In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 05th March 2017

MediaNama would like to thank its sponsors: Indian Express, Bruce Clay, Google, Mint and E2E for their support.

Paytm now has 200 million wallets

In a tweet, Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said that the company has crossed 200 million wallets. The tweet added that the total balance in the wallets is Rs 899.11 crore with 106.8 million wallets with money or with a card saved. Read it here

Earnings Review: Demonetization impact on telecom, media & Internet ecommerce

An overview of the impact of demonetization on digital, telecom, payments, cable, device, Internet, and ecommerce businesses:

Part 1: Telecom operators, ISPs, Cable operators and vendors

1. Airtel: Airtel noticed “some immediate impact in the few days post demonetization”, which “was there for a few weeks, but like we saw in some of our other businesses, like DTH, that recovery was reasonably quick. There were some postponement of purchases, but it was quite quick.” Airtel was hurt largely by Reliance Jio’s “Welcome Offer” of giving data free. More details here. Read it here

Amit Singhal leaves Uber over non-disclosure of past sexual harassment complaints

At a time when Uber is under immense scrutiny over insensitivity related to sexual harassment at work, its recently appointed SVP of engineering Amit Singhal has quit, reports Recode. According to the report, Singhal was asked to resign by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, after Singhal had not disclosed to the company that his departure from Google had been related to allegations of sexual harassment. Read it here

Tata Group to pay $1.17B in damages to NTT Docomo after RBI’s approval: report

Update (Feb 28): NTT Docomo said in a statement: “Full satisfaction of the award through the Delhi High Court’s judgment will enable DOCOMO to consider reinvestment of an amount in India, under a new cooperative relationship with Tata Sons. DOCOMO believes that such relationship could become a paradigm for India-Japan economic ties.” Read it here

Dealing with Fake News

Where does the responsibility and accountability lie for content, and how who is held accountable and how? The Internet is both communication and publishing, and regulating content creators is tricky without curbing free speech. How do you treat people who share fake news differently from those who create it?

Should there be regulation? How do you ensure that the safe harbour, which provides amnesty for intermediaries and platforms, and has led to the growth of the Internet, is retained? During the #NAMApolicy discussion on Fake News, Rumours and Online content regulation, we looked into both technology and legal means of addressing Fake News. Read it here

Culture Machine promotes Sidharth Narula to Chief Revenue Officer

Reorganising its sales team, Culture Machine has made multiple appointments. President Revenue, Sidharth Narula has been promoted to Chief Revenue Officer. With this promotion, Narula will overlook the firm’s technology sales in international markets starting with South East Asia and North America. Prior to joining Culture Machine in 2013, Narula was Business Head, Intellectual Properties at Disney. He also worked as Business Head at Bloomberg UTV and Account Director at CNBC TV. Read it here

The Anatomy of Fake News

Following a passionate (heated?) discussion at MediaNama’s event on Fake News last week, many people asked me to publish my views on the subject. In this post, I would like to address a few aspects of this issue, on which everyone from Twitter pundits to Donald Trump has a point of view:

Is Fake News a new/Recent /Nascent phenomenon?

I don’t think so. The idea of Fake news is probably as old as the idea of news itself, and the same applies to the idea of using Fake News for electoral benefits. The first recorded incident of using fake news goes back to Rome in 1522, where Pietro Aretino tried to manipulate the pontifical election by writing wicked sonnets about all the candidates except his favorite one. The NewYork Review of Books recently published a fascinating post on history of Fake News( link). Read it here

“Idea will embark on a massive cost saving initiative in 2017”: Idea MD Himanshu Kapania

Idea Cellular will “embark on a massive cost saving initiative in calendar year 2017” across its operation in order to “optimize costs, eliminate wastage and duplication, digitize processes, and simplify (operations),” the company’s Managing Director Himanshu Kapania mentioned in a recent analyst call. Kapania did not mention when the cost cuts would be carried out but added the “the impact of some of these cost reduction initiatives should reflect in the financial year 2017-2018 results.” Read it here

J.S Deepak removed as telecom secretary

J.S Deepak, the telecom secretary for Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has been effectively removed from his post and moved temporarily to the Department of Commerce as Officer on Special Duty (OSD), reports PTI. Deepak was also named as the next Indian ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO). He will take charge as ambassador from June this year. Read it here

Zee is reworking Ditto TV strategy after dropping prices last year

Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL) is looking to revamp the company’s OTT strategy for Ditto TV. Admitting to the significant under performance of Ditto TV in comparison with STAR TV’s Hotstar, during the earning call in Q3 FY17, Punit Goenka, MD & CEO of ZEEL noted that the company plans to roll out the new strategy during the second half of the current calendar year. When asked about the Ditto TV’s numbers, Goenka declined to comment on it stating that it would be irrelevant to disclose numbers, with the changing strategy. Note that Ditto TV had clocked close to 200 million video views for quarter ending Q2 FY17. Further, Goenka added that DittoTV went live on major telecom operators’ platforms, which he thinks should drive subscriber growth. Read it here