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News Corp. Australia calls for Google breakup; Netflix to add more anime content

TOP NEWS

* News Corp. Australia Pty. Ltd. has called on the country's competition regulator to break up Google LLC, Reuters reported. In its response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's digital platforms inquiry, the News Corp. subsidiary accused Google of abusing its market dominance in internet searches to benefit its ads business and called for the Alphabet Inc. unit's search business or Google's advertising unit to be separated from the rest of the company through a sale.

* Netflix Inc. struck partnerships with Japanese production studios Anima Inc., Sublimation Inc. and David Production to co-develop original anime series. Among them are "Altered Carbon: Resleeved" produced by Anima. From Sublimation, Netflix has ordered "Dragon's Dogma," an anime series based on a Capcom Co. Ltd. video game. Netflix will also team up with David Production to create "SPRIGGAN," inspired by a manga series.

* Although top U.S. wireless carriers have touted next-generation 5G wireless technology as a potential new challenger in the home broadband market, a Comcast Corp. executive said he is confident the cable giant can withstand the competition.

JAPAN

* New York-based hedge fund King Street Capital Management LP, one of Toshiba Corp.'s largest shareholders, is planning to nominate a slate of independent directors to replace a majority of Toshiba's board, The Nikkei reported. Among the nominees will be Brian Higgins, co-founder of King Street Capital.

* NTT Docomo Inc. and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. tested Nissan's Invisible-to-Visible, or I2V technology, using Docomo's 5G mobile communications connectivity in a moving vehicle. I2V is a future Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology that merges the real world with virtual ones.

* NTT Communications Corp. launched a new program called Nexcenter Lab in a bid to promote open innovation in partnership with participating companies.

SOUTH KOREA

* KT Corp. will work with Korea Southern Power Co. Ltd., Woori Aviation and Syncspace to develop 5G-connected voice recognition-enabled smart drones and build sustainable drone operation infrastructure, Newsis reported. The telco, along with partners, aims to develop a next-generation drone that can fly at speeds of up to 100 kilometers per hour with voice control functions.

* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. partnered with Hyundai Motor Co. to co-develop service robots by utilizing their respective artificial intelligence platforms, NUGU and DAL-e, Digital Times reported. The two companies plan to jointly build service robots that will be deployed in Hyundai's showrooms for a pilot run within the year to serve customers and assist human staff.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. opened its new flagship store in Japan called GALAXY Harajuku, ZDNet Korea reported. The store is the biggest Galaxy showcase space in the world and offers visitors a glimpse of the Samsung Group unit's history of mobile phone manufacturing as well as a channel to experience and purchase the latest Samsung smartphones and wearable devices.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* TCL Electronics Holdings Ltd. will set up a smart device business group with a target revenue of 200 billion yuan in 2023, Yicai reported. TCL Electronics CEO Wang Cheng said the company is in talks with Google and Amazon.com Inc. for business development and will launch 5G smartphones in the overseas markets in 2020.

* Baidu Inc. and car manufacturer Chery Automobile Co. Ltd. launched a production-model electric vehicle featuring an artificial intelligence operating system that supports facial recognition payments, augmented reality navigation and control of home devices while in transit, the South China Morning Post reported.

* In other Baidu news, the company is opening up its search functions to cater to mini-programs, Tencent News reported. The search engine giant is reportedly assigning a higher priority to mini-programs for search result listings to enhance popularity.

* The British Broadcasting Corp.'s BBC Studios Ltd. will introduce BBC Earth on Chinese pay TV service BesTV starting April 1, TBI Vision reported. The content agreement between BBC and the Shanghai Media Group Inc. unit follows a similar deal for CBeebies broadcasts.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Bharti Airtel Ltd. will decrease its stake in its telecom tower subsidiary Bharti Infratel Ltd. The Indian telco will divest 591,874,639 equity shares, or up to 32% of its stake, via share sale or transfer to its wholly owned subsidiary Nettle Infrastructure Investments Ltd.

* Google launched YouTube Music in India, The Economic Times (India) reported. The service offers access to songs, albums, personalized playlists and music videos on the web and its mobile apps through an ad-supported model or monthly paid subscriptions.

* Facebook Inc. introduced Facebook Hubs in India, which are training and mentoring facilities for entrepreneurs, IANS reported. The centers will help foster innovation across 20 locations in nine Indian cities: Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Navi Mumbai and in Goa.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Following public concerns over the newly passed cybersecurity law, Thailand's Ministry of Digital Economy and Society held a seminar to educate the public on the details of the law, Prachachat reported. The ministry has reaffirmed that the law will only be used for cybersecurity threats and will not invade citizens privacy.

* Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo said the government's report on 5G testbed and trials is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, Utusan reported. The trials were part of the Malaysian government's initiative to ensure a plan to implement a high-speed network in the country.

* JKN Global Media PCL is shifting its focus to markets across Asia, The Bangkok Insight reported. The Thai content licensor hopes to grow its international sales to 30% of its total revenue within this year.

* Thai telco Advanced Info Service PCL developed an artificial intelligence chatbot to help it cope with online customer service demands, Manager Online reported.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* China's Pintec Technology Holdings Ltd. said it has acquired Infrarisk Pty. Ltd., a supplier of credit-risk-related software and services in Australia.

FEATURED NEWS

Conference Chatter: SXSW: Instagram founders recap on ads, authenticity with Facebook integration: Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom, founders of the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram, spoke during a panel at SXSW about monetization and protecting the platform's authenticity during the integration with Facebook.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Research & Analysis: Looking for Vision in a massive telematics investment: An analysis of the biggest U.S. fintech funding round of 2018 suggested an unexpectedly high valuation for an insurtech company that attracted the attention of SoftBank Group's Vision Fund.

Multichannel Trends: Q4'18 multiproduct analysis sheds more light on video's fall from grace: An estimated 87.3% of video subscribers for a core group of top MSOs took the original cable product within a multiproduct context, taking at least one other service, as of Dec. 31, 2018.

Nozomi Ibayashi, Myungran Ha, Emily Lai and 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.