Alibaba And Jack Ma Summoned By Indian Court Over Allegations Of Spreading Fake News In India

Aadhya Khatri - Jul 28, 2020


Alibaba And Jack Ma Summoned By Indian Court Over Allegations Of Spreading Fake News In India

Pushpandra Singh Parmar, a former employee of UC Web accused Alibaba of censoring content seen as unfavorable to the Chinese government

Jack Ma and Alibaba have been summoned by an Indian court after a former Indian employee of the company accused it of wrongfully sacking him. The reason he cited for the termination of employment contract is his objection to fake news and censorship on Alibaba apps.

This case surfaces a few weeks after India banned UC News, UC Browser, two apps owned by Amazon, and 57 other Chinese apps citing security concerns.

UC News US Browser Alibaba summoned
This case surfaces a few weeks after India banned UC News, UC Browser

China heavily criticized this decision of the Indian government. After the ban, India asks the affected companies for their written answers on whether they were under the influence of any foreign governments or censored content.

The date of the court filling is July 20 and in it, Pushpandra Singh Parmar, a former employee of UC Web accused Alibaba of censoring content seen as unfavorable to the Chinese government, and UC News and UC Browser spread fake news that can cause political and social turmoil.

Sonia Sheokand, Civil Judge of the district court of Gurugram, issued a summons for Jack Ma, Alibaba, and a handful of other company units and individuals. As such, they must appear in court in person or send their lawyers on their behalf on July 29.

As stated by the summons, Alibaba and its executives will have to provide written responses within 30 days.

According to UC India, the company strictly follows local laws and its commitments to maintain local employees’ welfare as well as to the Indian market.

Alibaba UC India
According to UC India, the company strictly follows local laws and its commitments to maintain local employees’ welfare

Alibaba has not commented anything on the summons.

Parmar used to be an associate director for UC Web in Gurugram before being fired in October 2017. He is now demanding $268,000 in damages. His lawyer Atul Ahlawat refused to comment anything saying that this issue is sub judice.

According to the Chinese foreign ministry, Chinese companies have always been requested by the East Asian country’s government to follow local laws and international rules when operating outside of China.

The statement also asks the Indian government to provide a just and fair environment so that Chinese companies can run business normally in India.

Allegations In Court

This case is the latest obstacle for Alibaba on the Indian market. After the ban, UC Web started to lay off staff.

According to reports from Sensor Tower, before being axed by the Indian government, UC News and UC Web have gained 79.8 million and 689 million downloads in India, mostly from 2017 to 2018.

Uc Web abnned alibaba summoned
Before being axed by the Indian government, UC News and UC Web have gained 79.8 million and 689 million downloads in India

Explaining the ban order, the Indian government said it had received trustworthy information showing these apps were a threat to India’s sovereignty. The IT minister announced the order was to protect Indian users’ data.

The court fillings have over 200 pages and the former employer of UC Web added clippings of articles on UC News app which he claimed were fake news.

Among the included clippings are articles with headlines like a war just broke out between India and Pakistan and 2,000-rupee note to be banned.

And obviously, India doesn’t ban the 2,000-rupee note nor there was a war between the two neighboring countries in 2018.

The fillings also have a list of keywords thought to be UC Web censor list. Some of the words are “Sino-India war,” and “India-China border.”

>>> PUBG Might Be Banned In India As Part Of Ongoing Chinese App Purge

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