Alibaba plans to provide free internet access in India
Alibaba Inc. the internet giants of China is in talks with telecom companies in India to offer free internet connectivity across several states.
Alibaba, which owns UCWeb and in turn-the UC Browser plans to enter the country with this in mind.
Jack Huang, Alibaba’s President of overseas business was quoted as saying
“We are trying to offer lower cost data to users and better connectivity, even free of cost connectivity. Wi-Fi providers and other players can be potentials and we are in talks”
In addition to it, they may also invest $200 crore in Paytm Marketplace business.
“We actually think in geographic way because in India not every state is suffering from connectivity problem so we will focus more on providing this kind of services to states that are suffering more and also we will have comprehensive analysis on already existing consumers who will actually need this kind of service,”
Given that most of the rural areas doesn’t have access to internet services yet, Alibaba’s move is appreciated.But this might seem suspicious to TRAI-who’s screwing down on operators and service providers who offer free & unlimited services to consumers.
The best example would be of Reliance Jio vs TRAI vs other service providers.When Jio started providing free 4G data to all users,others began complaints of losses.But Jio had a narrow escape from TRAI by modifying their free usage plans & reducing free usage per day to 1GB.
Another case in point will Facebook’s Internet.org program which allowed the cost-free usage of certain essential services like Facebook(of course),Wikipedia,Gmail) but Facebook had to back out following the TRAI recommendation that it violates Net Neutrality laws.
The internet giant recently started hiring bloggers & content writers to grow UC News app & offering ad based in-article monetisation for writers on UC News.