Zoom's newest challenger: Budding internet tycoon Mukesh Ambani

Topics Zoom | Mukesh Ambani | Reliance Jio

The app is one facet of Ambani’s rapidly expanding digital empire, which includes India’s largest telecom operator with nearly 400 million users.
Zoom, one of the few success stories of the Covid-19 pandemic, now faces a new competitor in an app backed by Asia’s wealthiest person Mukesh Ambani. Ambani’s Reliance Industries, which has scored billions of dollars of investments from Facebook to Intel for its digital businesses, launched the JioMeet video conferencing app after beta testing. The app has already garnered more than 100,000 downloads on the Google Play Store after becoming available Thursday evening.

Like Google Meet, Microsoft Teams and other services, JioMeet offers unlimited high-definition calls — but unlike Zoom, it doesn’t impose a 40-minute time limit. Calls can go on as long as 24 hours, and all meetings are encrypted and password-protected. The launch coincided with a nationwide ban on dozens of popular apps from Chinese technology giants. 

The app is one facet of Ambani’s rapidly expanding digital empire, which includes India’s largest telecom operator with nearly 400 million users.  “JioMeet will be a very credible disruptor in the space,” said Utkarsh Sinha, managing director of boutique consultancy Bexley Advisors. “Just the fact that it has no time limits on calls makes it a serious challenger to Zoom, despite its entrenchment.”

Jio Platforms is amassing a wide range of services from music streaming to online retail and payments, fast turning into an e-commerce juggernaut that can take on Google and Amazon on its own home turf. 

JioMeet is also debuting at a time Zoom users have accused the service of security flaws. 

It’s been accused of siding with China after deactivating accounts of pro-democracy activists in the US and Hong Kong, which it said was intended to comply with Chinese law.




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