Today as soon as the launch of JioMeet was formally announced by Mukesh Ambani, the frontman of Reliance Industries, people quickly found out that the application has an in-the-face and obvious resemblance to highly popular video conferencing app Zoom.
Quite similar to Zoom, JioMeet is currently offering an easy solution for hosting meetings over video for a group of 100 participants. It includes everything from enterprise-grade hosting controls to multi-device login support, the ability to share screen, collaborate and so much more. And this has immediately triggered a debate on whether the launch of JioMeet by Reliance will soon lead Zoom to the list of 59 Chinese apps which were banned recently by the Indian Government?
Not too long ago the Indian Government called on the SaaS major Zoho and tech giant HCL Technologies to develop a made-in-India video conferencing solution. It did so after Zoom was found out to be having grave security loopholes which could be exploited very easily by malicious threat actors. Even the Ministry of Home Affairs aka MHA along with the state-run Indian Computer Emergency Response Team’s (CERT-In) advised against the usage of Zoom because of the same as well.
In fact people in India were taken by surprise by not finding Zoom in the list of banned Chinese app despite all security concerns and hullaballoo about it in the last few months.
Now, it is very much possible that the only reason behind the Indian Government, while planning to ban all the major Chinese apps in India, overlooking Zoom because it didn’t have a substitute solution ready. Besides, unlike TikTok, Zoom being a productivity app and the absence of it from the market could have an adverse effect on the industry during the era of work-from-home.
Thus, Reliance currently stepping up and coming forward with JioMeet as a 100% ‘Made-In-India’ product could be the final push the Indian Government was waiting for to ban Zoom as well.
There is no doubt about the fact that Zoom’s quick growth sprout during the peak of the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, even though there existed many other alternatives such as Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Facebook’s Messenger Rooms and BlueJeans, was mainly fueled by the robustness of the platform. Almost all individuals, businesses and institutions needed a well-tailored solution to continue communicating with the rest of the world and Zoom was delivering it to them besides being filled with security flaws. According to a report from SensorTower, in Q1 2020, close to 6 million Indians happened to install the Zoom app out of the total 80 million installs worldwide.
As of right now, even though Reliance’s JioMeet is being heavily ridiculed and trolled on the internet for not putting much effort into developing an eye-catching interface of the app, one needs to ask if it is something people really care about when it comes to functionality?
It is completely true that JioMeet is so very similar to Zoom that it could easily confuse even the most trained eyes because Reliance has managed to rip off the entire interface of the latter.
The only difference between Zoom and JioMeet happens to be in text size and the colour scheme. Except for those elements, JioMeet is using the same phrases, placements and design which Zoom has.
That being said, if JioMeet ends up presenting a better and more secure video-conferencing alternative to Zoom which is completely free or happens to come bundled with the Jio’s telecom plans, wouldn’t it be collectively a better solution for the privacy and security of over 719 million Indian internet users? But to be sure about that we need to give some more time to JioMeet to monitor the adoption rate, users’ feedback and also security offered by the Mukesh Ambani and Team.
Whether or not the Indian government decides to ban Zoom app, it’s going to be an uphill battle for Zoom considering over 387 million captive users Jio, as a telecom provider, already amassed. We must also not forget about all the allegations and not-so-clean practices that Jio exercised during its initial days to eat into its competitors market.
Let us know your views regarding the same. We will keep you posted on all future developments. Until then stay tuned!