An Indian court has summoned Alibaba and its founder Jack Ma in a case in which a former employee in India says he was wrongfully fired after objecting to what he saw as censorship and fake news on company apps, documents seen by Reuters showed.
The case comes weeks after India cited security concerns in banning Alibaba’s UC News, UC Browser and 57 other Chinese apps after a clash between the two countries’ forces on their border.
UC India said in a statement 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”.
Parmar, who worked as an associate director at the UC Web office in Gurugram until October 2017 and is seeking $268,000 (roughly Rs. 2 crores) in damages, referred Reuters queries to his lawyer, Atul Ahlawat, who declined to comment saying the matter was sub judice.
Before the apps were banned, the UC Browser had been downloaded at least 689 million times in India, while UC News had 79.8 million downloads, most during 2017 and 2018, data from analytics firm Sensor Tower showed.
The lawsuit also contains a “sensitive words list” with key words in Hindi and English like “India-China border” and “Sino-India war” that the court filing alleges were used by UC Web to censor content on its platforms in India.