HuffPost has been in the headlines, first for being acquired by BuzzFeed and now for shutting down its India operations. The move comes days after the Union Government set new rules to cap FDI in digital news at 26 percent. It's not clear what led to the decision to shut down India operations.
"As of November 24 HuffPost India will no longer be publishing content. For more great global content, please visit HuffPost.com. We thank you for your support and readership," the statement on HuffPost India's website read.
As a part of this decision, all archives to the articles in the India edition of HuffPost are wiped off. Readers are being redirected to the global site, as per the statement above.
FDI cap on digital media
The government, on Nov 16, had asked news aggregators and digital media to submit information regarding their compliance to the foreign investment within one month. The 26 percent FDI cap on digital news is intended to limit "foreign influence and interference in India's domestic affairs, check Chinese and other overseas funding in news sites" and "create a level-playing field for all media".
News aggregators and entities exceeding the set limit would require approval from the Ministry of I&B to lower their foreign investment by October 15, 2021. Any new foreign investments must be approved by the Union Government.
BuzzFeed acquires HuffPost
BuzzFeed reached an agreement to buy HuffPost from its parent company Verizon Media, which will remain a minority shareholder in the digital news company. In a statement released by BuzzFeed, the deal brings HuffPost full circle as BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti was one of the founders at The Huffington Post.
"I have vivid memories of growing HuffPost into a major news outlet in its early years, but BuzzFeed is making this acquisition because we believe in the future of HuffPost and the potential it has to continue to define the media landscape for years to come," Peretti said in a statement. "With the addition of HuffPost, our media network will have more users, spending significantly more time with our content than any of our peers."
HuffPost India shut down gets mixed reactions
The decision to shut down India operations of HuffPost has received mixed reactions, despite not knowing the actual reason behind it.