By Elton Gomes
The heavily anticipated Flipkart deal saw no end this week, with some sources claiming that Walmart has sealed the deal whereas some saying that Amazon was still in the running. As the deal kept business analysts and the public on their toes, Jio Infocomm gave users a reason to smile by announcing 1 terabyte broadband data plans.
However, there were also reasons for concern, with the Pentagon ordering the ban of Huawei and ZTE phones on its military bases citing security reasons. Citing disagreements over privacy and encryption, WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum decided to resign. The trade war between US and China seemed to escalate, after the Trump administration’s demands.
Jan Koum steps down
WhatsApp’s co-founder and chief executive Jan Koum resigned from the company on April 30, citing disagreements over privacy and encryption. Koum also stepped down from Facebook’s board of directors. Koum promised users that WhatsApp’s values over protecting user privacy would not be compromised after Facebook took over the company.
Although Koum did not give any reason for his resignation, it was reported that he disagreed with Facebook’s approach to personal data and encryption. In 2016, WhatsApp announced that it would share user data with Facebook – this move drew significant criticism from European regulators. Now that Koum has stepped down, analysts claim that WhatsApp might use more ads.
The Pentagon bans Huawei, ZTE phones from US military bases
Acting on the Pentagon’s orders, the United States Department of Defense banned Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE mobile phones from stores on its military bases. The Pentagon stated that these devices “may pose an unacceptable risk to the department’s personnel, and mission.” Officials from the US government hinted at possibilities that China could urge its manufacturers to create backdoors for spying. Both Huawei and ZTE have denied such a statement. The Pentagon’s orders come in the middle of an ongoing trade battle between China and the US, with both sides taking a hardline stance.
Jio begins offering 1 TB of broadband data
Jio Infocomm has begun offering fibre to the home (FTTH) broadband connections. The Mukesh Ambani-led company is offering 1.1 terabytes of free data with speeds of up to 100 megabytes per second (mbps) in select Indian markets. Commercial services are expected to be rolled out later this year. This development comes after the company launched an artificial intelligence-based engagement platform – JioInteract. Furthermore, Samsung has partnered with Jio, and is offering 1 terabyte of 4G data on its Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus models. After launching a slew of services, it can be said that Jio Infocomm is looking to be the undisputed leader in the Indian telecom market.
Flipkart’s Sachin Bansal likely to quit if Walmart deal goes through
If the Flipkart-Walmart deal is sealed, Flipkart CEO and co-founder Sachin Bansal is likely to exit the company. Walmart is in advanced talks with Flipkart and is seeking a majority stake, with Amazon also showing interest. Bansal had no plans of selling his holdings and was seeking a bigger role at Flipkart. Sources have claimed that Walmart wishes to retain either Sachin or his co-founder Binny Bansal, with Sachin “most likely” to leave. If Sachin Bansal decides to quit, it was reported that he could launch another startup or mentor young entrepreneurs.
Trump administration demands China to cut trade deficit by $200 billion
In the midst of an ongoing trade war between Beijing and Washington, the Trump administration demanded China reduce its trade deficit by $200 billion. The US provided a four-page list that urged China to stop providing subsidies to industries named on the list. The US also demanded China not to challenge US restrictions on Chinese investments in critical sectors. Furthermore, America also wants China to provide fair and non-discriminatory market access to US investors. The Trump administration also sought an updated list of blacklisted foreign investors. The two nations were yet to discuss how the targets will be met; however, it seems that the US-China trade war has taken on a stronger hue.
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