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Google, Facebook face probe in Australia; Samsung, Qualcomm to produce 5G chips

TOP NEWS

* The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission is set to begin its probe whether Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. may have misused their power in Australia's digital media market, according to The Australian. The move has reportedly been welcomed by local industry leaders concerned about the rise of a digital advertising duopoly of Google and Facebook and how the tech giants have presided over editorial control from traditional media companies to their platforms.

* Qualcomm Inc. said its subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies Inc. is partnering with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. over its Snapdragon 5G mobile chipsets. The upcoming chipsets will be built using the Samsung Group unit's 7-nanometer LPP EUV process technology.

* Air Bud Entertainment entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Baidu Inc.'s online video platform iQiyi, which includes all ABE-branded content, including films co-produced with Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc.

PAN-ASIAN NEWS

* AsiaSat named Ellen Yeung as its new director of information technology. Prior to joining AsiaSat, Yeung held senior positions in Hong Kong Productivity Council and Hong Kong Jockey Club, where she led and managed the development and implementation of IT services.

JAPAN

* Tokyo Disney Resort will get its own smartphone app this year as part of the efforts by operator Oriental Land to relieve crowding issues. The app will allow customers to buy tickets, make hotel and restaurant reservations, view park maps and see estimated wait times for attractions, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

* NTT DOCOMO, the mobile arm of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., announced it will launch a drone operating system this year using DOCOMO's cellular network. The company hopes "docomo sky" will generate sales of more than ¥10 billion within five years, Kyodo reports.

* Microsoft Japan Co. Ltd. teamed up with Japanese travel agency JTB Corp. and navigation company Navitime Co. to launch an English-language tourism app featuring Microsoft's AI chatbot amid a boom in foreign visitors, Japan Times reports.

* Toshiba Tec Corp., the technology solutions arm of Toshiba Corp., promoted Leon Roberge to chief information officer of Toshiba America Business Solutions and Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions. Roberge previously served as vice president of information technology at the two Toshiba companies.

* Uber Technologies Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi posted a tweet hailing "great discussions" with Toyota Motor Corp. on expanding their partnership in autonomous vehicles. Khosrowshahi visited Toyota's headquarters on a Japan trip aimed at expanding Uber's presence in the Japanese market.

SOUTH KOREA

* Netflix is working with South Korea's YG Entertainment Inc. on a new original series tentatively titled "Future Strategy Office." According to TBI Vision, the show will feature YG artists and other K-pop groups.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. is set to unveil Holobox, an artificial intelligence-powered hologram device that enables users to talk face-to-face to a virtual human avatar, at the Mobile World Congress 2018, ZDNet Korea reports.

* KT Corp. plans to reveal its in-vehicle infotainment platform GiGA Drive at the Mobile World Congress 2018, Digital Times reports. The platform uses a voice recognition artificial intelligence technology KT co-developed with SoundHound Inc. to provide search services based on the driver's verbal requests.

* LG Uplus Corp. launched South Korea's first mobile plan with unlimited data, which does not put any limit on the LTE speeds and data consumption, Yonhap News Agency reports. South Korean telcos usually put a speed cap after a given monthly amount of data is used up, even for so-called unlimited data plans.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Shutterstock Inc. backed China's ZCool Network Technology Ltd. with a US$15 million investment. ZCool, which operates a creative social network and artist platform, has been the exclusive distributor of Shutterstock's creative content in China since 2014. Shutterstock has also appointed a director to ZCool's board.

* Dalian Wanda Group Corp. Ltd., which recently sold its 17% stake in Spanish soccer club Atletico de Madrid, is set to buy local football team Dalian Yifang FC, South China Morning reports, citing Chinese media. Wanda has been actively disposing its overseas assets over the past few months after the company was put under strict scrutiny by China's top financial and banking regulators.

* Chinese LED chip developer HC SemiTek Corp. will invest 10.8 billion yuan to build a semiconductor facility in an industrial park located in Yiwu, a city in the Chinese province of Zhejiang, Yicai Global reports.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd. will work with Samsung Electronics to develop smart speakers and gaming solutions products, Sina reports, citing South Korean media.

* Acer Inc. will focus on its gaming products and Chromebook laptops, as well as enhance its presence in the enterprise PC space in overseas markets, after sales of its gaming products doubled in January, United Daily News reports.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Infosys Ltd. shareholders approved the appointment of Salil Parekh as CEO and managing director of the company, and UB Pravin Rao's appointment as COO and whole time director.

* Eros Now, the over-the-top service of Eros International PLC, will release 15 original series over the next 18 months, including "Smoke," "Blue Oak Academy" and "Side Hero with Rohan Sippy," according to Television Post.

* Microsoft Corp. said it will now provide support for email addresses in 15 Indian languages across its apps and services. Currently, the supported languages include Hindi, Bodo, Dogri, Konkani, Maithili, Marathi, Nepali, Sindhi, Bengali, Gujarati, Manipuri, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

* Tata Communications Ltd. is partnering with Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom to bring global connectivity to consumer electronics and industrial internet of things devices.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Telekom Malaysia added 10 new channels from Fox Networks Group Asia to its Unifi TV service, The Star reports. The new channels include Fox Movies, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Sky News and Fox Life.

* Myanmar-based telco Global Technology Group is launching La La Kyi, an over-the-top streaming service powered by Harmonic Inc.'s media processing Software-as-a-Service and Viaccess-Orca Ltd.'s TV-as-a-Service cloud-based TV platform.

* Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the company will continue "investing aggressively" in Southeast Asia despite incurring losses due to costly battles with Grab, its major rival in the region, Reuters reports.

* "MasterChef" will make its debut in Singapore via MediaCorp Pte. Ltd. in August, Channel News Asia reports.

* JOOX, a music streaming subsidiary of Tencent, said its Thailand unit is in talks with Total Access Communication Public Co. Ltd. and Workpoint TV to further expand its entertainment broadcasting, Manager reports.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Fairfax Media Ltd. will stop the distribution of some of its key mastheads in north Queensland, The Australian reports. The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Australian Financial Review will no longer be sold throughout the region from March 26.

* Ten Network Holdings Ltd.'s Network Ten appointed Mel Cornford as managing editor of ten daily, the network' yet-to-be-launched entertainment and lifestyle website. Cornford joined Ten in 2016 as project lead on ten daily, and has been developing the site since then.

FEATURED NEWS

Analysis: Apple's smart speaker playing catch-up to devices from Amazon, Google: Apple's new HomePod device vaulted the technology giant into the smart home market this month, but analysts say the initial product lacks some key features found in other connected speakers.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Technology: The state of high dynamic range: In the midst of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, the first major worldwide sporting event to be distributed in ultra HD, or UHD, and high dynamic range, or HDR, we thought it timely to examine where HDR stands today.

RECENT EARNINGS

Deutsche Telekom CEO: Liberty, Vodafone deal in Germany 'unacceptable': Deutsche Telekom's CEO warned that Vodafone's prospective acquisition of Liberty Global's cable assets in Germany risks creating a "monopoly" in the country's cable TV market.

Joji Sakurai, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai, Ed Eduard 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.