Sunday, September 20, 2020
Home News Reports Domestic media welcomes 26% FDI cap on digital media, but digital media expresses apprehension...

Domestic media welcomes 26% FDI cap on digital media, but digital media expresses apprehension saying it is restrictive

Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal announced the cabinet's decision which will now bring digital media on the same platform as the print media.

The Centre on Wednesday announced that it would ‘permit’ 26 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) under the ‘government route’ for digital media companies which upload or stream news and current affairs. Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal’s announcement will now bring digital media on the same platform as the print media.

Until now only Indian print media and news broadcast television companies have had FDI caps of 26 per cent and 49 per cent respectively. There had been no restrictions as such on foreign investors or entities running digital media business catering to Indian consumers.

While the domestic media companies have welcomed the government’s decision to bring the digital media under the ambit of the FDI policy regime, the companies operating news portals expressed disappointment with the government’s new Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy capping the investment in digital media.

Indian Newspaper Society president Jayant Mammen Mathew said: “It is a right decision for the government to cap FDI in digital media at 26 per cent, which is in line with the FDI (limit) in print. This will ensure Indian news sites have a level playing field with news aggregators and other digital news sites.”

- Advertisement -

Meanwhile, many digital media outlets, who did not want to be quoted, expressed displeasure, as some of them would now have to restructure and look for Indian investors as they had more than 26 per cent foreign investments.

There is also ucertainity about the government’s order as it lacks detail. The notification says, “it has been decided to permit 26% FDI under government route for uploading/ streaming of news and current affairs through digital media, on the lines of print media”, and industry experts believe that the fine print of the order needs to be seen before understanding its impact. There are several 100% foreign-owned digital news outlets operating in India, and it is not sure whether they will have to induct Indian shareholders to continue operating.

“Basically the new norms look very restrictive. Even TV news – which is a linear medium — is allowed 49 % FDI. Internet is borderless then what sense does 26% restriction make?”, a media executive said, declining to be named. “Nowhere in the world you need government permission to set up a digital news site and there are no restrictions on FDI,” he added.

Some also questioned how this move will be implemented, asking whether all digital media with more than permitted FDI will be banned as China does.

“The Indian investors are not bullish and are most reluctant to invest in media portals, more so in the current economic situation,” said Vignesh Vellore, CEO of The News Minute. “The new policy hurts smaller players like us and the ones who are looking to launch new projects. In future, when we have to look at investments to scale up our operations, this kind of cap will be very discouraging,” he asserted.

Owing to the sensitivity of the sector the government’s decision is being viewed in the media industry as an effort to indirectly regulate the content at digital news outlets.

Former secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Ramesh Abhishek said: “The government has provided much-needed clarity on FDI in digital media. This has been rightly kept on par with FDI in print media. This provision is likely to apply to all those who disseminate the news through digital media in any form. The policy should cover the aggregators of news as well.”

The way news aggregators have been flourishing, has been a concern for the government, especially as China has become an aggressive investor in this sector, with many Chinese-owned or funded entities creating and curating content.

Chinese companies like ByteDance which owns 100 per cent of Helo, the fastest-growing vernacular news app in India and also TikTok, the fastest-growing social network in India. Similarly, Chinese news aggregators, including UCNews (owned by Alibaba), Opera (whose largest shareholder is Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd) and NewsDog (incubated in China and funded by Tencent) actively owns or has large stakes in the biggest news, vernacular language news, as well as social networks in India with no controls whatsoever until the recent FDI regulation.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

‘He opened his zip and tried to force his c**k inside my vagina,’ actress Payal Ghosh accuses filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of sexual harassment

Actress Payal Ghosh has claimed that she was sexually harassed by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and called him a hypocrite.

Netflix distorts ‘Kabuliwala’ to show Hindu girl offering Namaz in an attempt to secularise ‘Stories by Rabindranath Tagore’

A scene in 'Kabuliwala' in the 'Stories by Rabindranath Tagore' series by Anurag Basu on Netflix shows 'Mini' offering Namaz

Protests against Left minister in Kerala gold smuggling case ‘anti-Quran’, says Communist Party leader: Here is how he came to that strange conclusion

CPI(M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, in his weekly column has referred to the protest against the Kerala Communist govt and minister KT Jaleel as an "anti-Quran agitation"

HRCE Dept uses the ‘we are doing what Kings did’ argument, claims ‘secular’ state of Tamil Nadu entitled to control temples

HR&CE Dept has filed an affidavit at the Madras HC saying that though the state of Tamil Nadu is secular, it is entitled to control temples.

