Gurugram Court has summoned former CEO of Alibaba Jack Ma after a former employee of UCWeb filed a case against Alibaba for spreading fake news and censoring anti-Chinese news. However, Ma failed to show up in court. This move comes after India banned 59 Chinese apps posing a threat to national integrity and security.
Crux of the Matter
Case Against Alibaba
Mr. Pushpendra Singh Parmar, a former employee of Alibaba’s UCWeb filled a case against Alibaba in Gurugram court. Mr. Parmar said that he was wrongfully fired for opposing censorship and fake news on the app and accused the company of censoring content unfavorable to China. Moreover, the Company’s app UC Browser and UC News were showcasing false news “to cause social and political turmoil” in India.
The court had asked Jack Ma and the other 12 individuals to present themselves or through their lawyer on July 29th. The company and its executives were also ordered by the court to submit written responses within 30 days regarding this matter. However, Jack Ma did not show up not even through a lawyer. Only 5 people out of 12 were present through lawyers from a single law firm. The court is yet to give a final verdict and has given some time to all.
A 200-page filing was submitted to the court. It contained the proofs of spreading false news such as on “₹2000 note ban”. There was a “sensitive words list” which had been used to censor anti-China news.“Any news related content to be published against China was automatically/manually rejected by an audit system evolved for this purpose,” the filing said. There has been no official comment from embassies of both countries on the matter yet.
Alibaba has emerged as a prominent B2B marketplace. B2B is a transaction between businesses, such as one involving a manufacturer and wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer – it refers to business that is conducted between companies, rather than between a company and individual consumer. Alibaba has created a platform to connect Chinese Small Medium Business(SMBs) and Wholesalers to a foreign client. Earlier, SMBs and Wholesalers had very limited access to the international market due to tight foreign trade rules in China. Alibaba solved these problems with its simple, fast, and convenient B2B platform removing all hardships. The company earns revenue by charging commissions on transactions.
A Short History of Alibaba
- 1999: Jack Ma Founded Alibaba as a B2B eCommerce.
- 2000: SoftBank and Goldman Sachs Invested US$25 million.
- 2001: Surpassed 1 million Consumer base.
- 2003: Launched Taobao Marketplace (B2C and C2C).
- 2004: Raised $85 million and launched Alipay, an online payments platform.
- 2007: Launched Alimama.com, an online marketing technology platform.
- 2010: US firms Ray-Ban and Gap Opened online stores in Taobao Mall.
- 2013: Jack ma stepped down as CEO, and Daniel Zhang took over.
- 2014: Acquired mobile browser company UCWeb. The company went public and made history as the largest IPO of all time that opened on the New York Stock Exchange. It also became the world’s largest online B2B trading platform for small businesses
- 2015: An investor brought consolidated class action lawsuit against Alibaba and the underwriters of its IPO for violations of the Securities Act. The company settled the matter by paying $75 million.
- 2016: Office of the United States Trade Representative added Taobao onto a list of notorious counterfeit platforms.
- 2019: Jack Ma stepped down as chairman of Alibaba.
- Jack Ma retired from his 20-year tenure at Alibaba last year with a huge party and musical performance for 60,000 employees. Ma’s getup as a “rockstar” at the party went viral on the internet.
- Daniel Zhang is a Chinese technology executive. He is currently the CEO of Alibaba Group. Before becoming the CEO, Zhang was best known for his roles as CEO of Taobao.
- The company’s name came from the character Ali Baba from the Middle Eastern folk tale collection One Thousand and One Nights because of its universal appeal. Jack Ma thought of the name in San Francisco in a coffee shop.