Today’s Cache | Instagram’s Twitter rival; Indian govt to act against Google; China blacklists Micron products

Updated - May 23, 2023 08:56 am IST

Published - May 22, 2023 03:53 pm IST

(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)

Instagram’s Twitter rival

Meta-owned Instagram is reportedly working on a text-based platform that could serve as a rival to Twitter, according to a Bloomberg report and a leaked slide shared by marketing professor Lia Haberman. The slide in question described the app as “Instagram’s new text-based app for conversations.” The app is meant to be decentralised, though there are plans to build it over Instagram’s base. It could also potentially work with other decentralised platforms, such as Mastodon.

Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Bluesky is another Twitter rival that is currently inviting users to join on a limited basis, and has plans to become decentralised.

Indian government to act against Google

The Indian government is planning to take action against Google in relation to the company’s in-app payment policies, the country’s top minister for IT has said. While the search giant has customised its Play Store payment policy in the country after the Competition Commission of India found the company to be abusing its dominant market position, it has once again come under the scanner after Tinder-owner Match Group and startups have asked an Indian court to suspend the company’s new billing policy.

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Electronics and Information Technology, said the findings of the antitrust watchdog about Google’s actions were concerning and that the Indian government would take action against the search giant. The minister did not comment on the specifics of the matter.

China blacklists Micron products

The Chinese government told users of sensitive computer equipment to boycott U.S. memory chip maker Micron. China’s Cyberspace Administration posted a message on its website alleging that Micron’s products posed risks and could endanger the country’s security and digital infrastructure. There are not many details on how the new policy will be monitored or enforced.

China’s chip making industry is trying to reduce its reliance on technology from the U.S., which has been subject to export controls and bans in the past. However, many advanced chips for use cases such as training artificial intelligence models come from the U.S. Micron is the biggest memory chip maker in the country.

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