An Indian court has reportedly 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.
This 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.
There was a face-off between Indian Army and People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir on June 15.
Following the ban, which China has criticised, India sought written answers from all affected companies, including whether they censored content or acted for any foreign government; according to media reports.
Meanwhile, in court filings dated July 20 and previously not reported, the former employee of Alibaba’s UC Web, Pushpandra Singh Parmar, alleges the company used to censor content seen as unfavourable to China and its apps UC Browser and UC News showcased false news “to cause social and political turmoil”.
Reports also suggest that, Civil Judge Sonia Sheokand of a district court in Gurugram, a satellite city of India’s capital, New Delhi, has issued summons for Alibaba, Jack Ma and about a dozen individuals or company units, asking them to appear in court or through a lawyer on July 29, court documents showed.
The judge has also sought written responses from the company and its executives within 30 days, according to the summons.
It may be mentioned that, 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”.