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Indian lawmakers accuse Facebook of political bias – TechCrunch

Indian lawmakers accuse Facebook of political bias – TechCrunch

is facing heat in India, its biggest market by users, over a report that claimed the company compromised its hate speech policy to favor the ruling party.Politicians from the Bharatiya Janata Party, which rules the government in India, and opposition Indian National Congress lambasted Facebook for its supposed favoritism to the other, thereby taking a political stand in the country.The debate was sparked by a on Friday that claimed Ankhi Das, Facebook’s top public-policy executive in India, had opposed applying the company’s hate-speech rules to a member of Indian Prime Minister Narendra...

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Aug 17
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Amazon launches online pharmacy in India – TechCrunch

Amazon launches online pharmacy in India – TechCrunch

has launched an online pharmacy in Bangalore, the capital of India’s southern Karnataka state, as the e-commerce group looks to spread its tentacles in more categories in one of its key overseas markets.The company said on Friday its new service, called Amazon Pharmacy, has started accepting orders for both over-the-counter and prescription-based medicines in Bangalore. (In India, antibiotics and several other drugs can often be purchased from pharmacies without prescriptions.)Amazon Pharmacy is also selling traditional herbal medicines and some health devices such as glucose meters,...

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Aug 14
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Google invests $4.5 billion in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms – TechCrunch

Google invests $4.5 billion in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms – TechCrunch

Google has become the latest high-profile firm to back India’s Platforms. The search giant is investing $4.5 billion for a 7.73% stake in the top Indian telecom network, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Wednesday.The investment today from Google is one of the rare instances where the Android-maker has . Facebook invested $5.7 billion in Reliance Jio Platforms, which has amassed over 400 million subscribers in less than four years of its existence, in April this year for a 9.99% stake in it. Facebook is the largest minority stakeholder in Jio Platforms.Jio Platforms, a...

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Jul 15
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Qualcomm to invest $97 million in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms – TechCrunch

Qualcomm to invest $97 million in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms – TechCrunch

has become the newest high-profile backer of , which has in the past 12 weeks from as many investors.On Sunday evening, said it will invest $97 million in Platforms to acquire a 0.15% equity stake “on a fully diluted basis” in the top Indian telecom operator. Qualcomm said it will help Jio Platforms “roll out advanced 5G infrastructure and services for Indian customers.”Reliance Jio Platforms, which competes with Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea in India, has disrupted the Indian telecommunications market by offering cut-rate voice and data plans. It has amassed nearly 400 million...

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Jul 12
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Facebook expands Instagram Reels to India amid TikTok ban – TechCrunch

Facebook expands Instagram Reels to India amid TikTok ban – TechCrunch

As scores of startups look to cash in on the video content void that ban on and other Chinese apps has created in India, a big challenger is ready to try its hand.said on Wednesday it is officially rolling out Reels — a feature that allows users to create short-form videos (up to 15 seconds long) set to music or other audio — to a “broad” user base in India. The -owned service first began testing Reels, which has been widely referred as “TikTok clone”, in .TechCrunch reported on Monday , which the company confirmed was part of its plan to roll out the product in more markets. Today,...

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Jul 8
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Amazon eliminates single-use plastic in packaging in India – TechCrunch

Amazon eliminates single-use plastic in packaging in India – TechCrunch

said on Monday it has eliminated all single-use plastic in its packaging across its fulfillment centers in India, it made last year to achieve this goal by June.The American e-commerce group said it had replaced packaging materials such as bubble wrap with paper cushions and was also using “100% plastic-free biodegradable” paper tapes. All of Amazon’s 50-plus fulfillment centers in India, one of its key overseas markets, are complying with the new guidelines, the company said.which had made a similar pledge last year, said last month that its reliance on single-use plastic across its supply...

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Jun 29
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India bans TikTok, dozens of other Chinese apps – TechCrunch

India bans TikTok, dozens of other Chinese apps – TechCrunch

The Indian government on Monday evening it was banning 59 apps developed by Chinese firms over concerns that these apps were “engaged in activities which is prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, and security of state and public order” in what is the latest standoff between the two most populated nations in the world.ByteDance’s which , Community and Video Call apps from Xiaomi, which is the , UC Browser, UC News, Shareit, CM Browser, Club Factory (India’s third-largest e-commerce firm), ES File Explorer are among the 59 apps that India’s Ministry of...

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Jun 29
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Google pulls ‘Remove China Apps’ from Play Store – TechCrunch

Google pulls ‘Remove China Apps’ from Play Store – TechCrunch

Remove China Apps, an app that and did exactly what its name suggests, has been pulled from the Play Store.The top trending app in India, which was downloaded more than 5 million times since late May and enabled users to detect and easily delete apps developed by Chinese firms, was pulled from marquee app store for violating Google Play Store’s , TechCrunch has learned.Under this policy an app on Google Play Store cannot make changes to a user’s device settings, or features outside of the app without the user’s knowledge and consent, and not it can encourage or incentivize users into...

