HuffPost India is shutting down its operations from the 24th of November. An announcement on its website reads, “As of November 24 HuffPost India will no longer be publishing content. For more great global content, please visit HuffPost.com. We thank you for your support and readership.”
“I have vivid memories of growing HuffPost into a major news outlet in its early years, but BuzzFeed is making this acquisition because we believe in the future of HuffPost and the potential it has to continue to define the media landscape for years to come,” BuzzFeed Chief Executive Officer Jonah Peretti said in a statement. Peretti was one of the co-founders of HuffPost 15 years ago. As part of the deal, Verizon also acquired a minority stake in Buzzfeed.
The decision comes days after BuzzFeed acquired HuffPost from the latter’s parent company Verizon. It is not clear whether the decision of HuffPost India to shut shop is related to the merger. According to new rules set by the Union Government, FDI in digital news is capped at 26%. The move is intended to limit “foreign influence and interference in India’s domestic affairs, check Chinese and other overseas funding in news sites” and “create a level-playing field for all media”.
It is pertinent to note that on the 16th of November, the Government had asked news aggregators and digital media to submit information regarding their compliance status with regards to foreign investment within one month. Entities which exceeded the 26% would have to seek approval from the Ministry of I&B to bring down the foreign investment to 26% by the 15th of October, 2021. The new rules also mandate that any entity that seeks to bring new foreign investment must seek prior information from the Union Government.