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Telenor-Axiata merger can help connect Southeast Asia

Strong local companies can control its digital future despite US-China fight

| Malaysia
Telenor can help Southeast Asia make its own decisions and try to enhance an open market place. (Photo by Yuichi Nitta)

A potentially game-changing event has taken place in Southeast Asia's telecoms, showing that the regional economy is not doomed to be torn apart by the U.S.-China trade war and geopolitical rivalry.

Norway's Telenor and Malaysia's Axiata Group announced on May 6 that they are in the final stretch of talks to merge. A deal would create a customer base of some 300 million in nine countries across emerging Asia and beyond.

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