Friday, September 25, 2020
Home News Reports Gaana, Hungama, MX Player: The growing influence of Chinese companies through investments in India's...

Gaana, Hungama, MX Player: The growing influence of Chinese companies through investments in India’s entertainment sector and elsewhere

There are grave privacy issues associated with Chinese apps, which prompted the Indian government to ban numerous such apps. It is very possible that the data of all such users are at risk, which then has the potential to poser a grave threat to Indian national security.

Tensions between India and China are simmering at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh after clashes at Galwan Valley and more recently, on the intervening night between the 29th and 30th of August. Ever since the conflict began, the Indian Government has taken stern action against Chinese businesses operating in India. Towards that end, numerous Chinese apps were banned.

However, the wings of Chinese firms run deep in India and there are numerous sectors in which such firms have made significant investment in order to increase the influence of the Chinese government. Investments have been made in sectors such as entertainment and news aggregator apps. In this report, we shall look into some of the investments that have been made by China in relevant sectors.

News aggregators

News and eBook app DailyHunt secured a $25 million funding in 2016 led by ByteDance, the same company that owns TikTok, an app that has been banned in India. With the investment, Bytedance founder & CEO Zhang Yiming joined the Board of Daily Hunt. In 2016, the news aggregator app had a user base of over 120 million app downloads and 28 million monthly active users reading approximately 4.5 billion pages.

Similarly, NewsDog, another news aggregator app, announced a $50 million Series C round in 2018 led by Chinese internet giant Tencent. It claimed to have over 50 million users. It provided its services in as many as 10 Indian languages. In addition, it established a platform ‘WeMedia’ where users could submit their own stories.

Entertainment

- Advertisement -

Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone company, led a $25-million investment into Hungama Digital Media Entertainment. When the investment was made in 2016, Hungama boasted over 65 million monthly consumers across its music, video and movies platforms. At the time, it had partnerships with over 700 content creators and offered over 8,000 movies in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Punjabi and other Indian languages on its platform.

Gaana, a music streaming service, the largest in India, was the beneficiary of investment to the tune of $115 million led by Tencent. “With data prices so low, having easy access to crores of songs which are editorially curated and personally recommended is a better experience than piracy, where quality is unpredictable and selection is limited, Prashan Agarwal, CEO, Gaana had said then. “We have penetrated only 5-6% of India. Over the next few years, we want to take this to 20-30%,” he said.

“As more affordable mobile data plans are driving smartphone penetration in India, we believe growth in the music streaming market will accelerate. By investing in and collaborating with Gaana, we look forward to bringing more innovation and better experiences to all Indian music lovers,” said Tencent President Martin Lau.

Tencent has made investment in another entertainment platform, MX Player, that offers playback as well as streaming services. In October 2019, it was announced that the platform had raised $110.8 million in financing led by Tencent. India is MX Player’s largest market, with 175 million monthly users until October 2019.

The case of Grindr

In March, it was reported that Chinese gaming giant Beijin Kunlun had agreed to sell its hugely popular gay dating app Grindr after the US administration deemed it to be a national security threat. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) told the Chinese company that its ownership of the site constituted a national security threat.

CFIUS expressed concern that the personal data of its close to 27 million users could be misused by the Chinese regime. It has been reported in the past that engineers in Beijing could access the personal data of Grindr users, including their private texts and HIV status. It is easy to see how such data could then be used to blackmail people.

Why should India be concerned?

It is widely recognised that Chinese companies often work as extended arms of the Chinese government. There are grave privacy issues associated with Chinese apps, which prompted the Indian government to ban numerous such apps. Even so, there are numerous apps with Chinese investments that often have users running into tens of millions. It is very possible that the data of all such users are at risk, which then has the potential to poser a grave threat to Indian national security.

The Indian Government has also taken steps to check Chinese influence in the Indian economy in recent times. However, there is still a lot that remains to be done and a concerted approach needs to be launched in order to curb the growing influence of Chinese firms in India.

  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

Delhi Riots: WhatsApp chats acquired by OpIndia show how some anti-CAA protestors were aware that violence was planned, discussed ‘de-escalation’

The WhatsApp chats accesses by OpIndia show that some individuals were aware that some anti-CAA groups had fanned the violence and they now need to de-escalate.

Illegal Christian Cross and Jesus statue removed from government land following High Court order in Karnataka: Details

District administration removed a Christian Cross and a statue of Jesus Christ, which was illegally put up, on Susai Paliya Hill in Chikkaballapur in Karnataka.

