Amarcast Tech News Update 20 July 2020
1. Reliance Jio-Google smartphone deal threatens Chinese phone makers: Reliance boss Mukesh Ambani, announcing the partnership at his company’s annual meeting last week, said Google would build an Android operating system (OS) to power a low-cost “4G or even 5G” smartphone that Reliance would design.
The new phone is set to pose a major challenge to Chinese vendors such as Xiaomi and BBK Electronics, owner of the Realme, Oppo and Vivo brands, which currently dominate a $2 billion market for sub-$100 smartphones in India.
Powered by a clever mix of Bollywood, cricket-driven marketing and product features such as powerful cameras, the Chinese firms sell roughly eight of every 10 smartphones in the country.
2. Facebook strengthens its music library with IPRS deal: Facebook has signed a music licensing deal with the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) to strengthen its music library across its social networking platform and Instagram.
The IPRS is a representative body of authors and owners, which include composers, lyricists, and owner publishers of music.
While the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the social networking giant said it will cover licensing and royalties whenever music represented by the IPRS is used on Facebook and Instagram.
Popular poet-lyricist and Chairman IPRS Javed Akhtar said “IPRS is excited to create opportunities for our songwriters and composers for their use of works on Facebook and its platforms. The future is brighter when all industries work together and evolve the next phase of music usage together.”
3. India has collected over Rs 2,600 crore as equalisation levy, or ‘Google tax’, since it was introduced in 2016, as the government widens to the scope of tax to include foreign digital companies.
‘Google tax’ collection was Rs 338 crore in 2016-17 (charged at 6 percent), Rs 589 crore in 2017-18 and Rs 939 crore in 2018-19, The Economic Times said in a report citing government data.
Last week, India responded to the US Trade Representative Office on the issue, saying the underlying policy objective and application of Equalization Levy is to ensure that neutral and equitable taxation is applicable to e-commerce operators that are resident in India, or have a physical presence here, and those that aren’t. The purpose is to ensure a level playing field with regard to e-commerce activities undertaken in India.