Google cracks down on personal loan apps in India following abuse and outcry

Google said on Thursday it has pulled some personal loan apps from Play Store in India and was implementing stronger measures to prevent abuse following reports that said several firms were targeting vulnerable borrowers in the country and then going to extreme lengths to recover their money. The Android-maker said users and government agencies in […]

US says India, Italy and Turkey digital taxes are discriminatory, but won’t take any actions for now

Digital services taxes adopted by India, Italy and Turkey in recent years discriminate against U.S. companies, the U.S. Trade Representative said on Wednesday. USTR, which began investigations into the three nation’s digital services taxes in June last year, said it found them to be inconsistent with international tax principles, unreasonable and burdening or restricting U.S. […]

Google and Snap in talks to invest in India’s ShareChat

ShareChat, an Indian social network that added Twitter as an investor in 2019, may soon receive the backing of two more American firms. The Bangalore-based startup is in advanced stages of talks to raise money from Google and Snap, as well as several existing investors, including Twitter, three sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. […]

Amazon eyes launching its computer science education program in India

Amazon is planning to extend its computer science program Future Engineer to India, demonstrating its growing interest in the education space in the world’s second largest internet market. In a job recruitment post, the company said that initial research for Amazon Future Engineer, through which it aims to bring computer science education to underserved and […]

From the US to China, Korea, India and Europe, antitrust action against tech is gaining serious momentum

After decades of global expansion and consolidation in the tech sector, antitrust is now a headline issue for the industry across the world. What has been a slow and sputtering series of disparate actions over the past decade has coalesced in just the past few weeks into a rapid and comprehensive series of actions against […]

Tesla to make India debut ‘early’ next year

Tesla will begin operating in India in “early” 2021, a top Indian minister said on Monday, a day after the tech-centric carmaker said it was confident it would enter the world’s second most populated market next year. Tesla’s operations with begin with sales in early 2021 and then “maybe” look at assembling and manufacturing vehicles […]

From India’s richest man to Amazon and 100s of startups: The great rush to win neighborhood stores

After spending more than a decade disrupting the neighborhood stores in the U.S. and several other markets, Amazon and Walmart are employing an unusual strategy in India to face off this competitor: Friending them. Walmart and Amazon, both of which face restrictions from New Delhi on what all they could do in India, have partnered […]

Google expands languages push to serve non-English speakers in India

There are more than 600 million internet users in India, but only a fraction of this population is fluent in English. Most online services and much of the content on the web currently, however, are available exclusively in English. This language barrier continues to contribute to a digital divide in the world’s second-largest internet market […]

India cabinet approves setting up a ‘massive network’ of public Wi-Fi hotspots

More than one billion people in India today have a mobile connection, thanks in part to the proliferation of low-cost Android smartphones and the world’s cheapest mobile data plans in recent years. This scale was unimaginable just three decades ago, when India had fewer than 2.5 million telephones in the country. One of the earliest […]

Jio Platforms backs SF-based AR gaming startup Krikey

Jio Platforms, the biggest telecom operator in India and which has raised over $20 billion from Facebook, Google and other high-profile investors this year, is leading a financing round of a San Francisco-based startup that develops augmented reality mobile games. Jio has led the Series A fundraise of Krikey, founded by sisters Jhanvi and Ketaki […]

This Week in Apps: Snapchat clones TikTok, India bans 43 Chinese apps, more data on App Store commission changes

Welcome back to This Week in Apps, the TechCrunch series that recaps the latest in mobile OS news, mobile applications, and the overall app economy. The app industry is as hot as ever, with a record 204 billion downloads and $120 billion in consumer spending in 2019. People now spend three hours and 40 minutes per day using apps, […]

India approves Google’s $4.5 billion deal with Reliance’s Jio Platforms

India’s antitrust watchdog has approved Google’s proposed investment of $4.5 billion in the nation’s largest telecom platform Jio Platforms, it said in a tweet on Wednesday. Google announced in July that it would be investing $4.5 billion for a 7.73% stake in the top Indian telecom network. As part of the deal, Google and Jio […]

India opens antitrust case against Google over its payments app

India’s antitrust watchdog has opened an investigation into Google for allegedly abusing the dominant position of its app store to promote its payments service in the world’s second largest internet market. In its Monday announcement (PDF) about opening an antitrust case against Google, Indian watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) said it would review claims […]

Amazon to invest $2.8 billion to build its second data center region in India

Amazon will invest about $2.8 billion in Telangana to set up a new AWS Cloud region in the southern state of India, a top Indian politician announced on Friday. The investment will allow Amazon to launch an AWS Cloud region in Hyderabad by mid-2022, said K. T. Rama Rao, Minister for Information Technology, Electronics & […]

Google and Walmart face growth hurdles as India caps payments transactions

Google and Walmart have a new challenge ahead of them as they race to expand the reach of their payments apps in India: They won’t be permitted to grow beyond a certain limit. National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the body that operates the popular UPI payments infrastructure, said Thursday evening that it will enforce […]

To fill funding gaps, VCs boost efforts to find India’s standout early-stage startups

