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Tencent, NetEase left out of China's new game approvals; Norway mulls Huawei ban

Southeast Asian broadband providers report varying performance amid COVID-19

Cable networks react to pandemic by cutting SG&A, programming costs

Infographic: 2020 Global Mining Exploration Trends

CUSIP Requests for Municipal Securities Continue to Rise


Tencent, NetEase left out of China's new game approvals; Norway mulls Huawei ban

TOP NEWS

* China approved a second list of video games, with titles owned by Tencent Holdings Ltd. and NetEase Inc. left out again, Reuters reported. The country's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television reportedly cleared 84 new games for the second time in a fortnight. Holding back game approvals was part of China's content crackdown.

* Norway is considering measures to protect itself against potential security risks posed by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., Reuters reports. Justice Minister Tor Mikkel Wara said the Norwegian government will place special demands on the Chinese telecom equipment maker before allowing its equipment to be used in future 5G networks.

* Private equity buyers took the top three financial technology deals in 2018 and nine of the top 20, an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis found. Seven of the largest deals were in payments, followed by six deals in financial media and data solutions.

JAPAN

* J SPORTS Broadcasting Corp. invested an undisclosed sum in SpoCale, an app that allows users to see schedules of various sports matches and the dates on which they will be aired.

* Hitachi Ltd. will form a joint venture with State Bank of India in a bid to capitalize the fast-growing e-payment demand in India, Nikkei Asian Review reports.

SOUTH KOREA

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. and Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. joined hands with Harman International Industries Inc. to jointly develop and commercialize digital broadcasting network-based automotive electronics technology for global markets. Under the tie-up, the companies will collaborate to build an automotive platform based on ATSC 3.0, the next-generation broadcasting technology standard.

* In other SK Telecom news, the telco signed memoranda of understanding with mobility companies Zoox Inc. and DA Technology Co. Ltd., and with autonomous driving startup ThorDrive, ETNews reports. Accordingly, SKT and DA will be in charge of domestic service development and operation, while Zoox will focus on further developing autonomous driving technology. The South Korean telco will also work with ThorDrive to commercialize autonomous driving shuttle, robot taxi and last-mile delivery services.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. invited partners for its Feb. 20 Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event, when the company will unveil the Galaxy S10 series in San Francisco, Yonhap News Agency reports. The new series is expected to have four different models in differing sizes, with the last one to be launched in March equipped with 5G functionality.

* NAVER LABS Corp. will collaborate with LG Electronics Inc. to conduct joint research on applying NAVER Corp.'s mobility platform xDM to LG's guide robot AirStar, Financial News reports. The two companies expect their collaboration will improve their respective integrated location platform and robot capabilities.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* Tencent is planning to introduce a Siri-like digital assistant, dubbed Xiaowei, for WeChat, Bloomberg News reports. The virtual assistant will link to Tencent services such as QQ Music, as well as mini-programs run by third-parties including Meituan Dianping and Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd.

* CBS Corp. appointed Lawrence Liding to a newly created position as head of company's China operations, effective Feb. 20. Liding will work closely with CBS President and acting CEO Joseph Ianniello, Chief Creative Officer David Nevins and head of CBS global distribution, Armando Nuñez, to extend the CBS brands and grow the company’s business in China.

* Nreal, a Hangzhou-based smart-glasses maker, raised US$15 million in its series A funding round, Iyiou reports. Baidu Inc.'s video streaming unit iQIYI Inc. is one of the investors.

* Former JD Finance president Jin Lin joined Tencent-backed food delivery service Meituan as general manager for its mobile payment business, 36Kr reports. Meituan developed Meituan Pay after parting ways with Alipay in April 2018.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* India's Supreme Court permitted Aircel Cellular Ltd. employees to file a contempt case against Bharti Airtel Ltd., its unit Bharti Hexacom Ltd. and the telecom department for not returning bank guarantees worth 4.53 billion Indian rupees as ordered by the apex court, The Economic Times (India) reports.

* ZEE5 struck a distribution deal with online smart TV brand CloudWalker that will see the Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.-owned streaming app available on CloudWalker's flagship smart TV range and featured on the homepage of all CloudWalker smart TVs, Television Post reports.

* Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.'s net income rose 24.1% year over year in the third fiscal quarter but missed analysts' expectations. Net profit attributable to the shareholders of the company stood at 81.05 billion Indian rupees, or 21.60 rupees per share, in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2018, up from 65.31 billion rupees, or 17.06 rupees per share, in the same period last year. The S&P Global Market Intelligence normalized EPS estimate was 21.81 rupees for the third fiscal quarter.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Vietnam-based Yeah1 Group Corp. announced that it completed its US$20 million acquisition of Hollywood, Calif.-based ScaleLab, a YouTube LLC multi-channel network. The newly merged companies will focus on promoting ScaleLab's talent roster throughout Asia, as well as connecting top Asian talent with the English-speaking world.

* Malaysia-based telco Celcom Axiata Bhd. will invest 100 million ringgit in the next five years to develop its internet of things facility and related infrastructure, The Sun Daily reports. The development will include network, content, research and ecosystem developments in Malaysia.

* Thailand passed a law that gives the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission new powers, including the ability to grant licenses without an auction, recall unused spectrum after three years, supervision of satellite matters and the allocation of the national emergency number, Prachachat reports.

* Thai telco Total Access Communication PCL, or Dtac, inked a deal to settle its dispute with CAT Telecom PCL, Prachachat reports. Dtac agreed to pay 9.51 billion baht to CAT.

* StarHub Ltd. appointed Lionel Yeo Hung Tong as an independent nonexecutive director. Tong formerly served as CEO of the Singapore Tourism Board. The company also said it became the first local Pan-European Public Procurement Online Access Point provider certified by the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore.

* Thailand's minister of Digital Economy and Society met with the Italian ambassador to Thailand to discuss digital cooperation between the two countries, including 5G technology adoption, Than Settakij reports.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* Telstra Corp. Ltd. CEO Andrew Penn said the company struck exclusive deals with "some of the world's biggest brands" to offer their 5G-enabled devices in the first half of 2019. Under the partnerships, the 5G smartphones will be available exclusively through Telstra.

FEATURED NEWS

Data Dispatch: Apple takes a bite out of Berkshire's investment portfolio: Berkshire Hathaway's five largest investment holdings within its property and casualty subsidiaries are down over $25 billion since the end of the third quarter of 2018.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Economics of Advertising: Direct mail enjoys high response rates amid digital clutter: Against a backdrop of increasing usage for digital advertising platforms, some companies are returning to a tried and tested tactic to cut through the clutter: sending ads straight to their customer's mailbox.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Frances Wang, Kevin Osmond 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.