After Jio Platforms backed by Mukesh Ambani launched JioMeet which is a ‘Made-In-India’ video conferencing app, people were quick to spot how easily it managed to replicate Zoom’s entire look and feel aka UI or User Interface.
Taking note of the same, Zoom Video Communications, Inc, in a statement, has replied that they are well versed with facing intense competition since 2011 and yet they have managed to become the preferred choice of platform for millions of individuals around the world. They know what it actually takes to become the unified communications platform and that it took them an immense amount of work and focus to create the frictionless user experience, sophisticated security, and scalable architecture of Zoom.
It has also come to light that a legal battle between Zoom and Jio Platforms might be underway as well.
The decision of Zoom has triggered a debate on whether it is a good decision on Zoom’s part to try and take on Jio Platforms or avoid attracting unnecessary attention when conditions are not favoring enough? Will it be a better strategy for Zoom just to focus on enhancing its offerings and user experience, which may lead JioMeet to its natural death?
The face-off may be inevitable though, experts believe that Zoom must act very carefully especially at the time when the wind is blowing against. The company has some of the concerning aspects of its business that could raise the eyebrows of the authorities if Zoom decides to move ahead against the homegrown competitor, especially Jio.
Zoom’s Chinese Origin
By now, everyone is well aware of the Indian Government’s stance when it comes to apps of Chinese origin. In light of the recent events wherein 59 Chinese apps were banned in India, Zoom in a tweet mentioned that they are a U.S. company that is publicly traded on the NASDAQ and is founded and headquartered in San Jose, California.
The software, however, seems to have been developed by three companies based out of China, all known as Ruanshi Software. Out of the three, Zoom owns only two companies. The ownership of the third company which is also known as American Cloud Video Software Technology is still unknown.
Apart from that, it should also be made known that Zoom has 700 employees in China. This is not unusual for a tech company as they can save a lot on salaries in comparison to the US. Nonetheless, it can definitely open up the company to the Chinese Government’s influence and pressure.
Hence, Zoom may find it difficult to distance away from China, which is one of the greatest concerns of indian authorities nowadays.
Zoom’s Unending List Of Security Flaws
Another loose-end with Zoom that could jeopardize its current position and existence in India is privacy and security flaws.
Even if Zoom somehow manages to escape scrutiny because of its alleged ties to China, the security flaws that kept surfacing in its cloud video conferencing software is something that simply can’t be ignored. Security is the foremost important component of the digital economy and Zoom definitely doesn’t appear to be up to scratch at all.
In the recent past, for every flaw that Zoom was being able to patch, three more were emerging in quick succession. Thus, the long list of security vulnerabilities such as the now infamous ‘Zoombombing’ will always catch up with the company no matter how hard they try to move on from it. It should also be noted that many Indian Government bodies, as soon as the news of Zoom’s massive security flaws broke, moved to immediately ban it from being used for official communication purposes.
A Face-Off With Ambani Can Prove To Be A Disaster For Zoom
Zoom needs to realize that JioMeet, which has undoubtedly ripped off the former’s UI and features to a large, is simply one small facet of rapidly expanding digital empire of Mukesh Ambani which currently includes one of India’s largest telecom operator with a user base of 387.5 million users. Therefore, if Zoom wants to keep maintaining its footing on the Indian video conferencing market space then it should definitely consider treading carefully and not try to initiate a face-off with the current richest man of India.
Competition with JioMeet is anyways going to be an tough battle considering Jio’s dominance over required underlying infrastructure for any video conferencing platforms.
According to Utkarsh Sinha who is the Managing Director of Bexley Advisors which is a boutique consultancy firm, JioMeet will turn out to be a very credible disruptor in the space of video conferencing along with becoming a serious challenger to Zoom because it has no time limits on calls.
Currently, JioPlatforms as a whole is amassing a wide range of services starting from online retail and payments to music streaming. It wouldn’t be surprising if going forward Ambani’s digital juggernaut is able to take on global giants such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc on its own home turf. As far as Zoom is concerned, it’s going to be the users who will decide the ultimate winner in this space. While Zoom has got all rights to protect its identity, timing is everything in any business!