link its AI service COTOHA, which uses natural language processing technologies, with Amazon Connect, a self-service, cloud-based contact center service. The tie-up will start in the first quarter of 2019.

* Tokyo-based game information service operator GameWith Inc. launched a web manga service for smartphones called MangaWith. Through the service, users can read over 150,000 manga stories from major publishing houses.

SOUTH KOREA

* South Korea's National Tax Service launched a tax investigation against Google Korea, Yonhap News Agency reports. According to an industry source, the investigation is suspected to be related to alleged tax evasion cases of famous local high-income YouTubers.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. will shut down its smartphone factory in Tianjin, China, Maeil Business Newspaper reports. According to a source familiar with the matter, the company plans to focus its capacity in markets such as India and Vietnam.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* U.S. President Donald Trump might intervene in the case against Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. CFO Meng Wanzhou, if the suit would help in national security interests or in closing a trade deal with China, Reuters reported. Trump has confirmed that the White House held discussions with the U.S. Justice Department and Chinese officials about the case.

* Alibaba Group invested in Israeli mobility startup Optibus Ltd. to help the company expand its artificial intelligence software for improving mass transit operations.

* Mobvista Inc., a mobile advertising and mobile data analytics provider, has made its trading debut on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

* Zhihu, Quora Inc.'s counterpart in China, is laying off more than 300 employees, or around 15% of its workforce. A Zhihu spokesperson reportedly told TechNode that the news about job cuts is just a rumor, and added that the process is part of the company's performance evaluation to make staffing adjustments and structural optimizations.

* China Telecom Corp. Ltd. has been offered a credit line worth US$5.1 billion by the Industrial Bank Co. Ltd., Yicai Global reports.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.'s board cleared proposals to spin off the company's fiber and tower assets into separate entities. The schemes are subject to statutory and regulatory approvals. Jio's move comes barely a month after Vodafone Idea Ltd. revealed plans to demerge its fiber infrastructure business, according to The Economic Times (India).

* Swati Shetty, director of international originals and acquisitions at Netflix Inc., is stepping down from her role. A Netflix spokesman reportedly told Variety that with the increasing focus on India, there was a need for the role to be fulfilled from the Mumbai office, but Shetty wished to continue in Los Angeles, where she is currently based.

* Indian internet service provider ACT Fibernet partnered with SonyLIV to expand its over-the-top offerings, Television Post reports. Under the tie-up, ACT Fibernet customers will be able to directly subscribe to SonyLIV's content.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Thailand's JKN Global Media PCL struck a deal with IndiaCast Media Distribution Pvt. Ltd. to bring Indian content to a new channel in JKN's over-the-top platform Bflix, World Screen reports. The channel will deliver a range of content from Viacom18's library, dubbed in Thai language.

* PT Hutchison 3 Indonesia plans to build 8,000 4G base transceiver stations in 2019, Indotelko reports. The Indonesian telco expects to get an additional 5 million to 10 million new customers from this development.

* Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. will focus on expanding its business in Indonesia, the home country of its rival PT Go-Jek Indonesia, The Jakarta Post reports. The company plans to introduce healthcare and food delivery services in the country in 2019.

* Thai mobile operator Advanced Info Service PCL inked an exclusive deal with Taiwanese gaming computer manufacturer ASUSTeK Computer Inc. to distribute the ASUS ROG Phone in Thailand, Chiang Mai News reports. The ASUS ROG is especially designed for mobile gaming.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Global tech giants including Apple, Google, Microsoft Corp. and Twitter Inc. have joined forces to denounce Australia's recently passed anti-encryption bill. A coalition of tech companies, which also includes Dropbox Inc., Snap Inc. and Oath Inc., called the law "deeply flawed" and said it will undermine the privacy of users, The Australian Financial Review reports.

FEATURED NEWS

Data Dispatch: CEO pay ratio of limited value — for now: Newly reported CEO pay ratios vary wildly from company to company, making apples-to-apples comparisons difficult. Observers say the disclosures will become increasingly valuable over time.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Challengers to Swiss duopoly to drive new market dynamics: A reinvigorated competitive landscape in Switzerland, via multiplay ISPs Sunrise and Salt, is driving exponential leaps in broadband speeds and increasingly competitive pricing that is challenging the established players.

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