India Today editors’ tussle with Republic TV is ruining their own credibility, one tweet at a time: Read how

Rahul Kanwal and Rajdeep's sly, targeted tweets against Republic TV are only helping to take their own credibilities further down, and exposing their own hypocrisy.

Separated from her family, kidnapped, converted to Islam and sold for an Ox: Story of Daphia who finally found her family in India

An old woman in Pakistan who was separated from her family during the partition, was abducted and converted to Islam, has finally united with her family in India over a phone call.

India Today journalists whine about media coverage on Deepika summons by NCB only to tail her car giving live updates from Goa

The leftists claimed that the summon sent to Deepika Padukone was timed to distract the nation from the farmers protest

Parliament sees its most productive session: Here is a summary of all the 25 Bills passed by the Modi government in Lok Sabha

A total of 25 bills were passed during the just concluded monsoon session of the parliament some of which are very significant bills

Recently Popular

KWAN representative told me that I need to attend Karan Johar Parties to make a comeback to movies: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

One of the main things is that you need to be seen at Karan Johar's parties, KWAN representative had told Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

Chief of Chief Minister’s Medical Assistance Cell in Maharashtra breaks down while describing the coronavirus situation in the state

In the video, the chief of medical assistant cell in Maharashtra says that he has lost all hopes and that court is the only ray of hope now

India Today editors’ tussle with Republic TV is ruining their own credibility, one tweet at a time: Read how

Rahul Kanwal and Rajdeep's sly, targeted tweets against Republic TV are only helping to take their own credibilities further down, and exposing their own hypocrisy.

Parliament sees its most productive session: Here is a summary of all the 25 Bills passed by the Modi government in Lok Sabha

A total of 25 bills were passed during the just concluded monsoon session of the parliament some of which are very significant bills

ABP journalist manhandles and slaps psephologist Pradeep Bhandari

Pradeep Bhandari was in Mumbai near the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) covering the bollywood drug abuse scandal.

Properties made available for sale or rent only to Muslims appear on several real estate portals

Even in a cosmopolitan city such as Mumbai, bigoted homeowners actively discriminate between tenants.

Deepika Padukone was the admin of the drug chats WhatsApp group, says Times Now report

Deepika Padukone kas been summoned by the NCB for interrogation on Saturday.

Delhi Riots: Defenders of Umar Khalid reach the third stage of grief, they are now ‘bargaining’ with Police for action against Kapil Mishra and...

The defenders of Umar Khalid appear to have reached the third stage of grief after ranting and raving against their arrest.

Cardinal Angelo Becciu, one of the most powerful in the Vatican, resigns amidst financial scandal allegations

Becciu, who was one of the most powerful in the Vatican’s secretariat of state, has been implicated in a financial scandal involving the Holy See's investment in a London real estate deal that resulted in loss of millions of Euros for the Vatican

Fact Check: No, Sunil Gavaskar didn’t make sexist comment against Virat Kohli’s wife Anushka Sharma during an IPL game

Sunil Gavaskar was referring to a video of Virat Kohli & Anushka Sharma playing cricket,, didn't make any sexist comment

Triple Talaq case petitioner Ishrat Jahan files police complaint after in-laws allegedly tried to rape, harass and assault her

Ishrat Jahan has lodged a complaint against her husband and brother-in-law at the Golbari police station in Howrah, West Bengal.

Legendary singer SP Balasubramanyam passes away at 74 after battling Coronavirus

Legendary singer SP Balasubramanyam, who had tested positive for Covid-19, passed away today at the age of 74.

Election Commission announces three-phase Bihar assembly election, counting to take place on 10th November

The voting for Bihar election assembly will take place on 28 October, 3 November and 7 November

NIA arrests Sayed Saddiq Ali, key conspirator in Bengaluru violence, recover sharp weapons, rods etc during raids: Report

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the investigation into the Bengaluru violence on September 24

NCB raids Karan Johar close aide and Dharma Production Executive Kshitij Ravi Prakash’s house, seizes drugs

The latest name to join the NCB's list is Kshitij Ravi Prakash, who is said to be a close aide of filmmaker Karan Johar.

North Korea leader Kim Jong Un apologises over the killing of the South Korean official: Seoul

South Korea had earlier alleged North Korea of killed its official and set his body on fire while he was trying to allegedly defect to the North Korea.

Connect with us

244,181FansLike
455,420FollowersFollow
16,900SubscribersSubscribe