Zoom’s new­est ri­val: Amabni’s JioMeet

The Asian Age - - Financial - SARITHA RAI

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 Ltd, which has scored bil­lions of dol­lars of in­vest­ments from Face­book Inc to In­tel Corp for its dig­i­tal busi­nesses, has 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 com­pany said on the JioMeet web­site. The launch co­in­cided with a na­tion­wide ban on dozens of pop­u­lar apps from Chi­nese tech­nol­ogy gi­ants. JioMeet went vi­ral Fri­day on so­cial me­dia along­side the hash­tag #MadeinIn­dia.

The app is one facet of Am­bani's rapidly ex­pand­ing dig­i­tal em­pire, which in­cludes In­dia's largest tele­com op­er­a­tor with nearly 400 mil­lion users. On Fri­day, Re­liance said In­tel Cap­i­tal has in­vested $253 mil­lion into Jio Plat­forms. The US chip­maker's arm is the 11th in­vestor in about as many weeks to an­nounce its back­ing for the dig­i­tal ser­vices plat­form.

"JioMeet will be a very cred­i­ble dis­rup­tor in the space," said Utkarsh Sinha, MD of Bex­ley Ad­vi­sors.

— Bloomberg

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