Tech Companies Face New Rules in India


For many tech companies. India is key to continued growth while developed markets are becoming increasingly saturated there over one point. Three billion people in india only about half of whom are online which means there are hundreds of millions of people who have yet to start using email or buying things online but india has increasingly sought to exert more control over the tech giant's setting up shop there which has sometimes resulted in clashes between the companies. And the government. The latest new rules to govern how internet companies like twitter and whatsapp handled problematic content. Online here to talk more about this is tech reporter newly per now. Hey newly thanks for being here. My pleasure okay. So let's start by talking. Broadly about some of the regulations. The indian government has started to implement what we've we been seeing up to now sure we'll over the last few years. As e commerce companies like amazon or as digital services like google and twitter and facebook have become so prominent in india as they are in other countries. You've start to hear bureaucrats talking about the importance of data sovereignty. They call it or the rights of indians to be able to make their grievances against some of these platforms heard or the fact that these behemoths are so dominant and that indian start ups and tech companies haven't really been given to room to breeze the government officials say. And so you started. Hear them talking about the quietly geopolitical reasons. The success that china has had in developing their own tech giant's global tech giants. And so you starting to see moves like tightening of restrictions on ecommerce companies that affect amazon. And the the amazon of india coai flip car which is now owned by walmart. You started to see data. Localization regulation start should be talked about and the now of course these newest rules on social media company. So it's a bit by bit tightening. Where the government seems to be exerting more control over some of these. us tech firms that have been just so dominant. Over the years in india and newly i understand that some of the measures have resulted in a couple of clashes particularly in the last few weeks. Sure will the. The one of the major clashes in recent weeks with twitter was where the government asked the platform to remove a lot of accounts that were tweeting anti-government material amid these long running protests of farmers against the government in new delhi said that they're inflammatory. They're inciting violence. They're trying to foment social unrest. Twitter blocked them unblock them and then under pressure from the government in which they were threatened with having their executives arrested block them again. So you have a twitter or being in the position of saying we respect freedom of speech and people's ability to express political opinions and wanting to enable their us to do that. But then really getting hit with this. Mr very strong pushback from the government so that was a major one and then thursday. Of course we have these these new social media intermediary rules right and let's talk more about those new rules. What prompted them. And what are they meant to do. Well there had been suggestions brewing for some time that the government was looking to revamp what it calls its intermediary rules which are the rules that govern tech platforms and so called over the top or ott players like what's app and streaming platforms like netflix. And so what. They've come out with on. Thursday is a set of rules that set out guidelines for how these large social media companies have to operate so include things like including a grievance officer who's resident in india to address concerns that users or the government might have it includes timelines that tech companies have to keep in mind in responding to some of these issues a code of conduct have ethics for streaming platforms and so essentially. It seems to be the government saying our users should be able to take action or have their their problematic issues address with these platforms. And we wanna make rules really for the first time that make these tech. Companies have to respond more quickly. So how are the tech companies responding to that. What did they say about these new rules so far. They haven't said much you know. Companies of all stripe don't like to be regulated unless they have to be although facebook has said for some time with mounting regulations. Coming around the world that they welcome them but tech observers have said. It's some of these are raised issues worries because they come as prime minister. Modi's government is facing his biggest political test ever in these months-long protests by farmers against some new farming regulations. And and so you've seen the in rhetoric. At least the government getting more aggressive with these companies that are so dominant in india. Many of them have not said much and and they may be waiting to see you know if the political storm passes but they certainly don't want to come out and say well we're not going to do or we're not going to disagree with the government because as we've seen last year india did ban tiktok massively popular platform in india after some clashes in the border region with china. So that was a warning sign. I think to a lot of these companies that india won't hesitate to take drastic action

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