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Tech giants should stop treating India like third-world country: Paytm's Vijay Shekhar

Referring to WhatsApp's new privacy policy and the company's recent frontpage newspaper ads about user's privacy, Sharma said, "Why does Europe get a policy and India only a newspaper advertisement?"

Tech giants should stop treating India like third-world country: Paytm's Vijay Shekhar

Paytm Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vijay Shekhar Sharma

US-based big tech companies must stop treating India like a "Third-World market" as it is the largest consumer base for such companies, said Paytm Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vijay Shekhar Sharma.  

"It feels bad to be treated like a Third-World country, when we are, in fact, the largest consumer internet market in the world," Sharma told The Economic Times at the launch of Paytm Money's futures and options services.  

"More than regulations (for Big Techs), it's about how some of these policies are enforced in India," he said.

Sharma's comment is being seen in reference to recent controversies, including the WhatsApp privacy policy update and Google's dominance in the internet ecosystem.

Referring to WhatsApp's new privacy policy and the company's recent frontpage newspaper ads about user's privacy, Sharma said, "Why does Europe get a policy and India only a newspaper advertisement?"

Also Read: WhatsApp privacy policy row: Govt examining Facebook-owned app's latest update

Facebook-owned WhatsApp on January 5, started sending in-app notifications to its users in India and other countries, asking users to agree to the messaging app's new privacy rules by February 8. WhatsApp said that if the users want to continue using the app, they will have to accept the company's terms and conditions. If they didn't, they would no longer be able to access their WhatsApp accounts from February 8.

This has sparked concerns over user data and privacy, with many questioning the move. While WhatsApp CEO Will Cathcart clarified some doubts around the privacy policy last week, to further assure users the messaging app also issued clarifications in the form of newspaper advertisements. 

Also Read: Paytm does a Maggi! Promises personal loans in '2 minutes'

Sharma's Paytm competes with WhatsApp for Unified Payments Interface (UPI)-based payment services in India. WhatsApp, which has over 400 million active users and 15 million business users in India, is a new entrant in digital payment services in India.

Paytm Money, a wholly-owned subsidiary of fintech major Paytm, on Wednesday said it will provide Futures & Options trading (F&O) on its platform as it aims  facilitating daily turnover of Rs 1.5 lakh crore in next 18-24 months. Paytm Money will charge brokerage at Rs 10 for all F&O trades, which is in line with its intraday charges of Rs 10  and free for delivery.

The platform - which also offers services around stocks, direct mutual funds, ETF, IPO, NPS, and digital gold - is focussed on bringing "wealth services to 100 million Indians," Sharma said during the online launch of the F&O trading service.

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