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To Stake Their Claim in India's Future, Foreign Tech Firms Will Play by New Delhi's Data Rules

MIN READJul 10, 2019 | 10:00 GMT

An Indian visitor passes a mural depicting various social media logos, including that of Facebook, inside a building in Bangalore on March 22, 2018.

(MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

India's booming $200 billion digital economy has recently drawn U.S. tech giants into a heated confrontation with New Delhi over the core commodity of the digital age: data. In June, New Delhi's Ministry of Commerce met with officials from Facebook, Amazon, Google and Microsoft to hear out their concerns over a proposed policy that would require foreign companies operating in India to store data locally. In addition to inflating their costs, these companies worry the law would loosen their grip on the data generated by the billions of Indian clicks, taps and swipes taking place on their platforms. New Delhi knows it can't bring its digital economy up to speed on its own, and will seek to balance avoiding deterring foreign participation against protecting Indian data. Ultimately, however, outside players will be forced to abide by the Indian government's rules. ...

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