Tencent to acquire majority stake in China Music
Chinese internet giant Tencent plans to acquire a controlling stake in China Music, the country’s leading music streaming firm, in a deal valued at $2.7 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Tencent will merge its QQ Music Service, with a 15 per cent market share, with China Music’s KuGou and Kuwo music services, which have a 28 per cent and 13 per cent market share respectively, according to iiMedia Research.

The deal will give Tencent, China’s largest social networking firm, a 56 per cent share of the country’s online music market.

Vendors ask India’s DoT to clarify handset import duties
The Indian Cellular Association, which represents phone makers like Samsung, Apple and Micromax, has asked the Department of Telecom (DoT) to clarify the country’s import duty on 4G handsets after custom officials in Bangalore tried to levy a 10 per cent duty on 4G smartphones.

The group has urged the DoT to ensure handset imports aren’t charged the basic custom duty, which applies to 4G network equipment. Handset imports are subject to a 12.5 per cent countervailing duty.

While the dispute in Bangalore was resolved, the association is concerned the custom duty could be levied in other cities. Delhi and Mumbai are the top entry points for handset imports.

4G handset imports are expected to account for three-quarters of the INR400 billion ($12.4 billion) worth of smartphone imports in 2016-17, up from about 50 per cent last year, the Economic Times said.

Dtac faces continued declines in revenue – Fitch
Thailand’s second-largest mobile operator dtac faces a major challenge to regain market share and stabilise earnings as non-voice revenue growth of 10-15 per cent won’t be enough to offset an expected 15-20 per cent drop in voice revenue.

Fitch Ratings expects the operator’s service revenue to drop 1.5-2 per cent this year, after falling 3 per cent last year, as the company continues to lose market share due to intense competition.

Dtac’s service revenue has fallen year-on-year for the past nine quarters to Q2 16 and its service revenue market share, excluding interconnection revenue, declined to 27.5 per cent in Q1 from 28.6 per cent in 2015 and 29.7 per cent in 2014.

Fitch believes its competitors have spectrum advantages, particularly after dtac did not secure new spectrum in the latest auctions. Most of the company’s spectrum (35MHz) is under the concession regime, which has a short operating life expiring in 2018, although dtac’s spectrum portfolio remains large at 50MHz (AIS has 40MHz and True has 55MHz).

TSMC eyes record sales for Q3
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) expects Q3 revenue to increase 15-16 per cent sequentially and reach a record TWD254 billion to TWD257 billion ($7.86-7.95 billion).

The chipmaker’s revenue rose 8 per cent year-on-year in Q2 to TWD222 billion.

“We expect our business in the third quarter will benefit from new product launches by major mobile device customers as well as continued inventory restocking by our customers,” said TSMC CFO Lora Ho.

Its Q3 operating margin is forecast to drop to 39.5-41.5 per cent from 41.2 per cent in the previous quarter.

SoftBank, Aeris set up IoT venture in Japan
Japan’s SoftBank and Aeris, a major provider of Internet of Things (IoT) services, have established a joint venture in Japan to provide IoT and telematics services globally.

The new firm, Aeris Japan KK, will use the Aeris IoT platform to enable enterprises to bring IoT solutions to market quickly, cost-efficiently and with the highest security, the firms said in a statement.

With more than 7.5 million devices under management, Aeris is one of the largest IoT service providers in the world, with hundreds of enterprises using the platform to power their mission-critical IoT deployments.

Working with SoftBank, Aeris plans to expand its business beyond Japan to other markets, including India, Europe and the US.