Chinese Internet giant Alibaba may be the next major player after Facebook to try its hands on providing free Internet in India. A new report claims that the company is in talks with telecom operators as well as Wi-Fi providers to offer free Internet services in the country.
“We will definitely look at the opportunity to work together with service providers or even some Wi-Fi providers. We are trying to offer lower cost data to users and better connectivity, even free of cost connectivity. Wi-Fi providers and other players can be potentials and we are in talk,” Jack Huang, President of Overseas Business, Alibaba Mobile Business told Business Insider India.
Alibaba is reportedly still working on the plans around its free Internet service in India and is still in talks with “potential partners.” The Chinese company is considering providing free Internet services to states that have connectivity problems. “We actually think in geographic way because in India not every state is suffering from connectivity problem so we will focus more on providing this kind of services to states that are suffering more and also we will have comprehensive analysis on already existing consumers who will actually need this kind of service,” added Huang.
It’s worth mentioning that Alibaba isn’t the first to work on providing free Internet in the country as Facebook earlier launched its Internet.org and Free Basic projects with similar aims. However, both of Facebook’s initiatives met with heavy backlash in India from “net neutrality” advocates, who claimed that Free Basics only allowed access to selected websites thus violating the principle that the entire Internet should be available to everyone on equal terms.
Written inputs from NDTV