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Indonesia's Go-Jek secures US$1.5B funding; Samsung gets FCC nod for 5G service

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Indonesia's Go-Jek secures US$1.5B funding; Samsung gets FCC nod for 5G service

TOP NEWS

* Indonesian ride-hailing company PT Go-Jek Indonesia has received US$1.5 billion — 25% higher than targeted — from investors that included Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. and Tencent Holdings Ltd., unnamed sources told Reuters.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. revealed at the Mobile World Congress 2018 that its complete commercial fixed-wireless access 5G service received approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, ZDNet reports. The 5G FWA service will be deployed in the first commercial 5G network to be rolled out in 2018 in the U.S.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. agreed to purchase Chinese food delivery startup company Ele.me from Baidu Inc. and other investors, Bloomberg reports, citing a person familiar with the matter. The e-commerce giant already owned 23% of the startup as of May 2017, the report added.

JAPAN

* Sharp Corp. and its Taiwanese owner Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd., widely known as Foxconn Technology Group, will launch a joint venture to produce automotive cameras, The Nikkei reports, citing sources. The companies will invest roughly ¥3 billion into the venture; Foxconn will own 51% of the venture, while Sharp will hold 49%.

* Japan's official budget for promoting artificial intelligence in fiscal 2018 is less than 20% of the amount set aside by the U.S and Chinese governments, according to a Kyodo News analysis. Japan projects public AI outlays of ¥77 billion in its draft budget for the year starting April 1, up 30% from the current year — but significantly below the ¥500 billion and ¥450 billion planned by the U.S and China, respectively.

* NTT Communications Corp., the ICT solutions arm of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., announced its first partnership in Malaysia for offering its Global Management One managed services platform. Malaysian systems integration company Diversified Gateway Solutions Bhd. will offer the platform as part of NTT Com's regional managed services expansion, following rollouts in Singapore and Hong Kong.

* Cisco Systems Inc. announced the appointment of Miyuki Suzuki as president for Asia Pacific and Japan, promoting her from chief of Cisco Japan. She replaces Irving Tan, who took over the newly created role of senior vice president of operations and digital.

* SoftBank Corp., the mobile arm of SoftBank Group Corp., selected U.S.-based Affirmed Networks Inc.'s Mobile Content Cloud solution to deliver Internet of Things services and mobile connectivity to enterprise customers.

SOUTH KOREA

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. will back ID Quantique SA, a Switzerland-based cryptography services provider, with an investment of 70 billion South Korean won. ID Quantique and the South Korean mobile operator, in parallel, will also team up to expand the company's core quantum photonics technologies and provide services for high-potential industrial markets.

* Samsung Electronics and Vodafone Group Plc partnered to co-develop and launch Internet of Things-powered smart home services tailored for the European market. The two companies plan to connect the V-Home by Vodafone service with the Samsung SmartThings platform and launch the integrated services in Germany and Spain in the second quarter of this year.

* Naver Corp. co-founder and Global Investment Officer Lee Hae-jin decided to resign from the internal director post on March 19 and recommended his successors, Digital Times reports.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* China Mobile Ltd. and Vodafone Group partnered to resell each other's Internet of Things services. China Mobile also teamed up with Ericsson AB to help the Chinese telco expand its Internet of Things worldwide.

* Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. started pre-commercial 5G deployment with over 30 telcos worldwide, Reuters reports, citing CEO Ken Hu.

* Amazon.com Inc. is still not in the new round of 18 companies licensed by China's Ministry of Industry and Information and Technology to offer cloud services in China, Leiphone reports. So far, the ministry has issued the cloud business license to 142 companies, including Huawei Technologies, Alibaba and Tencent.

* Taiwan Semiconductor Co. Ltd. plans to build a new research center in Hsinchu science park, UDN reports. Dedicated to develop 3-nanometer chips, the center is expected to open in 2021.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Samsung Electronics and Reliance Jio are working together to deploy a nationwide cellular Internet of Things network in India, bring LTE coverage to 99% of the Indian population, and improve the country's network capacity.

* Debt-laden Aircel Ltd.'s two top executives, Vipul Saurabh, national head for operations and customer services, and Anupam Vasudev, the company's chief marketing officer, reportedly resigned from the company, people close to the development told The Economic Times (India).

* Bharti Airtel Ltd. joined Sprint Corp. and other companies to form Seamless Air Alliance, a global collaboration that aims to bring high-speed in-flight connectivity to customers.

* Falcon Media House Ltd. entered into a deal with Indian cable network provider JPR Network to provide the latter with live and digital streaming technology from Falcon unit Quiptel, extending Falcon Media's footprint to India.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Singapore telco M1 Ltd. is partnering with local bike-sharing company SG Bike Pte. Ltd. to solve the issue of indiscriminate parking among users. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore using narrowband Internet of Things technology to enhance SG Bike's current geostation solution.

* Singtel has asked several third-party mobile content providers to temporarily stop their activities, The New Paper reports. This action follows complaints from multiple customers about alleged false charges from subscription mobile game services.

* Malaysian telco U Mobile will be providing two months' complimentary subscription to GOLIFE 5, one of U Mobile's life mobile microinsurance products, for selected prepaid and postpaid customers, The Sun Daily reports.

* Samsung Electronics' new Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones will be available in Singapore starting March 16 from Singtel, StarHub Ltd. and M1, The Straits Times reports. Pre-orders for the devices can be registered from March 1 with the three telco operators, the Samsung Singapore online store, and local Samsung Experience stores.

* True Online, a subsidiary of Thailand's True Corp., launched True Super Fiber Gold, a new convergence subscription that comes fully integrated with TrueVisions Gold HD, SiamPhone reports. True Super Fiber Gold starts at 1,999 baht per month and gives subscribers access to channels such as 21st Century Fox Inc.'s FOX Movies, FOX Sports HD and National Geographic Channel (US) (HD).

* RS Public Co. Ltd.-owned RS Vision Co. Ltd.'s Channel 8 said it aims to generate 5.8 billion Thai baht in revenue this year, driven by strong ratings brought in by eight Indian drama series expected to be a hit in Thailand, Komchadluek reports.

* Thai telcos Advanced Info Service Public Co. Ltd. and Total Access Communication Public Co. Ltd., or Dtac, will take pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ handsets between Feb. 27 and Mar. 5, SiamPhone reports. AIS will offer discounts of up to 7,000 baht when purchased with a monthly 4G Max Speed subscription.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* John Croll resigned as managing director and CEO of Isentia Group Ltd. Croll has given six months' notice and the board is going to undertake a global search for his replacement, the company said.

* Telstra Corp. Ltd. launched its Air Merchant product, which allows small businesses to set up a guest Wi-Fi service, promote customized offers and obtain more details on its customers, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

FEATURED NEWS

Conference Chatter: Mobile World Congress: Vodafone CEO calls for tougher regulation of tech giants: The CEO of British mobile giant Vodafone has urged telecom regulators to level the playing field between mobile operators and tech giants such as Facebook and Apple.

The Week Ahead: FTC dives into privacy as Mobile World Congress kicks off abroad: The Federal Trade Commission will host PrivacyCon 2018, exploring both the security implications and economics of privacy measures. Overseas, Mobile World Congress, the world's largest mobile technology event, kicks off in Barcelona, Spain.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Internet: Profile: SVOD provider HOOQ has focused on targeting emerging markets where Singtel, one of its founders, is already present.

Joji Sakurai, Myungran Ha, Frances Wang, 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.