‘No right to question integrity of successors’: 26 former cops slam Julio Ribeiro for supporting people pushing ‘anti-India and communal narrative’

26 former police officers have written a letter slamming Julio Ribeiro for supporting people who push 'anti-India and communal narrative'.

In an ironical turn of events, BMC calls Kangana Ranaut’s plea an ‘abuse of law’ after hounding her for dissenting views

In an affidavit, BMC has also demanded that costs be imposed on Kangana Ranaut for making this plea and demanding Rs 2 crores damages

Recently Popular

‘He opened his zip and tried to force his c**k inside my vagina,’ actress Payal Ghosh accuses filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of sexual harassment

Actress Payal Ghosh has claimed that she was sexually harassed by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and called him a hypocrite.

An eyewitness tells media that Disha Salian was gang-raped by 4 men in the party held on the eve of her death: Here are...

An eyewitness has told News Nation that Disha Salian was gang-raped by 4 men in the party which she attended on the eve of her death on June 8.

Delhi Police arrests journalist Rajeev Sharma for possessing classified defence documents, had written for Chinese mouthpiece GlobalTimes

Rajeev Sharma had written several columns for Chinese newspaper Global Times, the mouthpiece of Communist Party of China for the last several years.

Devendra Fadnavis exposes how ABP Majha abruptly ended his interview, shares video of parallel recording he had arranged anticipating foul-play by the channel

Devendra Fadnavis had alleged that his interview was cut short midway while he was explaining centre's help to Maharashtra on GST credit

“You are supposed to be unprejudiced,” investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala schools BJP-hater NDTV journalist Sreenivasan Jain

Without nothing left to say, Sreenivasan Jain laughed aloud and claimed, "I would love to think that I am unprejudiced."

Here is why #BabyPenguin is trending on Twitter, and why Aaditya Thackeray is called so by some

Yuva Sena registered complaint against twitter user for calling Aaditya Thackeray "Baby Penguin" and Uddhav Thackeray "Aurangzeb"

‘He opened his zip and tried to force his c**k inside my vagina,’ actress Payal Ghosh accuses filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of sexual harassment

Actress Payal Ghosh has claimed that she was sexually harassed by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap and called him a hypocrite.

Fact-finding report on Bengaluru riots: Survivors claim Hindus were selectively hunted and targeted during the pre-planned riots

These testimonies establish that Bengaluru riots were pre-planned and particularized to target the Hindu community

Rajeev Sharma was paid by China to convey crucial information on Army movement, Defence acquisitions and Dalai Lama: Delhi Police

Rakesh Sharma was in contact with several Chinese operatives, and were made payments through shell companies in Delhi

Justice Kirubakaran cautions against linguistic chauvinism, warns against ‘fringe elements’ wearing the mask of NGOs and human rights organisations

Justice Kirubakaran expressed concern over media reports showing links of educated and respected people of the country with the Naxal movement.

Bihar: Hindu group attacked by Mohammed Nirala, Sarfaraz and others as Vishwakarma idol procession passes through Muslim colony

Muslims attacked a Vishwakarma idol procession in Motihari in Bihar, assaulted people, damaged the idol

More anarchy in USA? Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passes away, liberals threaten riots as Donald Trump could have third Supreme Court pick

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, breathed her last on the 18th of September 2020 at the age of 87 after prolonged illness.

Mumbai doctor slams Maharashtra government on its new circular governing the consumption of oxygen in private COVID-19 hospitals

Dr Amit Thadani said that 12 litre per minute of oxygen is not enough for COVID-19 patients in ICU as suggested by Maharashtra govt

Devendra Fadnavis exposes how ABP Majha abruptly ended his interview, shares video of parallel recording he had arranged anticipating foul-play by the channel

Devendra Fadnavis had alleged that his interview was cut short midway while he was explaining centre's help to Maharashtra on GST credit

Sushant Singh Rajput case: Muzaffarpur court orders eight Bollywood celebrities including Salman Khan and Karan Johar to appear before it on October 7

The court has acted on the complaint filed by lawyer Sudhir Ojha, three days after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput

Days before his arrest for having classified documents, Journalist Rajeev Sharma had spoken about the state of Indian media and ethics

Rajeev Sharma had spoken about the state of media in the country and the lack of ethics in reporting the real issues

Connect with us

243,917FansLike
453,598FollowersFollow
16,100SubscribersSubscribe