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PayTM is the flavour of the month and Yes it is a Chinese Company – Now should it be banned? 

Opinion

PayTM is the flavour of the month and Yes it is a Chinese Company – Now should it be banned? 

Yes, the flavour of the season, PayTM, is a Chinese Company with Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba Group Holding being its largest stakeholder. Over the past few years with rounds of funding Alibaba today owns over 40% in PayTM, with recent reports suggesting it could go up to 70%.

Argued by many, rightly or wrongly, PayTM is one of the few companies that are benefiting the most from the Demonetisation drive that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has unleashed on us ordinary people. The company is making the most of this opportunity (rightly so) with advertising overdrive across mediums including Radio, TV and Print. The number of press releases issued by PayTM in the last few days has been mind boggling ensuring the limelight is on them.

Let’s continue to keep the spotlight on them as the concept of mobile wallets is revolutionary and can play a significant role in a cashless economy. Though I always wonder why a bank account can’t also be a digital wallet with the steps being taken by many banks in making their mobile banking apps a 2-3 click operation.

The question we seek an answer to and the thought we wish to leave with our readers is that if there can be a demand to ban Chinese goods during Diwali by a huge base of people including responsible members of the ruling party, BJP, why is there silence over a company like PayTM? The company offering is as Chinese as a small Indian trader selling Chinese goods. The big voices like BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya who went all guns blazing on the ban on Chinese goods including decorative lights, crackers and then deleted those tweets with #tags like #BoycottChina are silent.

The decorative lights was not a matter of national security, of course, we get the point that it was an ultra-nationalist propaganda to poke China. Mark a sort of protest against the country who had blatantly blocked the move to get Masood Azhar, a Pakistan-based terrorist also the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief, designated as a terrorist by the United Nations.

While the lights and crackers were not fitted with nuclear warheads, there was still a lot of noise for a ban. For the sake of argument, PayTM, in the hands of a China man, poses numerous possible threats including potential vulnerability to a data breach, financial data in foreign hands is a situation far more dangerous and worthy of debate.

People blindly downloading the PayTM App by the dozens on their mobiles, to ease the pressure that has been mounted with the currency demonetisation, can be the recipe connecting a huge population to an international financial network owned by unfriendly foreign soil – CHINA.

PayTM Founder Vishal Shekhar Sharma and his team

PayTM Founder Vishal Shekhar Sharma and his team – Image Courtesy Economic Times

A mobile App like PayTM, nestled in your mobile, can access your financial details, location, background information, banking exposure, financial tools you use on a daily basis and a lot more. We can’t say for sure that you shouldn’t be worried.

However, the point remains that when systematic campaigns against Chinese goods ran during Diwali and even in back in the days, where there were attacks on Chinese telecom companies like Huawei and ZTE being blocked and banned to participate openly in government telecom contracts for the reason of security threats. By the same logic what makes companies like PayTM different from a threat perception point of view?

The nation needs to know if it is safe to use PayTM or now is Hindi Cheeni Bhai Bhai! (India-China Brotherhood) on the matter of Demonetisation and we need Chinese help?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the publication


13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Shiv Kumar Sitani

    November 18, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Ashutosh Bhattacharya, writer of this article is confused person.

    There are many other international companies working under legal license and other norms and formality . On what ground/law it should be banned ?

    Dont u understand the difference between boycotting and banning?

    Boycott is voluntary without violating legal laws

    Banning is a legal process and must have valid legal reason.

    There are many other wallet in market in which BUDDY (SBI) also there. All are gaining but paytm has integration with maximum payment gateway which incl. railway, uber, mobile, dth, muv, electicity, flight, shopping, etc with variety of products and big customer base. Due to their service, they are benefiting. If u want to let it down, u should compete it with better service and integration.

    Just like we use WHATSAPP whereas other msging app are there, chinese WECHAT also there but we use based on large customer integration and service.

    You can shout of boycotting paytm but cant raise question for banning running organisation without any valid reason

    If u really want to get down Paytm then the best way is to develop a parallel payment gateway and compete with them with ur service and utility. Show ur efforts.

    #baseless article

  2. ashutosh shitposter

    November 18, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    Dear Mister Ashutosh or whatever
    kindly get your facts right after reading this and posting bullshit >> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paytm

  3. RS

    November 19, 2016 at 12:31 am

    This is a typical conspiracy theory artist with various claims being made and doubts raised without being grounded in reality. Also the writer shows an utter lack of understanding about how IT and privacy laws work. Hey Mr writer please post valid sources for all the claims made here. Apparently anyone can write a fat-free article nowadays.

  4. Gaurav Manik

    November 19, 2016 at 1:25 am

    I see the deep sarcasm in this article. It is fat-free and full of protein. If read correctly. The writer is clearly appreciating Paytm but questioning double standards. And what’s wrong with food for thought – after all, the financial information does sit exposed and these startups fall like no one’s business.

  5. Mohd Amir

    November 19, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Dr. Mr Ashutosh Sharma,

    You don’t even know the correct name of Paytm founder, mentioning Vishal Shekhar Sharma in one of attached picture.
    Please improve you information first.

  6. Rakesh Gupta

    November 19, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Mohd. Dude that is Jack Ma founder and owner of Alibaba the largest stakeholder in Paytm. He is Chinese.

  7. Anupam

    November 20, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    “For the sake of argument, PayTM, in the hands of a China man, poses numerous possible threats including potential vulnerability to a data breach, financial data in foreign hands is a situation far more dangerous and worthy of debate”

    I would recommend to you sir a reading of Prepaid instruments in India and the laws governing them. Their custodian is the Reserve Bank of India.

    As with regards to financial data, the data is sitting within the country.

    Now lets come to ur logic that since Alibaba has a major stake in Paytm, that makes Paytm chinese. Well Alibaba was owned and groomed by SoftBank, A japanese PE , does it makae Alibaba Japanese?

    China and Japan dont share the cordial relations and bonds either, with Japan being an occupying force in China, yet chinese owned up to Alibaba because they brought in several ground breaking solutions for chinese people to transact and do business easily.

    Paytm has broken ground in a space where Banks have been uniquely favoured by Banking regulations in this country, yet Mobile wallets by Banks never took off- read Buddy, or Pockets or Payzapp

    I assure you , the basic notions of ur article are misplaced as well as ur understanding about Paytm and its owner firm – One97 communications ltd.

    As someone rightly pointed out- u dont even know the CEO name properly

    I would recommend a course in real journalism 😀

  8. Bhanu

    November 20, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    They have also now started asking for our security no. For example aadhar no. It will be good if we can get those deleted.

  9. Avinash Srivastava

    November 21, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    पढ़े लिखे लोग जब गवारों जैसा आचरण करने लगते है तो बहोत दुःख होता है …. Paytm इंडियन कंपनी है .. गूगल करो …. हाँ रतन टाटा की तरह … अलीबाबा ग्रुप ने भी इसमें इन्वेस्टमेंट किया हुआ है …

  10. Harsh

    November 23, 2016 at 10:42 am

    The basis of this article is factually wrong. This writer comes with his own rules of ownership where with 40% share he starts calling the company Chinese. This is a desperate attempt to create controversy and get famous cos for such desperate guys n publication, any publicity is a good publicity. Bad!

  11. Manisha

    November 23, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Harsh I think you should read up a little. In the StartUp world, a controlling stake means and in this case Ali Baba’s role in One 97 and PayTM.

    I don’t think they are calling PayTM Chinese. I think they are asking should we ban them given the nationalist movement of banning Chinese.

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