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SoftBank/WeWork deal update; Huawei car sensors; more Indian content on Netflix


According to Market Intelligence, December 2022


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SoftBank/WeWork deal update; Huawei car sensors; more Indian content on Netflix


* WeWork Cos. Inc.'s board approved SoftBank Group Corp.'s takeover of the coworking giant, with former CEO Adam Neumann set to receive an approximately US$1.7 billion payout to cut most of his ties with the company he co-founded, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. SoftBank already owns about one-third of WeWork and would buy about US$1 billion worth of stock in The We Co. from Neumann as part of the deal.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. will utilize its 5G technologies to develop sensors for self-driving vehicles as part of the company's push to play a bigger role in the automotive industry, Reuters reports. Rotating Chairman Xu Zhijun said the company will produce millimeter-wave radars and laser radars but did not provide a time frame for the development of the products.

* Netflix Inc. is adding content from eight Indian comedians to expand its comedy slate, Television Post reports. The streaming giant will bring comedy acts from Indian entertainers Vir Das, Kenny Sebastian, Amit Tandon, Kanan Gill, Kaneez Surka, Prashasti Singh, Niveditha Prakasham and Supriya Joshi to its platform over the next few months.

* There have been some "false starts," but mobile video is the future of video, Viacom Inc. CEO Bob Bakish said during an Oct. 22 keynote address at Mobile World Congress Los Angeles. As a success story, Bakish pointed to Reliance Industries Ltd.'s Jio carrier in India, which combined entertainment and device partnerships with its mobile network and built a 350 million subscriber base in less than three years.


* SoftBank Corp. is teaming up with TBCASoft and International Business Machines Corp. for a collaboration that will enable carriers to leverage blockchain technology through the Carrier Blockchain Study Group Consortium, a global carrier blockchain consortium co-founded by TBCASoft and SoftBank. Under the agreement, TBCASoft will bring technology and solutions, IBM will contribute its blockchain technology, software solutions and experience in integrating and scaling blockchain networks, and SoftBank will add its telecommunications expertise to the collaboration.

* KDDI Corp. tapped Cisco Systems Inc. to help it with its transition to 5G. Under the tie-up, KDDI will use Cisco's 5G Now portfolio offerings such as the Cisco Virtualized Packet Core and Control and User Plane Separation architecture to offer better services to customers.


* Netflix commissioned "Crash Landing on You," a South Korean romantic comedy that tells the story of an oddly matched couple from different backgrounds, Deadline reports. The series will premiere on the streaming platform later this year.

* Megabox Cineplex Inc. will premiere Netflix film "The King" ahead of its Nov. 1 release on the streaming platform, Korea JoongAng Daily reports. The movie theater chain is also considering screening upcoming Netflix films such as "The Irishman," "Marriage Story" and "The Two Popes."

* KT Corp. joined forces with Hyundai Mobis Co.Ltd. to demonstrate 5G-based connected car technologies, Korea JoongAng Daily reports. The companies showcased cellular vehicle-to-everything technologies, including real-time updates for the navigation system, a 5G video streaming service for emergency situations and collision prevention systems.

* U.S. quantum computing startup IonQ Inc. raised US$55 million in a funding round led by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s venture capital fund Samsung Catalyst Fund and Mubadala Capital.


* Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei urged Norway to ignore pressure from the U.S. and allow the Chinese equipment maker to supply it with 5G network technology, NRK reports.

* In more Huawei news, the company issued the first tranche of a total of 3 billion yuan of three-year bonds with an annual interest of 3.3% to 3.9%.

* Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s social media platform WeChat and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. affiliate Alipay disabled the fingerprint payment function of their services in Samsung Galaxy S10 and Note10 smartphones following reports that nonregistered fingerprints can unlock the handsets using a third-party screen protector, according to Techweb.

* Wang Haifeng, chief technology officer of Baidu Inc., will succeed Wang Lu as director of China Unicom. Lu recently stepped down due to changes in job assignment.

* China Mobile Ltd. plans to provide 5G services to more than 50 cities before the end of 2019, Tencent News reports. The company will keep working on its network construction and application, with the goal of expanding 5G services to over 300 cities in the country.

* The South African government inked a two-year agreement with Tencent in which the company will use its social media platform WeChat to promote South Africa as a preferred tourist destination for Chinese travelers, Reuters reports.


* The Indian government requested help from Facebook Inc. to decrypt private messages on its platform, citing national security requirements in a court hearing on privacy rights on social media platforms, Reuters reports. India Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the Supreme Court that it was the responsibility of social media companies to share data wherever there was a threat to national security. In response, the apex court said it will consolidate all pending cases on the issue from lower courts and hear them beginning January 2020.

* Dish TV India Ltd. launched its over-the-top service Watcho on Inc.s Fire TV Stick, Television Post reports. Effective immediately, Amazon Fire TV Stick customers can access Watcho's app to stream original web shows, short films, live TV channels, regional shows and movies.


* Malaysia-based telecom operator U Mobile Sdn. Bhd. inked a letter of intent with Huawei for 5G collaboration in preparation for the carrier's planned 5G rollout in 2020, The Edge Market reports. U Mobile CEO Wong Heang Tuck said the collaboration will include 5G live trials.

* Huawei struck deals with Thailand's National Science and Technology Development Agency and the National Innovation Agency to establish Huawei Academy in the country, Daily News reports. The facility will give information and communication technology training and develop local talents with skills for the ICT industry.

* In related news, Huawei encouraged Thailand to expedite its adoption of 5G, Krungthep Turakij reports. The company reportedly told Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak that the current 5G timeline of Thailand will put it behind neighboring nations.

* Nadiem Makarim, former CEO and co-founder of ride-hailing app PT Go-Jek Indonesia, will keep his stake in the company but will not have any advisory or executive role, Reuters reports, citing a company spokesperson. Nadiem recently resigned to join the Indonesian cabinet.


* Vocus Group Ltd. hired Singtel Optus Pty. Ltd. executive Nitesh Naidoo to replace outgoing CFO Mark Wratten. Naidoo, vice president of corporate finance at Optus, will begin his new role with Vocus in January 2020.

* Bauer Media Pty. Ltd. appointed former News Corp. Australia Pty. Ltd. executive Andrew Cook as director of sales. Cook replaces Paul Gardiner, who is leaving the company to take on a new venture in New Zealand.

* Network Ten Pty. Ltd. and TVNZ struck deals with Passion Distribution Ltd. to acquire broadcast rights to ITV PLC's documentary "Harry & Meghan: An African Journey," TBI Vision reports.


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Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai, Ed Eduard 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.