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US may block Huawei, ZTE purchases; Foxconn to assemble X-model iPhones in India


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US may block Huawei, ZTE purchases; Foxconn to assemble X-model iPhones in India


* U.S. President Donald Trump may issue an executive order to stop domestic companies from using telecommunications equipment made by China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp., Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the situation. The executive order, which has been under consideration for more than eight months, could be issued as early as January 2019 and would declare a national emergency directing the U.S. Department of Commerce to block local companies from buying equipment from foreign telecommunications makers that pose significant security risks.

* Foxconn Technology Co. Ltd. plans to expand a production facility in India to start assembling X-model Apple Inc. iPhones there in 2019, Reuters reported, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. The Taiwanese company intends to spend US$356 million to expand its plant in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

* BBC Studios Ltd. Executive Vice President for Asia, David Weiland, spoke to S&P Global Market Intelligence about the company's efforts to gain a deeper foothold in China and its multi-strategic approach in Asian markets.


* NEC Corp. agreed to buy KMD Holding ApS for about 8 billion Danish kroner from private equity investor Advent International Corp. KMD Holding is the holding company of Danish information technology company KMD A/S.

* Sharp Corp. announced plans to spin off the laser and electronic device units of its IoT electronic device group into two wholly owned subsidiaries. The move is meant to promote greater independence as the company pursues structural reform goals aimed at developing 8K and artificial internet of things technologies.

* Japanese convenience store FamilyMart Co. Ltd. will launch its own mobile payment app in July 2019, The Nikkei reports. Famipay, to be available at the chain's 17,000 stores across Japan, will enable payments by scanning the app's QR codes at the cashier.


* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. completed its acquisition of information security company SK Infosec Co. Ltd., Digital Daily reports.

* LG U+ launched a portable IPTV set-top box called U+tv Free, equipped with NAVER Corp.'s artificial intelligence platform Clova, Financial News reports. The product allows users to access all U+tv services without a separate sign-in process and also supports voice command-based control of connected gadgets.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is teaming up with SK Telecom, KT Corp. and LG U+ to launch a rich communication suite-based messaging service on its smartphone Galaxy Note 9 in South Korea, Yonhap News Agency reports.

* In the aftermath of a recent fire at KT Corp.'s facilities that incapacitated the telco's services, the South Korean government will put in place policies to prevent and respond to communications disasters, ZDNet Korea reports. The policies include strengthening disaster management standards, securing network redundancy, and building a cooperation system among telcos to share network access in case of emergency.


* Beijing's new internet court dismissed the copyright lawsuit of Beijing ByteDance Technology Co. Ltd.-owned short video app TikTok against Baidu Inc.-backed streaming platform Huopai. According to Yicai Global, TikTok filed the 1 million yuan lawsuit against Baidu for spreading exclusive short videos on its Huopai platform and allowing users to download them without permission.

* Huawei Technologies Rotating Chairman Guo Ping said in his New Year address that the company is expecting a revenue of US$108.5 billion for 2018, rising 21% from the previous year, Caijing reports. Guo also said the company secured 26 5G contracts, and expects smartphone shipments to be more than 200 million units for 2018.

* Alipay, the online payment platform of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., debuted its face recognition system in Beijing, Sina reports.

* Chinese Airbnb Inc. rival Xiaozhu plans to introduce facial recognition-enabled smart door locks in 80% of its listings in the southwest Chinese city of Chengdu to improve user security. According to South China Morning Post, Xiaozhu will also equip more apartments with smoke detectors, gas alarms and burglar alarms.


* JioCinema, a movie app owned by Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., has partnered with Walt Disney Co.'s India unit to offer a dedicated section of Pixar, Marvel and Lucas content on its platform, Mint reports.

* The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India will soon begin a consultation process to arrive at a new methodology that will lower the base price of bids for future spectrum auctions, The Economic Times (India) reports.


* The Cambodian subsidiary of Malaysia-based telco infrastructure company edotco Group Sdn. Bhd. has acquired 325 towers from South East Asia Telecom (Cambodia) Co. Ltd. Phillip Wong, chief regional officer for growth markets at edotco, said the deal reinforces the company's commitment to invest in Cambodia as a key market.

* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission said the country's three main telcos – Advanced Info Service Public Co. Ltd., TrueMove H and Total Access Communication PCL – have written to the regulator asking for 2G services to be discontinued on Oct. 31, 2019, Manager reports.

* Thai telco Intouch Holdings Public Co. Ltd. named Anek Pana-apichon as its new CEO and Kim Siritaweechai as its new CFO. Both appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2019.

* LINE Corp.'s Thai unit said it will be expanding its LINE Man delivery service to provincial cities outside of Bangkok in 2019 in an effort to pre-empt competition from rival services, Prachachat reports.

* Indonesia's Ministry of Transportation issued the Ministerial Decree 118 to replace the Ministerial Decree 108, for online taxi regulation, Indotelko reports. In the new rule, ride-hailing companies are required to impose four criteria of suspension for drivers: light, moderate, serious and very serious.


* Michelle Guthrie requested Australia's Federal Court to reinstate her as managing director of Australian Broadcasting Corp., saying the national broadcaster's board had no right to fire her. According to The Australian, Guthrie made the claim in her lawsuit against ABC, its former chairman Justin Milne and other board members for her alleged wrongful dismissal.


M&A Replay: Asia-Pacific: SoftBank mulls selling NVIDIA stake; KKR slashes bid for MYOB: SoftBank Group is planning to sell its stake in NVIDIA in 2019, while KKR reduced its buyout offer for Australian accounting software company MYOB Group.


Wireless Investor: 28 GHz auction crawls toward an early January finish line: Auction 101, with 3,072 28 GHz licenses in 1,536 counties in the U.S. for sale, is winding down. In 24 days of bidding it has raised almost US$690 million, implying slightly more than a penny per MHz pop for the spectrum.

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