SoftBank Swaps Huawei Equipment for Ericsson and Nokia

1. Swaps Existing Equipment for Ericsson and Nokia

Japanese carrier SoftBank Corp. will replace Technologies equipment used in its network infrastructure with equipment from Ericsson and Nokia over the next few years, Nikkei Asian Review reports.

This follows reports that Japan’s three largest telecom network operators, namely SoftBank, NTT Docomo Inc. and KDDI Corp., have decided to not use 5G products made by the Chinese company.

According to reports, SoftBank and NTT Docomo Inc., both of which have been carrying out 5G wireless trials with , have decided to cease their use of the firm’s products, while KDDI has no plans to use Huawei’s 5G products now or in the future. (Nikkei)

2. Apple Says China iPhone Ban Will Force Qualcomm Settlement

Apple Inc. says a Chinese ban on sales of the iPhone will force it to settle a long and bitter licensing battle with Qualcomm Inc., an outcome that may end up harming the country’s smartphone industry and consumers around the world.

The U.S. company was responding to a Chinese court that ruled this week Apple infringed two Qualcomm patents and issued injunctions against the sale of six iPhone models. Apple, which has filed a request for consideration, argues the decision harms China’s interests by potentially raising the royalties and fees that phone-makers pay Qualcomm.

The ruling from a local court — which came as Washington and Beijing are locked in sensitive trade negotiations — pivoted the battle over patent fees to the world’s largest mobile arena. Apple’s response underscores the importance of the Chinese market, as well as Qualcomm’s crucial role as a technology provider to the likes of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Xiaomi Corp. (Bloomberg)

3. Huawei Troubles Bring Opportunities to Samsung, says Samsung Executive

S. Abraham Kim, a vice president at Samsung’s mobile division, said that security concerns around Huawei Technologies Co. would help Samsung win 5G market share, Bloomberg reports.

Huawei is under scrutiny for security concerns in many parts of the world. Governments in the U.S., Australia and Japan have all made moves to exclude Huawei from their domestic 5G markets. (Bloomberg)

4. Starbucks is Nearly Doubling China Stores in Next Four Years

Starbucks Corp. said on Thursday it would have 6000 stores across 230 cities over the next four years in China, up from 3600 stores in 150 cities, according to Reuters.

Earlier this year, Starbucks entered China’s booming food-delivery sector, announcing a partnership with that aims to cover 30 cities and over 2,000 stores by the end of 2018.

The American coffee giant is now facing an unprecedented challenge in its largest overseas market, as emerging local rivals expand at lightning speed. (Reuters)

5. Alibaba, Softbank Lead $1.1 Billion Funding Round for Indonesia’s Taobao

Alibaba Group and SoftBank Vision Fund have led a $1.1 billion funding round for PT Tokopedia, Indonesia’s answer to Taobao, following the Chinese e-commerce giant’s first investment in the company last year.

The latest round is set to help Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. up its stake in the burgeoning e-commerce scene in Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy. Alibaba already has a payment and e-commerce presence in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia.

With a population of around 650 million, the region has become a new battleground for Chinese e-commerce behemoths looking to expand overseas. (Caixin)

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