As recently, Reliance India launched a video-conferencing alternative to US-based competition Zoom. JioMeet saw 1-million downloads within a week of its launch. However, it was not the launch of this Indian-made video-conferencing app from Jio that created the industry buzz, but its striking uncanny UI and app resemblance to Zoom was heavily ridiculed by the Twitteratis, evoking industry ire to perhaps inviting legal action from Zoom against JioMeet.
A Twitter user said, "Looks like development [JioMeet] started by dismantling the Apk file of Zoom." JioMeet made a few minor tweaks prior to its launch but used the same phrases, design, and content placement as Zoom, the only differentiator between the two being - the color scheme and font size.
Zoom claims to be US-made and not Chinese development
Meanwhile Zoom, the video-conferencing platform has been holding its firm ground for quite sometime counting on the USP of its products and technology, trying to steer clear of the misconceptions ingrained on people's minds owing to misinformation claiming it to be Chinese made. It has been in constant touch with the Indian government for the past three months sharing facts on how the platform works and that it does not store any data outside the country.
During the continued lockdown period, Zoom emerged as one of the top downloaded apps facilitating video-conferencing for work-from-home staffers and even educational institutions conducting online lectures. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs in April red-flagged concerns over data security and safety around Zoom.
Zoom took a 90-day pledge on April 1 to bring about a number of enhancements addressing the security and privacy concerns of the users.
In a statement issued by Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, this week told ET, the app aims "to double down on the efforts to bring meaningful change to its video meet app after the 90-day pledge ended. The company would put mechanisms in place to make sure that security and privacy remain a priority in each phase of its product and feature development."
To allay security concerns to rest, Zoom will now implement end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for all of its users both free (who will need to sign up) and premium. The company will soon roll out the E2EE video calling feature in the coming weeks.
Reliance taps into the void and launches JioMeet
Cashing on the opportunity, JioMeet was launched during these times to meet work-from-home employee requirements offering unlimited meetings per day, with each meeting allowed to go uninterrupted up to 24 hours. Also, JioMeet users can experience HD video quality even at lower bandwidths, and guests can click on a JioMeet invite link and join meetings from their browser without even downloading the application.
In conversation with Economic Times, Zoom India head Sameer Raje said, "We knew it was coming. It's fine, it is not the first time Zoom has faced competition. Our strength has been our products and technology, and our focus is on customers. What our competitors do is their strategy."
Will Zoom take legal action against JioMeet?
Commenting on if Zoom plans to file a legal lawsuit against JioMeet, Raje hinted that there have been a lot of internal discussions by the Zoom team, and said, "I would not like to comment on this because it is a matter for my legal team to look into it. I will leave it to them."
Realizing the need to introduce itself to the Indian market, Zoom said it is a US-based company publicly traded on the NASDAQ, founded and headquartered in San Jose, California. Raje added, "We have two data centers in India; people tend to forget that."
In its efforts to bring truth to light, Zoom has been closely working with law enforcement agencies in India and sharing details with the Government. "If there is an issue –with children using the platform and with cybercrime going up by 600%, we work very closely with the law enforcement agencies to help bring offenders to book," Raje told ET.