Uber’s major rival in India just raised $1.1 billion

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While Uber faces five criminal investigations, its rival in India is ready to fight. 

Ola, the six-year-old ride-hailing company that operates in over 100 cities throughout India, just raked in $ 1.1 billion from major investors. And another billion could be on the way. 

Chinese internet giant Tencent led the funding round, which included participation from SoftBank, which has been on its own major investing spree as of late. Ola is in “advanced talks” with other investors to close an additional $ 1 billion as part of this funding round, pushing its raise over $ 2 billion, Ola said in a press release.  Read more…

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India blocks ‘The Danish Girl’ from airing on TV

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India’s film censorship board has barred Sony Pictures’ channel from telecasting Oscar-recognized film, The Danish Girl. 

The movie was slated to air on Sunday. However, the film authority objected to its supposedly “sensitive storyline” and dubbed it “unsuitable” for audiences below 18.

In The Danish Girl, Eddie Redmayne plays the main character grappling with his gender identity, and is based on historical events of the world’s first sex reassignment surgery.

The broadcaster tweeted: “We regret to inform you that Sony Le Plex HD is unable to telecast the television premiere of the award-winning film The Danish Girl on March 26 as the necessary certification to enable the telecast of the movie has not been received.” Read more…

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Apple all set to begin manufacturing iPhone 6, 6s, and SE in India

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Even as the Indian government refuses to entertain most of Apple’s demands, the Cupertino-based company will soon take a major step that could bolster its business in the nation.

Mashable reported last month that Apple intends to start manufacturing in India by as early as late April, starting with last year’s iPhone SE model for the first several months.  

It appears, Apple has since chalked out bigger plans.

The company will also be assembling the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6s models in the nation, reports WSJ, citing a government official.  Read more…

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BBC documentary creates a stir, India bans channel from filming in tiger reserves

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In an unprecedented move, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been banned from filming in India’s tiger reserves for five years. 

The ban was reportedly caused due to misrepresentation of facts in BBC South Asia Correspondent Justin Rowlatt‘s documentary on Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.

In his documentary titled Killing for Conservation, Rowlatt highlighted the Indian government’s “ruthless” anti-poaching policies. He claimed that Kaziranga has a “shoot-at-sight” order for poachers. 

He details in his written account: “The way the park protects the animals is controversial. Its rangers have been given the kind of powers to shoot and kill normally only conferred on armed forces policing civil unrest.” Read more…

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Microsoft launches Skype Lite for India that works on slow internet and supports Aadhaar

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Microsoft has just found the perfect Skype app for the Indian market. 

At an event in Mumbai today, Satya Nadella announced Skype Lite, a 13MB app that works even on slower networks and on lower-end phones with limited storage and processing power. 

On top of this, Skype Lite leverages Aadhaar, India’s biometric database, as its “fundamental authentication system,” Nadella said. “We’re very excited about what we are doing with Skype, and the India Stack (the infrastructure of Aadhaar that allows private companies to interact with the database).” Read more…

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India sure loves WhatsApp: 14 billion messages sent on New Year’s Eve

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Whether you’re in a fish market in India, or in a classroom, or on a bus, one thing that truly captures the zeitgeist of the country is the constant buzzing “ping! ping! ping!” WhatsApp notifications you hear everywhere. On the last day of 2016, Indians outdid themselves on those notifications.

Indians sent 14 billion messages on New Year’s Eve using WhatsApp, Facebook said Friday, adding that this was higher than the previous record the company had in the country. 

On Oct. 30, the day India celebrated the festival Diwali, more than 8 billion messages were exchanged using the service.  Read more…

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