Amit Khare, the Secretary of the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, on Tuesday said that foreign direct investment rules applicable to print media should also apply to news aggregators. Aggregators, like Inshorts and Dailyhunt, are apps or websites that curate their content from other publishers, and some use algorithms to personalise content for readers. "I would not like to announce it here, that is not my role. But there is a very serious thinking that a level playing field should be there between digital platforms and print media. But of course the announcement will come after the decision is finally taken by the government," Khare said during a panel discussion held online at e-FICCI Frames 2020. "26% [FDI cap] should be applicable to the aggregators as well as print media," he added. If aggregators' investments are capped too, that may spell trouble for players like Dailyhunt and Inshorts, which have raised millions of dollars from foreign investors. Dailyhunt raised US$25 million in 2016 from ByteDance, which owns TikTok. Khare was responding to Girish Agarwal, Non-Executive Director at the Dainik Bhaskar Group, who complained that regulations that applied to print journalism companies were not applicable to news aggregators who used their content: "We have an FDI cap of 26%. But at the same time, news aggregators, those who take the news from our newspapers and put it on digital platforms, they have no cap," Agarwal complained. "In fact, current news aggregators are owned and funded by Chinese companies. We were surprised…
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