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India In-Focus — Xiaomi India appoints new general manager; tech firms criticize Indian cybersecurity rules

MUMBAI: A bout of late selling in automakers and banks knocked India’s blue-chip stock indexes off four-week highs and into negative territory on Friday, although strength in information technology shares and Reliance Industries helped limit the decline.

The NSE Nifty 50 index closed 0.26 percent lower at 16,584.3, while the S&P BSE Sensex slipped 0.09 percent to 55,769.23. The indexes still clocked their third straight week of advances with gains of around 1.5 percent each.

Shares of Reliance Industries, India’s most valuable company, climbed 2 percent and were among the biggest boosts to the indexes.

Shares of UltraTech Cement slid 5.5 percent after the company said it would spend $1.66 billion to boost capacity as it looks to stave off competition from the sector’s newest entrant Adani Group.

Xiaomi India names new GM

The Indian unit of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. said on Friday it has appointed founding member Alvin Tse as its general manager, a change of guard as the company faces government scrutiny over its business practices.

Tse, a British national who was also the former general manager of Xiaomi Indonesia, has helped the company expand into many global markets, Xiaomi India said.

The organizational rejig will also have Anuj Sharma rejoin the company as the chief marketing officer.

The development comes nearly two months after India’s federal financial-crime fighting agency summoned former Xiaomi India head Manu Kumar Jain in an investigation on whether the company’s business practices conformed with Indian foreign exchange laws, two sources had told Reuters.

India cyber rules criticized

Indian cybersecurity rules due to come into force later this month will create an “environment of fear rather than trust,” a body representing top tech companies has warned the government, calling for a one-year delay before the rules take effect.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India, also known as IAMAI, which represents firms including Facebook, Google and Reliance, wrote this week to India’s Information Technology Ministry criticizing a directive on cybersecurity set out in April.

Among other changes, the directive from the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team requires tech companies to report data breaches within six hours of noticing such incidents and to maintain IT and communications logs for six months.

In the letter seen by Reuters, IAMAI proposed to extend the six-hour window, noting the global standard for reporting cyber-security incidents is generally 72 hours.

CERT, which comes under the IT ministry, has also asked cloud service providers such as Amazon and virtual private network companies to retain names of their customers and IP addresses for at least five years, even after they stop using the company’s services.


(With input from Reuters)

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