Zee Entertainment to launch TikTok-styled user-generated video streaming service. Airtel, Vodafone Idea to reportedly make partial payment of dues. Deloitte to stop non-audit services to clients in India.
Table of Contents
Zee Entertainment has a new goal - to take on the likes of TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. To do this, it is launching a short-form video content feature on its digital entertainment platform, Zee5. This feature will be called Hypershots and it will involve 90-second user-generated content.
Tarun Katial, CEO of Zee5 India, said the company envisions Hypershots to make the platform “the super app of entertainment, a one-stop destination for digital videos”. [Business Today]
Three is Company
Following Grant Thornton and Price Waterhouse, Deloitte became the third auditor to announce that it would no longer offer non-audit services to “public interest entities” in India.
Deloitte described this move as being in the spirit of self-regulation, saying this would “increase the public’s confidence in auditor independence and quality”.
Good to Know
“Public interest entities” are prescribed by the Institute of Chartered Accounts of India. These include all listed companies, banks and insurance companies. [Livemint]
Telcos Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Teleservices are reportedly set to pay their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues on February 17th to avoid possible strict punitive action from the Telecom Department.
The three companies are jointly liable to pay ?1Lcr ($13.9bn). They are expected to make only partial payments for now. [The Hindu]
As per the latest report by TransUnion CIBIL, a credit information company operating in India, consumer lending categories in Q2 CY19 witnessed 13% YoY decline on the back of moderating macro-economic conditions.
Origination volumes grew in credit cards and personal loans. However, volumes for home loans, auto loans and LAP witnessed decline or only partial growth. Asset quality was stable across products except LAP. Financial Express
End of the current financial year is just around the corner and given the time constraints, the Ministry of Finance is fine-tuning the regulations of the direct tax dispute resolution scheme "Vivad Se Vishwas" scheme to accommodate those declaring money involved in disputes and paying tax on them over just a fortnight in March.
Besides instructing officers with the job of clearing applications online within a day once the Vivad se Vishwas Bill is enacted in March, the tax department will allow assessees to join the scheme without waiting for the withdrawal of cases from various judicial bodies. Click link for the full scoop. [BS]
Electric car maker Tesla’s plans to build its first factory in Europe were derailed after a German court halted the site preparation to consider an environment group’s appeal.
The Green League Brandenburg recently appealed to the Higher Administrative Court for Berlin-Brandenburg saying Tesla’s factory, planned in a wooded area near Berlin, could pollute the area’s drinking water.
Tesla’s new plant in Germany, if it overcomes the judicial hurdles, will build batteries and vehicles, starting with the upcoming Model Y SUV. The Paolo Alto-based company hopes to complete the factory by the middle of next year. [AP]
...and Exiting Countries:
General Motors says it is pulling out of Australia, New Zealand and Thailand to focus on markets where it can drive strong returns. It will also reportedly make similar moves in Japan, Russia and Europe, where “we don’t have significant scale”. [Time]
In its latest effort to take on the world’s largest rail supplier, China’s state-owned CRCC, French train giant Alstom SA has reached a preliminary deal to acquire Montreal-based Bombardier Inc.’s train business for c. $7bn.
Previously, Alstom had tried to merge its business with Germany’s Siemens AG. But this deal was blocked by the European Commission. The Alstom-Bombardier deal is also likely to face similar regulatory scrutiny in Europe. [MarketWatch]
What began from a single city in central China has now spread to at least 25 countries and infected over 70,000 people, while the death toll has climbed beyond 1,600. COVID-19, the official name of the virus that caused the outbreak, is now a global emergency.
While countries like India and Japan scramble to cushion the economic fallout and shield their populations from the virus, a cruise ship in Japan has become infamous after at least 10% of its 3,700 passengers from around the world tested positive for the virus. To make matters worse, some of passengers believed to be well who were evacuated from the ship were later found to be infected, leading to a race to track the evacuated passengers. [CNBC]
While the bulk of the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak will be borne by China, the rest of the world will not be immune to the economic ramifications. Especially so considering China’s premier place in the global supply chain and ripple effects through the globalised world.
Loss in Japan
The world’s third-largest economy has seen brighter days.
Japan’s economy shrank at the fastest rate in five years in October-December 2019. Annualised GDP fell by a steep 6.3% in this period, raising fears the country could fall into recession. This is the first time GDP shrank in more than a year and the worst fall since 2014, when GDP plummeted by 7.4%.
A major typhoon, a sales tax rise and weak global demand were factors that worked against Japan’s prospects at the end of last year. And now, it also has to deal with fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. [BBC News]
When You Break Beijing’s Rules
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the premier men’s professional basketball league in the world. Four months ago, it became embroiled in a raging controversy with the Chinese government after one of its executives tweeted in support of the pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong. China promptly cut ties with competing teams and NBA games disappeared from the airwaves of its state television.
The financial loss this strange standoff has inflicted on the NBA has only recently come into focus. It runs in the hundreds of millions - “probably less than $400m”, as NBA commissioner Adam Silver recently put it. [WSJ]
How well do you know the top news of the last week? Have a go at our TheWeekThatWas Quiz and test your wits.