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Alibaba’s UCWeb Lays Off India Staff, Club Factory Halts Payments After Ban

Alibaba Group Holding subsidiary UC Web is slashing workers in India after a ban on 59 Chinese-origin cell apps that features UC Web’s browser and two different merchandise, in keeping with workers and an organization letter seen by Reuters.

India final month outlawed the apps following a skirmish between Indian and Chinese forces on a disputed stretch of Himalayan border during which 20 Indian troopers have been killed.

It mentioned the apps threatened India’s sovereignty and safety and its tech minister described the ban as a “digital strike”.

UCWeb, which entered India a decade in the past and operated the browser together with a information app and the Vmate brief video app, informed some staff in a letter dated July 15 and seen by Reuters that they have been shedding their jobs.

“This termination is on account of the ban imposed by the government of India on UCWeb and Vmate, hampering the company’s ability to continue providing services in India,” the corporate mentioned within the letter.

UCWeb mentioned in a press release that it had complied with the federal government order and stopped providers however didn’t touch upon whether or not it had shut operations completely.

Chinese e-commerce big Alibaba declined to remark.

UC Browser had 130 million month-to-month lively customers in India. The firm has below 100 direct staff in India and a whole lot of third-party staff, sources mentioned.

Another banned app, an e-commerce service known as Club Factory (CF), has written to its Indian sellers saying it’s invoking a “force majeure” clause – liberating it from contractual obligations.

“We hereby wish to inform that all settlements with sellers on the CF app and website are hereby being put on hold until the ban of the CF app and website is lifted,” the agency mentioned in a letter to some 30,000 Indian sellers.

The India app ban requires a short lived halt of enterprise actions and the corporate is working with the federal government to resolve their queries, Club Factory mentioned in a press release.

Operators of the banned apps, which embody the TikTok video service, have been requested by India to reply 77 questions, together with whether or not they censored content material, labored on behalf of international governments or lobbied influencers, Reuters reported beforehand.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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