* The Indian government plans to amend IT law to increase penalties on apps and websites that do not curb the spread of fake news and child pornography, The Economic Times (India) reports. The legal tweak will also enable dismantling websites and apps that violate the rule. The amendment is expected to impact companies such as Google and social media sites such as Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc.
* Vietnam introduced a new cybersecurity law which requires internet companies to remove all content the government deems "toxic," The Straits Times reports. The law also requires internet providers to hand over user data to authorities when requested. According to the report, Google may open an office in Vietnam to comply with the new law.
* Japan plans to use artificial intelligence and internet of things to help build smart cities in Southeast Asia to overcome issues such as road congestion and energy conservation, the Nikkei Asian Review reports.
* Sony Corp.'s Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC CEO Martin Bandier told the Financial Times (London) he expects more investment and consolidation in the music industry as streaming platforms such as Spotify continue to fuel growth.
* SK Telecom Co. Ltd. will partner with Content Alliance Platform Inc. to develop an over-the-top content service, The Korea Economic Daily reports. As part of the deal, the telco's subsidiary SK Broadband is expected to acquire 30% stake of the content platform.
* KT Skylife launched the Android Ultra HD 2.0 set-top box, equipped with Android 8.0 Oreo operating system and artificial intelligence-powered Google Assistant, Digital Daily reports.
* Kakao M Corp. named former head of CJ ENM CO. Ltd., Kim Sung-soo as its new CEO, Financial News reports. The company also completed the acquisitions of four entertainment agencies, including BH Entertainment Co. Ltd. and Soop Entertainment, expanding its talent pool to about 100 artists.
* LG U+ will launch a virtual reality content-dedicated application in March, along with the planned release of a 5G smartphone, ET News reports.
CHINA, TAIWAN AND HONG KONG
* China launched a satellite aimed at building a global communications network to bring broadcast internet access to remote and rural areas in the country, South China Morning Post reports. The technology experiment satellite launch is part of the Hongyun Project.
* Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed Youche Yihou received an investment of 200 million yuan, giving the automobile news and information provider a valuation of about 2 billion yuan, 36kr reports.
* Beijing Byte Dance Telecommunications Co. Ltd.'s news distribution app Toutiao plans to buy certain patent rights of smartphone maker Smartisan to develop devices for the education industry, 36kr reports.
* Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd. launched a financial technology unit named Didi Finance to cover insurance, loans and personal investments, Beijing News reports.
* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. will strengthen the ties between its sports unit and entertainment unit, Tencent News reports.
INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA
* Indian online restaurant guide and food ordering startup Zomato Media Private Ltd. is in talks to raise up to US$1 billion in fresh funds, VCCircle reports. According to the report, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. affiliate Ant Financial Services Group is likely to lead a fresh infusion of funds along with new investors. A source told VCCircle that Zomato "would be able to raise up to US$1 billion and the valuation is likely to touch US$3 billion post the funding round.”
* Malaysian media company Media Prima Digital Sdn. Bhd. acquired a 25% share of Monster Scape Sdn. Bhd., the operator of Chinese social news portal TanTanNews, New Straits Times reports. The acquisition will enable Rev Asia Holdings Sdn. Bhd., a subsidiary of Media Prima, to be the exclusive advertising reselling partner for Monster.
* Thailand's National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission urged three network operators to cooperate with each other to prevent signal failures and support emergency services during tropical storm Pabuk, Prachachat reports. The storm is expected to hit southern Thailand between Jan. 3 and Jan. 5.
* Thai telco TOT PCL is targeting 40 billion baht in revenue in 2019, building on the 35 billion baht it raised in 2018, Manager reports. The telco expects to raise 4.5 billion baht from telco Total Access Communication PCL through a joint 4G network on the 2,300 MHz band.
* Thailand's True Group plans to sell 3-year debentures in True Corp. and TrueMove H with interest rates of 4.00% to 4.15%, Krungthep Turakij reports.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
* SoftBank Group Corp. asked the Australian Communications and Media Authority to consider the high altitude pseudo-satellites into its plans for the 28 GHz spectrum, IT News reports. The 28 GHz spectrum is currently being eyed by telecommunications providers including NBN Co Ltd.
* SpeedCast International Ltd. tapped Sebastien Lehnherr to be COO of the company. Previously, Lehnherr oversaw cybersecurity for oilfield services company Schlumberger as chief information security officer, the company said Jan. 1.
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Joji Sakurai, Myungran Ha, Frances Wang, Kevin Osmond 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.