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Jun 3
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Google and Microsoft reportedly considering stakes in telecom firms in India after Facebook deal – TechCrunch

Google and Microsoft reportedly considering stakes in telecom firms in India after Facebook deal – TechCrunch

Weeks after , two more American firms are reportedly interested in the Indian telecom market.is considering buying a stake of about 5% in Idea, the second largest telecom operator in India, . Separately, Microsoft is in talks to invest up to $2 billion in Reliance Jio Platforms, Indian newspaper Friday.According to Financial Times, Google has also held talks with Platforms, a three-and-a-half-year-old telecom operator that has raised from Facebook and U.S. privacy equity firms Silver Lake, KKR, General Atlantic and Vista.Buzz about interest in Reliance Jio Platforms, the top telecom...

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May 28
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Google removes millions of negative TikTok reviews amid backlash in India – TechCrunch

Google removes millions of negative TikTok reviews amid backlash in India – TechCrunch

app, which has gained hundreds of millions of users in India with its short-form videos, is facing criticism in its biggest overseas market after disturbing videos surfaced on the platform.Phrases such as BanTikTok, DeleteTikTok, and BlockTikTok have trended on Twitter in India in the past three weeks after numerous users expressed disgust over some videos that were circulating on Chinese giant jewel app.Users unearthed and shared numerous recent TikTok videos on Twitter that appeared to promote domestic violence, animal cruelty, racism, child abuse and objectification of women.The backlash...

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May 27
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India’s contact-tracing app is going open-source – TechCrunch

India’s contact-tracing app is going open-source – TechCrunch

India said it will publicly release the source code of its contact-tracing app, Aarogya Setu, to the relief of privacy and security experts who have been advocating for this ever since the app launched in early April.Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney made the announcement on Tuesday, dubbing the move “opening the heart” of the Aarogya Setu app to allow engineers to inspect and tinker with the code. The app has — an unprecedented scale globally.The source code of Aarogya Setu’s app will be published on at midnight Tuesday (local time), and code...

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May 26
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Netflix to start cancelling inactive customers’ subscriptions – TechCrunch

Netflix to start cancelling inactive customers’ subscriptions – TechCrunch

said Thursday it will ask customers who have not watched anything on the on-demand video streaming service in a year or more if they wish to maintain their subscription — and will cancel their membership if it does not hear back.The company said it has started to notify customers who have’t watched anything on the platform in 12 months since they became a subscriber to check if they wish to keep their membership. The company is also reaching out to those who haven’t streamed anything in more than two years, it said.“You know that sinking feeling when you realize you signed up for something...

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May 21
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Facebook rolls out feature to help women in India easily lock their accounts – TechCrunch

Facebook rolls out feature to help women in India easily lock their accounts – TechCrunch

has rolled out a new safety feature in India that will enable users to easily lock their account so that people they are not friends with on the platform cannot view their posts and zoom into and download their profile picture and cover photo.The feature is especially aimed at women to give them more control over their Facebook experience, the company said. “We are deeply aware of the concerns people in India, particularly women, have about protecting their online profile,” said Ankhi Das, Public Policy director at Facebook India, in a statement.Locking the profile applies multiple existing...

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May 21
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Facebook, telcos to build huge subsea cable for Africa and Middle East – TechCrunch

Facebook, telcos to build huge subsea cable for Africa and Middle East – TechCrunch

and a group of telecom companies including China Mobile International, MTN GlobalConnect, Orange and are collaborating to build the “most comprehensive” subsea cable to serve the African continent and Middle East region where nearly a billion people are still offline.The project, called , will see the companies lay cables that will stretch to 37,000km (22,990 miles) and interconnect Europe (eastward via Egypt), the Middle East (via Saudi Arabia), and 21 landings in 16 countries in Africa.In a , the companies said they expect the system to be live by 2023 or early 2024. Once live, it should...

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May 14
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Vista Equity Partners to invest $1.5B in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms – TechCrunch

Vista Equity Partners to invest $1.5B in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms – TechCrunch

Private equity firm said on Friday it will invest $1.5 billion in Platforms, joining social conglomerate Facebook and Silver Lake that have also made bets on the Indian telecom giant in recent weeks.The planned announcement, which would give the U.S.-headquartered software-focused buyout firm a 2.32% stake in Reliance Jio Platforms, values India’s top telecom operator at $65 billion (equity valuation) — the  and a 12.5% premium over , the Indian firm said.In the last three weeks, Reliance Jio Platforms has announced plans to sell about 13.4% stake in the firm to private equity firm Silver...

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May 8
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Discover is Facebook’s new effort to help people access websites for free — but with limits – TechCrunch

Discover is Facebook’s new effort to help people access websites for free — but with limits – TechCrunch

has a new connectivity app called to help those who can’t afford to get online access information on the web.The service, available through mobile web and app, allows users to visit any website in text format (no video, images, audio and other elements that eat up large amounts of data) and consume a few megabytes of internet data.For Discover, which is part of the company’s Free Basics initiative, Facebook is working with mobile operators in Bitel, Claro, Entel, and Movistar. Discover is currently available in Peru, where it is in the initial testing phase.In Peru, Discover is offering...

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May 6
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