After demonstrating scale, growth and financial improvement, one founder of a two-year-old agritech startup based in India told me that he’s now confronting a new challenge: Unlike his peers in edtech, fintech or e-commerce, there are very few investors he could approach for raising funds, he told TechCrunch, requesting anonymity. He suggested that a startup […]

Google delays mandating Play Store payments rule in India to April 2022

Google is postponing the enforcement of its new Play Store billing rule in India to April 2022, days after more than 150 startups in the world’s second largest internet market forged an informal coalition to express concerns over the 30% charge the Android-maker plans to mandate on its store and started to explore an alternative […]

Indian startups explore alliance and alternative app store to fight Google’s ‘monopoly’

Google, which reaches more internet users than any other firm in India and commands 99% of the nation’s smartphone market, has stumbled upon an odd challenge in the world’s second-largest internet market: scores of top local entrepreneurs. More than 150 startups and firms in India are working to form an alliance and toying with the […]

Thanks to Google, app store monopoly concerns have now reached India

Last week, as Epic Games, Facebook, and Microsoft continued to express concerns about Apple’s “monopolistic” hold over what a billion people can download on their iPhones, a similar story unfolded in India, the world’s second largest internet market, between a giant developer and the operator of the only other large mobile app store. Google pulled […]

Google pulls India’s Paytm app from Play Store for repeat policy violations

Updated at 13:30 GMT / 07:00 PM IST: The Paytm app is back on the Google Play Store. Our original story follows. Google has pulled the popular Indian financial services app Paytm from the Play Store for violating its gambling policies. Paytm is India’s most valuable startup and claims over 50 million monthly active users. Its […]

Times Internet is growing despite influx of US tech firms in India

Times Internet said on Thursday it reaches more than 557 million active users in India each month and over 111 million users a day as several of its digital offerings demonstrated strong growth in the past year. The Indian conglomerate — which operates over three-dozen properties, including on-demand streaming services MX Player and Gaana, and […]

Daily Crunch: India bans PUBG and other Chinese apps

India continues to crack down on Chinese apps, Microsoft launches a deepfake detector and Google offers a personalized news podcast. This is your Daily Crunch for September 2, 2020. The big story: India bans PUBG and other Chinese apps The Indian government continues its purge of apps created by or linked to Chinese companies. It […]

Google’s AI-powered flood alerts now cover all of India and parts of Bangladesh

India, the world’s second most populated nation, sees more than 20% of the global flood-related fatalities each year as overrun riverbanks sweep tens of thousands of homes with them. Two years ago, Google volunteered to help. In 2018, the company began its flood forecasting pilot initiative in Patna — the capital of the Indian state of […]

Apple alum’s jobs app for India’s workers secures $8 million

Javed, a middle-aged man, worked as a driver before losing that job earlier this year as coronavirus spread across India, prompting New Delhi to enforce a nationwide lockdown and temporarily curb several business activities. There are millions of people like Javed in India today who have lost their livelihood in recent months. They are low-skilled […]

TikTok’s rivals in India struggle to cash in on its ban

For years, India has served as the largest open battleground for Silicon Valley and Chinese firms searching for their next billion users. With more than 400 million WhatsApp users, India is already the largest market for the Facebook-owned service. The social juggernaut’s big blue app also reaches more than 300 million users in the country. […]

India’s first Earth-imaging satellite startup raises $5 million; first launch planned for later this year

Bengaluru-based Pixxel is getting ready to launch its first Earth imaging satellite later this year, with a scheduled mission aboard a Soyuz rocket. The roughly one-and-a-half-year-old company is moving quickly, and today it’s announcing a $5 million seed funding round to help it accelerate even more. The funding is led by Blume Ventures, Lightspeed India […]

Google launches Kormo app in India to help people find entry-level jobs

Google said on Wednesday it has expanded its jobs app, called Kormo Jobs, to India as the search giant looks to offer a helping hand to millions looking for entry-level roles and further displace Microsoft’s LinkedIn relevance in the world’s second largest internet market. The company first launched Kormo Jobs in Bangladesh in 2018 and […]

Daily Crunch: Epic Games escalates legal battle with Apple

The battle between Epic Games and Apple continues, Facebook faces criticism in India and Pinterest appoints its first Black board member. This is your Daily Crunch for August 17, 2020. The big story: Epic Games files injunction against Apple Epic’s legal and PR fight with Apple and its App Store policies seems to be escalating. […]

Google rolls out virtual visiting card in India

Google has rolled out a new Search feature in India that enables influencers, entrepreneurs, freelancers or anyone else who wants to be easily discovered online create a virtual visiting card in what appears to be the company’s latest attempt to add more LinkedIn -esque functionalities into its search engine. The company said it has rolled […]

Netflix’s latest effort to make inroads in India: Support for Hindi

Only about 10% of India’s 1.3 billion people know English. Yet, scores of firms operating in the country offer their services only in English. Netflix, one such company, said on Friday it’s aiming to break through the language barrier. The American on-demand video streaming giant today rolled out across its platform support for Hindi, a […]