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In This List

Flipkart in streaming venture; Huawei's Hongmeng phone; Embark Studios takeover

IPTV, Multichannel Services In Asia Evolving Quickly In Response To COVID-19

COVID-19 Could Hamper Broadcast Ad Revenues In Q1’2020

Australia And New Zealand Telcos Launch Special Packs Amidst COVID-19 Outbreak

Customer Experience in CRM: From Laggards to Leaders


Flipkart in streaming venture; Huawei's Hongmeng phone; Embark Studios takeover

TOP NEWS

* Walmart Inc.-owned Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd. plans to take on rival Amazon.com Inc. by launching its own video streaming service in India, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The online retailer plans to launch video streaming for members of its Flipkart Plus loyalty program by September. Flipkart will initially stay away from producing its own shows and will instead rely on licensing content from the likes of Walt Disney Co. and Balaji Telefilms Ltd.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is testing a smartphone equipped with Hongmeng, the company's self-developed operating system, with the device expected to go on sale by the end of 2019, Global Times reported, citing sources. The handset will be priced at about 2,000 yuan, which places the device at the low- and medium-end segments of the smartphone market.

* Nexon Co. Ltd. said it is increasing its stake in Swedish game developer Embark Studios AB, starting with raising its current stake of 66.1% to 72.8%, BusinessKorea reported. Through the acquisition, Nexon aims to expand its foothold in the global gaming market. The South Korea-based company, which trades publicly on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, also announced that it will have the option to fully purchase the remaining shares of the Swedish company through Nexon stock over a five-year period.

* Asia-Pacific over-the-top video revenue is projected to grow 18% per year from 2018 to 2023, as several streaming platforms launch in the region. Patricio Cummins, vice president for Asia-Pacific and Japan at video platform software provider Ooyala Inc., said local content creators and OTT platforms need more regulation and less reliance on U.S. platforms to make the most of this trend.

JAPAN

* Rakuten Capital, the investment arm of Rakuten Inc., led a US$35 million funding round for Fever, a startup based in Madrid and London that uses algorithms to plan events, TechCrunch reported. Fever CEO Ignacio Bachiller said the company will use the funding's proceeds to expand into Chicago and Barcelona, followed by the Asian market in 2020.

* KDDI Corp. will release the Huawei P30 lite Premium smartphone in Japan on Aug. 8. The Japanese launch of the handset model was reportedly postponed due to concerns over U.S. sanctions on Huawei.

SOUTH KOREA

* KT Corp. signed an agreement with U.S. publishing company Scholastic Corp. to collaborate on technology-enabled English education content for children, ZDNet Korea reported. The two companies plan to jointly develop educational content and services based on 5G, artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies.

* Netmarble Corp. introduced a multitask, audio-driven facial animation technology that uses artificial intelligence to automatically generate natural facial animation in sync with voice input, Yonhap News Agency reported. The company will apply the new graphic technology to its future games, especially to ones offered in multiple languages.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd. may launch its first heavy game in the first quarter of 2020, KrASIA reported, citing Late Post. Heavy games are high-end games with graphics that require a lot of computing power and memory to run. Wang Kuiwu, a gaming veteran who was poached by ByteDance from Perfect World Co. Ltd., is reportedly spearheading the project and currently has four games in development.

* Huawei will invest 10 billion yuan to build a research and development center in Shanghai, Tencent News reported. The facility will house about 40,000 staff to develop chips, wireless networks and internet of things businesses.

* Baidu Inc. fired 14 employees allegedly involved in internal corruption cases, while ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd. laid off 30 staff for bribery and collusion. According to TechNode, more Chinese tech companies have ramped up their anti-corruption campaigns as they seek to replicate China's approach to misconduct.

* ZTE Corp. has begun selling its Axon 10 Pro 5G, the first 5G smartphone model in China, Xinhua reported.

* Xinhua News Agency's Xinhua Net is planning to introduce charges on certain content, the company said in an announcement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. and Bharti Airtel Ltd. are among the 12 contenders showing interest in the assets of bankrupt mobile operator Reliance Communications Ltd. and its subsidiaries Reliance Telecom Ltd. and Reliance Infratel Ltd., people familiar with the matter told The Economic Times (India). Asset managers and telecom tower operators have also submitted expressions of interest, the sources added. RCom's airwaves in 14 of India's 22 telecom circles, about 43,000 telecom towers and some fiber and real estate assets, are reportedly up for sale.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Indonesia's Ministry of Communication and Informatics will review the investment plans of Telenor ASA in the country, Bisnis reported. The review will assess the ongoing discussions between Telenor and Malaysian telecom operator Axiata Group Bhd. to merge their Asia-based businesses.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission ordered Krungthep Thanakom to submit costs and calculations for determining the rental price of Bangkok's new underground microduct network, Prachachat reported. The regulator intervened after operators complained of lack of transparency and monopoly pricing.

* Total Access Communication PCL will expand its 4G network to Bangkok's Metropolitan Rapid Transit following a major extension of the city's subway system, Matichon reports. The Thai telco will install signal boosters and run trials of voice and data services ahead of the opening of the Blue Line extension Sept. 29.

* Singapore-based telco M1 Ltd. appointed former Telstra Corp. Ltd. executive Nathan Bell as the chief digital officer of the company, Capacity Media reported. Nathan also was COO of Telkomtelstra, a joint venture between Telstra and Telkom Indonesia.

* TNG Digital Sdn. Bhd. named Ignatius Ong as its new CEO, effective Aug. 12. Ignatius previously was group chief revenue officer of Malaysia Airlines Bhd., according to Digital News Asia.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Foxtel Cable Television Pty. Ltd. and BBC Studios Ltd. have signed an agreement on the long-term extension of their partnership that will give Australian pay TV operator access to premium British drama, entertainment, documentaries, natural history, children's programming and news for its broadcast and on-demand platforms. As part of the agreement, BBC Studios will provide thousands of additional hours of on-demand content, which will be available to viewers via the New Foxtel Experience user interface.

* Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd. promoted Angela Tangas to the post of chief commercial officer of its Australia and New Zealand operations. Tangas, who most recently was executive director of business operations, will lead the company's newly created offering, Dentsu Solutions.

FEATURED NEWS

As 5G networks roll, carriers eye edge computing as new service: As wireless operators begin lighting up next-generation 5G networks, the combination of faster mobile broadband speeds coupled with massive modern data loads is expected to drive an emerging technology: edge computing.

China 'weaponizes' yuan to counter US$300B tariff threat: The renminbi fell to its lowest level against the dollar since April 2008 as China responded to a U.S. threat to impose 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: Profile: Facebook: Facebook's rise from its launch in a Harvard dorm room in 2004 has been meteoric, now reaching more than 2 billion users each month and generating over US$56 billion in revenues in 2018.

Nozomi Ibayashi, 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. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.