Alibaba And Subsidiaries Wind Up Shop In India
In response to India banning Chinese companies from participating in Indian development projects to use of their various designed applications, China’s topmost e-commerce company has gone all rogue and is sacking Indian employees by the dozen.
Now the Chinese company Alibaba’s internet subsidiary UC Web has gone ahead and suspended not only operations in India but also sacked a number of Indian employees. Almost 90 percent of the Indian holding jobs in their Indian headquarters have been given the pink slip.
Layoffs were done over video conferencing and affects entry level to mid management positions. However, they all have been given a minimum of 30 days’ notice. The whole action comes in retaliation to India putting its foot down over a lot of nuisance that the Chinese counterparts have been indulging into. Earlier in the month, the energy and power ministry had given off a directive that Indian manufacturers and traders should not use Chinese made products, without running them through stringent tests, to ensure they are not embedded with malware.
The threat of cyber attack and phishing through malicious malware installed in various Chinese made energy, IT and power equipment has made the trade dynamics between the nations extremely shaky. End of June, India also decided to put a ban on 59 Chinese apps. These include some of the most popular ones like TikTok, Helo, UC Browser, UC News, and WeChat. Some of these are already banned in various parts of the world, and especially in the US where White House administration and Pentagon staff and their familes are warned not to use any Chinese applications. Most of them are functioning under government surveillance and can give access to user data to the Beijing directly.
The Indian reaction comes due to the rising tension with its northern neighbour along the border in Ladakh. China has been trying to create disturbance on LAC at a time when India has all its energies focused on getting back on its feet post a 90 day lockdown period which has hit the economy.
Further, India employees working at Alibaba-owned video-blogging platform Vmate were also laid off according to an internal letter dated 15 July. With India moving towards self reliance, there are many in-house innovations that might be able to take the place of the popular Chinese applications. Over the last few years, India has seen a healthy internet user base emerging. This also includes a robust regional internet user base. Keeping all this in mind, many Chinese internet firms had started to heavily invest themselves and had plans to expand their business strategies in India. ByteDance, which owns TikTok and Helo, had said it plans to invest up to $1 billion in India. UC Web had also detailed its plans to launch a fully-owned e-commerce business in India back in September 2019. It also had plans to launch online movie ticketing as well at that time.