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TLDR: Slack In India, ONDC, Ecommerce, Meta COO, Binance, EU Antitrust Probe, Whatsapp, Ad Tech, Gaming

Here is a quick newswrap of all the latest developments in tech policy

  1. Slack Launched In India, Will Set Up ‘Digital HQ’

Workplace collaboration platform Slack has been launched in India and is looking to gain the market as Indian companies switch back to working from office and hybrid work. Media reports say that its survey of 2,000 Indian ‘knowledge workers’ found a strong preference for flexibility in terms of hours and location, and the company said that its service will enable this for workers amid high attrition and the ‘war for talent’. [Read more] 

  1. Cooperatives can now be part of GeM as buyers, says govt

Registered cooperative societies in India can be part of the GeM portal (government e-marketplace). They are now allowed to procure and sell products through the online marketplace. This is pitched as a move to benefit sellers by accessing a wider customer base and allowing members of cooperatives to procure at competitive rates. As customers of goods, the cooperatives will in turn benefit micro and medium scale small enterprises, as per the government. [Read more]

  1. Sheryl Sandberg steps down as Meta COO after 14 years

Sheryl Sandberg, Meta’s number 2 executive who joined in 2008 and led its advertising business since its inception while also facing heat for policies and decisions of the social media platform, has resigned after 14 years. She was with the company through some of its most public controversies including Cambridge Analytica (2017) and the Capitol Hill ‘riot’ in 2021. [Read more]  

  1. Binance raises $500 million for Web3 and blockchain investments

Binance’s venture capital arm Binance Labs has raised $500 million for a fund that will invest in Web3 and blockchain development. A number of private equity funds contributed to the raise. CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said that the purpose of the fund is to “discover and support projects and founders with the potential to build and to lead Web 3 across DeFi, NFTs, gaming, Metaverse, social, and more” [Read more] 

  1. Meta Says EU Antritrust Probe Like ‘A Giant Fishing Trawler’

Meta Inc., the owner of Facebook’s marketplace and data, said that the European Union’s antitrust body’s probe is like ‘a giant fishing trawler’, implying that it is too broad-based and indiscriminate, questioning the agency on its data requests. Facebook was first requested by the European Commission for data on Facebook Marketplace, social networking, and online classified ads. [Read more]

  1. Tim Horton’s violated user privacy by tracking them, fid Canadian authorities

Fast food chain Tim Horton was found to have violated user privacy and data protection laws by Canada’s privacy commissioner. The company “failed to ensure proper design of an intrusive technology, resulting in a mass invasion of Canadians’ privacy”, the federal privacy commissioner stated. Users’ location was being tracked and updated frequently and was used for displaying targeted ads. [Read more] 

  1. WhatsApp blocks 16.66 lakh accounts in India in April

Meta-owned messaging app WhatsApp said in its monthly report that it bloced 16.66 lakh accounts in India for violating its terms of use. It also received appeals on 670 accounts and 122 were restored. The decision is made based on user reports and blocks. The report is mandatory under the IT Rules of 2021, and is required to detail action taken on users on social media platforms, particularly if accounts are banned. [Read more] 

  1. Airtel, Jio, VI to challenge Facebook, Google with proprietary ad-tech platforms

Indian telecom companies Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and VI (Vodafone Idea) are set to enter the digital advertising space in India, which media says is expected to grow by 30% by 2022 end, and challenge existing giants Google and Facebook, citing a report by e4m-Dentsu. Airtel Ads, Jio Ads, and Vi Ads are the ad-tech arms of the Indian telecom giants which together have 1.16 billion users. [Read more] 

  1. Indian banks lined up for government’s E-commerce project ONDC

The Indian government has billed the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) as a way to break Walmart and Amazon’s domination of the domestic e-commerce sector, is in talks with banks to set up buyer platforms. These banks include Axis Bank, PNB, ICICI, HDFC, and other lenders. Fintech firm Paytm has already joined the ONDC and Google is currently in talks, as per Reuters. [Read more]

  1. Apple outstrips Nintendo, Microsoft in gaming revenue in 2021

In what might seem counter-intuitive to many, Apple Inc. reportedly earned more revenue from gaming than Microsoft and Nintendo in 2021. Although it is not typically associated with gaming, an analysis by New Zoo that Apple earned $15.3 billion from this vertical. Tencent, owner of PUBG and League of Legends, made $32.2 billion, followed by Sony’s $18.2 billion. [Read more]

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