Wednesday, January 27, 2021
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

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

Tractor rally: Rioting mob vandalised Ram Mandir and Kedarnath tableaux from Republic Day parade

Rioting mob on Tuesday not only desecrated the Red Fort and tried to kill the Delhi Police personnel but also vandalised the tableau from the Republic Day parade.

CBI issues arrest warrant against TMC leader in cross-border cattle smuggling case

Vinay Mishra is believed to be close to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew, Abhishek

‘Farmer leader’ Rakesh Tikait washes hands off the violence, blames Red Fort siege on ‘uneducated people’

Farmer leader Tikait blames Delhi Police and uneducated farmers for the Red Fort incident on January 26.

China upset over Modi govt’s vaccine diplomacy, blames India after Bangladesh rejects their vaccine

Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times has claimed that India wants to monopolize the vaccine market in South Asia and hence is influencing its neighbouring nations to reject the Chinese vaccine.

Live TV vs edited upload: How NDTV’s Ravish Kumar gave leeway to rioting mob at Red Fort on Republic Day

Ravish Kumar not only downplays the aggression of rioting mob that sieged Delhi on Republic Day but also tries to give a leeway to them on same.

The deafening silence of the ‘lambs’ who egged the ‘protestors’ who turned into an unruly mob on Republic Day

When the protesting mob charged towards the Red Fort and put it under siege, just few kms away from the official celebration of Republic Day, these celebrities, who egged the 'farmers' to 'fight for rights' went deafeningly quiet.

Recently Popular

Protesting mob enters Red Fort, unfurl the Sikh flag, Terrorist outfit SFJ had demanded Khalistani flag to be hoisted: Details

The protestors have hoisted the flag on Red Fort that appears to be the Sikh Flag. Some believe it is the Khalistan Flag.

‘Flag of Khalistan is waving on Red Fort,’ ‘Historic Moment’: All Pakistan Muslim League celebrates “Black Day” for India

The All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) is celebrating the hoisting of the 'Khalistan Flag' at Red Fort on Republic Day.

Here is how Congress and trolls tried to paint a Khalistani accused of spearheading the Red Fort siege as a ‘sanghi’

Deep Sidhu is accused of being responsible for the hoisting of the Sikh flag at Red Fort on Republic Day.

Rajdeep Sardesai lies twice, says ‘farmer’ was killed because the police shot him in the head: Here is the truth

In this way, those who had shared the fake news once would live under the false impression that it was indeed a case of police firing.

Protesting ‘farmer’ spends Rs 35 lakh to modify his tractor for Republic Day rally

The modified tractor is fitted with huge wheels. It is said to withstand heavy rain and water cannon charge.

Farmers Tractor Rally: Mob break barricade to reach Red Fort and India Gate, just what Khalistani terror outfit had called for

Delhi is in grips of chaos as the farmer tractor rally defied route and broke police barricades to reach ITO and Red Fort
- Advertisement -

 

‘Bring Lathis, flags to save your land,’ video of ‘Farmer’ leader Rakesh Tikait asking his supporters to be armed goes viral

Rakesh Tikait was seen in a video misleading farmers by saying their land will be snatched, and asked them to be armed with lathis

Tractor rally: Rioting mob vandalised Ram Mandir and Kedarnath tableaux from Republic Day parade

Rioting mob on Tuesday not only desecrated the Red Fort and tried to kill the Delhi Police personnel but also vandalised the tableau from the Republic Day parade.

CBI issues arrest warrant against TMC leader in cross-border cattle smuggling case

Vinay Mishra is believed to be close to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew, Abhishek

Cops tried to save the protestor whose tractor overturned but were prevented by other protestors: Reports

Times Now journalist Padmaja Joshi claimed that the protestors did not allow the injured protestor to be evacuated by the cops.

Andhra Pradesh: Parents brutally murder two daughters, claim they will come alive next day as ‘Satya Yuga’ comes

The couple brutally killed their two daughters claiming that they received some divine message to do so.

‘Farmer leader’ Rakesh Tikait washes hands off the violence, blames Red Fort siege on ‘uneducated people’

Farmer leader Tikait blames Delhi Police and uneducated farmers for the Red Fort incident on January 26.

China upset over Modi govt’s vaccine diplomacy, blames India after Bangladesh rejects their vaccine

Chinese government mouthpiece Global Times has claimed that India wants to monopolize the vaccine market in South Asia and hence is influencing its neighbouring nations to reject the Chinese vaccine.

150 police personnel injured, 2 in ICU as tractor rally turns violent on R-Day

152 police officers injured in Delhi yesterday out of which 2 are in ICU.

Live TV vs edited upload: How NDTV’s Ravish Kumar gave leeway to rioting mob at Red Fort on Republic Day

Ravish Kumar not only downplays the aggression of rioting mob that sieged Delhi on Republic Day but also tries to give a leeway to them on same.

Khalistani supporters protests outside the Indian embassy in Washington DC, raise secessionist flags

Khalistani supporters protested outside Indian Embassy to show support for the violent protestors running riots in Delhi.

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
23,000SubscribersSubscribe