The apex body of Indian traders – Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), that represents over seven crore domestic traders, has decided to boycott the popular tele-conferencing application Zoom. It has further asked all the traders and associations to avoid using Zoom as a part of boycotting Chinese products movement.
The decision to boycott Zoom was arrived at after an “in-depth study” done by CAIT’s internal research team which states that Zoom has shown “admitted vulnerability to wilt under pressure from authorities in mainland China.” The association hence feels that using Zoom can be against the national interest.
Zoom, which has had a massive increase in its user base due to the coronavirus-led lockdown, had categorically stated that it is a US based company and its Founder & CEO is an American citizen of Chinese origin. The company has denied having any links with the Chinese government. However, it was under a lot of scrutiny due to various security related incidents like Zoombombing, inadequate security measures for calls, and routing calls from Chinese servers etc.
The CAIT has advised its members to use homegrown applications for their video conferencing solutions. One of the applications that the association has suggested is the recently launched JioMeet. Incidentally, JioMeet has been under a lot of criticism for being an exact replica of Zoom.
Though globally there has been a lot of dissent against China due to the way it has handled the Covid-19 situation, however, in India the call to boycott and ban Chinese products has gained prominence ever since the Chinese army made intrusion attempts in the Ladakh region. As a sign of protest, various official projects involving Chinese companies have been either cancelled or have been paused. The Indian government’s decision to ban 59 Chinese apps has also added fuel to the fire.