By Trisha Jalan and Sneha Johari

A quick roundup of the developments in the Indian and international digital, tech and business ecosystem:

  • ACT Fibernet has expanded to Lucknow, Jaipur and Ahmedabad.
  • T-Series will start producing web series and web films, this venture will be headed by Vinod Bhanushali, President of Media, Marketing, Publishing (TV) and Music Acquisitions at T-Series.
  • Truecaller Premium has crossed 500,000 subscribers.
  • Ola may invest $4.2 million in carpooling company sRide for a 26% stake.
  • Delhivery has acquired logistics company Aramex India for an undisclosed amount.
  • Amazon and Flipkart are looking to buy a significant minority stake in kids apparel brand Hopscotch.
  • Infibeam Avenues will invest Rs 250 crore in building a fintech platform for BFSIs, SMBs and corporates.
  • Didi Chuxing has invested $100 million in Oyo.

Policy developments

DPIIT considers relaxing local sourcing norms for single-brand retail

The government is considering relaxing the mandatory 30% local sourcing norm for FDI in single-brand retail, to attract companies like Apple to set up their own stores in India, reports The Economic Times. The Department of Promotion of Investment and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has issued a cabinet note proposing that under the new rule, retailers with investment sizes of $100 million, $200 million, and $300 million will get 6, 8, and 10 years to meet the norm.

After Twitter, parliamentary panel to summon Facebook and WhatsApp in March

The parliamentary standing committee on IT, which summoned Twitter earlier this month, may now summon Facebook and WhatsApp as part of its discussion over ‘safeguarding citizens’ rights on social media’. The two companies are likely to be called in March.

Under threat of a ban in Tamil Nadu, TikTok lobbying Indian government

The Tamil Nadu government may ban TikTok, the lip-syncing app, because of the kind of content (anti law and order and sexually explicit) being shared on it. TikTok told Inc42, “We are committed to respecting local laws and regulations, and in order to better coordinate with law enforcement agencies, we are also in the process of hiring a chief nodal officer, based out of India.”

Insurance regulator disallows Aadhaar for eKYC/authentication

The apex insurance regulator, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI), has directed insurance companies to not mandatorily ask for Aadhaar, either for eKYC or for Aadhaar authentication with the UIDAI. The regulator clarified that Aadhaar can be used as a identity document and for KYC – which can be done using physical copies of Aadhaar, masked Aadhaar, and offline Aadhaar XML, but will “under no circumstance do the authentication using e-KYC facility or Yes/No authentication facility from UIDAI.”