The Indian government dealt retail giants Amazon.com and Walmart a devastating blow this year with new policies undermining their growth plans. Now U.S. social media pioneers Facebook and Twitter are in danger of suffering similar setbacks in what is perhaps the world’s most important emerging technology market.
In the latest skirmish, the government is targeting Facebook Inc.’s WhatsApp, the popular messaging service increasingly important to its parent’s bottom line. Frustrated that the service has been used to incite violence and spread pornography, the government is pressing WhatsApp to allow more official oversight of online discussions, even if that means giving officials access to protected, or encrypted, messages. Facebook has refused, risking punitive measures or even the possibility of a shutdown