Gurugram court summons Alibaba, Jack Ma

Updated July 26, 2020

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New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) A Gurugram district court has summoned tech giant, Alibaba and its founder Jack Ma in a case where a former employee said he was wrongfully sacked after he objected to censorship and fake news on the company's apps.

As per reports, a former employee of Alibaba's UC Web, Pushpandra Singh Parmar has alleged that UC Web used to censor content seen as unfavourable to China and its apps UC Browser and UC News spread false news "to cause social and political turmoil" in India.

Civil Judge Sonia Sheokand of district court in Gurugram has issued summons for Alibaba, Jack Ma and about a dozen individuals or company units, asking them to appear in court or through a lawyer on July 29.

The court has also sought written responses from the company and its executives within 30 days, as per the summons.

UC India said, "It had been unwavering in its commitment to the India market and the welfare of its local employees, and its policies are in compliance with local laws. We are unable to comment on ongoing litigation".

In the court filings, Parmar included clippings of some posts showcased on the UC News app that he alleged were false.

One post from 2017 was headlined in Hindi: "2,000-rupee notes to be banned from midnight today". Another headline of a 2018 post said: "Just now: War broke out between India and Pakistan" with description of firing across the border between the countries.

The Modi government has banned 59 Chinese apps including TikTok, WeChat and UC Browser and Xiaomi's Mi Community over national security concerns amid strained India-China bilateral relations after the death of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley clash with Chinese PLA troops in eastern Ladakh.

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has issued a list of 59 Chinese apps that are now banned in the country.

"These measures have been undertaken since there is credible information that these apps are engaged in activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order," said a MeitY statement.

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