In another push to dominate the digital space, Reliance Jio on October 21 announced the revamp of its “made-in-India” internet browser JioBrowser. The browser will now be called JioPages.
JioBrowser was first launched in December 2018 and has over 10 million downloads so far.
JioPages is available in eight Indian languages and is currently available only for Android smartphones.
“There could not have been a more opportune time to launch a made-in-India browser that focuses on data-privacy and gives users full control of their information,” the billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led company said in a press release.
The timing of this launch is indeed perfect.
JioPages’ perfect timing
On June 17, The Indian government banned 59 Chinese apps in the wake of rising border tensions. The list of banned apps included Alibaba Group-owned UC Browser, which was the second most popular mobile browser in India with over 130 million active monthly users.
The ban left a gap in the market that JioBrowser, the earlier avatar of JioPages, was trying to capture. “JioBrowser has emerged as a compelling alternative to UC Browser…ahead of even Google Chrome and Mozilla,” YourStory reported on August 14.
In addition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for “aatmanirbhar bharat” or self-reliant India has given a push to all locally made products and technologies. JioPages could benefit from this sentiment.
Meanwhile, what could also work in JioPages’ favour is the rising anti-Google sentiment among a section of Indian entrepreneurs.
Earlier this month, around 15 startup founders approached the Competition Commission of India to discuss Google’s anti-competitive policies in India.
The entrepreneurs reportedly told the Competition Commission of India that Google has an unfair advantage over its rivals as phones with its Android operating system are preloaded with the Play Store app.
This article first appeared on Quartz.
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