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Microsoft to invest in Singapore's Grab; Reliance Jio, Zee ink content deal

TOP NEWS

* Microsoft Corp. will invest in Singapore's GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. as part of a broader collaboration between the companies. The strategic partnership will allow greater collaboration on technology projects covering big data and artificial intelligence. Grab will adopt the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and will tap its data analytics and fraud detection services.

* Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. signed a new content deal with Essel Group-owned Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. The Economic Times (India) reports. Under the deal, Zee's entire content catalog, including 37 live TV channels, will be available to Jio users. Zee had previously removed 35 live television channels and more than 200,000 hours of video-on-demand content from Jio after failing to agree on pricing.

JAPAN

* Dentsu Inc. entered into an agreement to acquire Lisbon-based advertising agency MSTF Partners to expand its business in the Portuguese market. The deal was made through Dentsu's U.K. unit, Dentsu Aegis UK Ltd.

* Fuji Television Network Inc. partnered with retail stores operator Aeon Co. Ltd. to create content for children, The Nikkei reports. The companies will jointly manage the intellectual property of the content and plan to offer the program in Japan as well as Southeast Asia from October.

* Toyota Motor Corp. will expand its partnership with Japan's University of Tsukuba to include a pilot test of a transportation system using autonomous vehicles. The partnership will codevelop a transport system that will employ self-driving, single-seat electric vehicles.

* NTT Docomo Inc. and SoftBank Corp. will offer Google LLC's smartphone handset Google Pixel 3 in Japan from October, The Nikkei reports.

* In other NTT Docomo news, the mobile unit of Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp. added Wi-Fi functionality to its Japan Welcome SIM, a prepaid SIM card service which provides travelers to Japan with access to "docomo Wi-Fi" hotspots across Japan.

SOUTH KOREA

* Genie Music Corp., whose major shareholders are KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp., will complete its acquisition of CJ ENM CO. Ltd.'s music business unit CJ Digital Music Corp. on Oct. 10, iNews 24 reports.

* LG Electronics Inc. will release its premium smartphone V40 ThinQ in the U.S. market first, Yonhap News Agency reports. Carriers including T-Mobile US Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. will start preselling the smartphone from Oct. 11. The launch in South Korea is expected to be Oct. 24.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. added its mobile payment platform Samsung Pay to its smart TV models. The company is considering the expansion of its T-Commerce service to overseas markets next year.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Beijing-based Sohu.com Ltd. sued Baidu Inc. and Beijing Byte Dance Telecommunications Co. Ltd.-owned Toutiao, for copyright violation and is claiming 10 million yuan as compensation, Sina reports. According to Tech Node, Baidu's cloud service allowed users to upload and share pirated content without Sohu's authorization while Toutiao allowed clips of a popular Chinese drama to be streamed on its platforms.

* Hundreds of film production companies deregistered from the city of Korgas, which is dubbed as China's tax haven, after Chinese celebrity Fan Bingbing was fined 800 million yuan for tax evasion, Caixin reports. Fan had registered her production company in the city.

* Apple Inc. removed Tencent Holdings Ltd.-owned WeChat's rival, Bullet Message, from its app store for copyright infringements, NBD News reports.

* In other Tencent news, its cloud service was used in Shenzhen's first smart kindergarten. Tencent will help teachers develop personalized syllabi and build smart classrooms with its artificial intelligence technology and big data.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Facebook Inc. will offer support to startups and entrepreneurs in India through initiatives such as the "SheLeadsTech Roadshow," The Economic Times (India) reports. Satyajeet Singh, Facebook's head of platform partnerships, India and South Asia, said the social media giant has so far worked closely with over 200 startups through its varied programs.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. will continue to invest in India despite facing challenges in profitability, The Economic Times (India) reports, citing Huawei India CEO Jay Chen.

* Netflix Inc. announced that Indian original series "Selection Day" will launch globally Dec. 28.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Malaysia's Communications Minister Gobind Singh Deo said that the government is in talks with several companies from Japan, the U.K., France and South Korea to provide broadband services in Malaysia, Nikkei Asian Review reports. The government wants to formulate a policy to regulate the market.

* Thai telco True Corporation partnered with the country's Ministry of Science and Technology and National Innovation Agency to launch Bangkok CyberTech District, a digital startup hub located at True Digital Park, Thailand, WhatPhone reports. The public-private venture aims to attract digital startups to set up operations in Bangkok.

* The Perak government in Malaysia will upgrade communication infrastructure facilities to improve the state's broadband penetration rate, Malay Mail reports. Perak aims to appoint few companies to develop its internet facilitates and infrastructure.

*Colonel Settapong Malisuwan will step down as vice-chairman of Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, or NBTC, with immediate effect, Thairath reports.

* In other NBTC news, the Thai regulator approved the distribution of Apple Inc.'s Apple Watch Series 4 in Thailand, Sanook reports.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Melbourne-based NBN Co. Ltd. launched a public information campaign to help consumers select the right broadband speed tier for their usage. The campaign will run on TV, print and digital media.

* Seven Network Ltd. announced the appointment of Katie Finney as director of program partnerships. She succeeds Lisa Squillace, who is leaving the company.

* Australian Broadcasting Corp. promoted Sacha Gregson to acting head of content investment and planning in the entertainment and specialist division, in place of Alastair McKinnon, who will leave the role in November, IF Magazine reports.

FEATURED NEWS

Data Dispatch: Content demand could make Lions Gate prime M&A target: With high-profile content assets getting scooped up in cross-industry megamergers, studio owner Lions Gate may be the next in play.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Technology: US trade ban on ZTE has ripple effect on Q2 fiber-to-the-home, DSL gear market: The U.S. trade ban on ZTE that effectively shut down the company from April through June had a negative impact on the global fiber-to-the-home and DSL equipment markets during the second quarter.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Nicole Kim, Frances Wang, Ed Eduardo 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.