WhatsApp on November 21 named Abhijit Bose as its India Head, meeting one of the key demands made by the government.
Mr. Bose, who will join the messaging platform early 2019, will build WhatsApp’s first full country team outside of California and will be based in Gurugram, WhatsApp said in a statement. Mr. Bose and his team will focus on helping businesses, both large and small, connect with their customers, it added.
“WhatsApp is deeply committed to India and we are excited to keep building products that help people connect and support India’s fast-growing digital economy,” Matt Idema, Chief Operating Officer of WhatsApp, said. As a successful entrepreneur himself, Mr. Bose knows what it takes to build meaningful partnerships that can serve businesses across India, he said.
Mr. Bose joins WhatsApp from Ezetap, an electronic payments company he co-founded in 2011.
When social media rumours on child abduction trigger mob lynchings
The appointment comes at a time when the Facebook-owned company has been under tremendous pressure to put in place a mechanism to curb fake messages on its platform that incite mob fury. The government has been pressing WhatsApp to develop tools to combat fake or false messages, and also identify message originators.
Apart from the traceability request, the government had asked WhatsApp to set up a local corporate presence and appoint a grievance officer to address complaints. Whatsapp has recently appointed a grievance officer for India.
Following multiple incidents of lynchings across the country, the government slapped WhatsApp with two notices, with the second one warning that it will treat the messaging platform as an abettor of rumour propagation and legal consequences will follow if adequate checks are not put in place.