TOKYO -- With Tokyo markets closed Thursday, Asian markets took their cue from the performance of the

Nasdaq

and inched lower as shares of chip makers were sold off by foreigners -- but big news moved Hong Kong markets.

Hong Kong bucked the trend, with the

Hang Seng

index closing 48.44 higher at 17,758.51, after

Deutsche Telekom

(DT) - Get Report

reportedly upped its bid for U.S.'

VoiceStream Wireless

(VSTR)

. This buoyed shares of

Hutchison Whampoa

. Hutchison owns a 23% stake in VoiceStream.

The Wall Street Journal's

online edition late Wednesday posted a report that said Deutsche Telekom has now put forth a $53 billion bid, or offered $206.50 in cash for each VoiceStream share. It seems that Deutsche was threatened by a supposed bid from Japan's

NTT DoCoMo

, which is assumed to have submitted a $52 billion bid recently. Shares of Hutchison Whampoa climbed HK$2.50, or 2.1%, to 122.00 ($15.65), supporting the rest of the market, traders said. Check out

coverage from

TheStreet.com/NYTimes.com

joint newsroom.

Large-cap tech shares were mixed.

China Mobile

(CHL) - Get Report

shed 1.00, or 1.4%, to 72.00 and

Pacific Century Cyberworks

lost 0.15, or 1.0%, to 15.50.

China Unicom

(CHU) - Get Report

jumped 0.45, or 2.3%, to 20.45 after news that it closed a $190 million deal with

Motorola

(MOT)

, to jointly expand in three Chinese provinces.

The

Bank of East Asia

climbed 0.30, or 1.5%, to 20.05 as the market acted on expectations that the firm will become the first non-mainland bank to set up an Internet banking operation in China.

In other markets, Korea's

Kospi

index lost 18.40, or 2.3%, to 778.90, while Taiwan's

TWSE

index fell 192.53, or 2.3%, to 8219.53.

Shares of Korean chip makers were shed in earnest after

Merrill Lynch

said in a report that the industry had already hit its peak.

Samsung Electronics

(SSNGF)

lost KW15000, or 4.2%, to 345,000 ($310.22),

Hyundai Electronics

shed 2400, or 10.8%, to 19,800, while

SK Telecom

(SKM) - Get Report

fell 5000, or 1.3%, to 370,000.

Taiwan's tech sector was also hit by a separate Merrill report that recommended investors to hold onto chip shares.

Taiwan Semiconductor

(TSM) - Get Report

lost TD$7.00, or 4.9%, to 135.00 ($4.36), while

United Micro

shed 3.50, or 4.3%, to 78.00.