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Bulletins

India issues a third wave of bans on Chinese apps

India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology issued a ban on 43 apps from China-based developers, including four apps from Alibaba.


AliExpress was the highest-profile app targeted this go-around, and Alipay Cashier and Alibaba Workbench were also included on this list. Many of the other 43 apps are lesser-known dating services and mobile games.

While there weren't as many high-profile apps targeted by this latest ban, it nonetheless represents a continuation of India's efforts to disentangle its tech sector from China. In June, Indian and Chinese troops fought over a disputed border, leaving 21 Indian soldiers dead. Later that month, India banned 59 apps, including TikTok, UC Browser and WeChat. Then in September, India banned another 118 apps, including Tencent's popular mobile game PUBG. In all three instances, the ministry said the bans were motivated by concerns over national sovereignty and data security.

Chinese tech companies had been leading investors in India's digital economy prior to the border conflict. Seven of India's 10 highest-valued tech companies were backed by strategic investors from China, according to the Financial Times. Since the rise in India-China tensions, however, U.S. companies have upped their investment in India's tech sector. Most notably, Reliance Jio — India's top wireless carrier by subscribers — raised $20.2 billion in a four-month span from an investor group that included Google, Facebook, Intel, Silver Lake and KKR. Reliance Jio reportedly plans to work with Facebook to launch a WeChat-like super app for India.

Twitter’s future is newsletters and podcasts, not tweets

With Revue and a slew of other new products, Twitter is trying hard to move past texting.

We started with 140 characters. What now?

Image: Liv Iko/Protocol

Twitter was once a home for 140-character missives about your lunch. Now, it's something like the real-time nerve center of the internet. But as for what Twitter wants to be going forward? It's slightly more complicated.

In just the last few months, Twitter has rolled out Fleets, a Stories-like feature; started testing an audio-only experience called Spaces; and acquired the podcast app Breaker and the video chat app Squad. And on Tuesday, Twitter announced it was acquiring Revue, a newsletter platform. The whole 140-characters thing (which is now 280 characters, by the way) is certainly not Twitter's organizing principle anymore. So what is?

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David Pierce

David Pierce ( @pierce) is Protocol's editor at large. Prior to joining Protocol, he was a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, a senior writer with Wired, and deputy editor at The Verge. He owns all the phones.

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