Ever since WhatsApp payments started to pilot in India, the instant messenger has been facing a tough time in the country. Right from the issues of fake news to lynching and setting up local operations for its UPI-based payments, the company has left no stone unturned to settle the issues with the Indian government.
To resolve this issue, WhatsApp CEO Chris Daniels chose himself to visit the country on a five-day tour. This is the first ever visit by any WhatsApp chief executive to the country that believed to have over 250 million monthly active users.
Daniel, who recently met Union IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is now looking to set up a local office in the IT city Hyderabad. Daniel already has met Telangana IT minister K T Rama Rao to discuss all the possible aspects in this regard.
There is a fair chance for the company’s plan to make Hyderabad as the local hub as its parent company Facebook has the largest presence in the city with first India office and Asia hub since 2010.
During the meeting, Facebook’s head of public policy division Shivnath Thukral was also present, where K T Rama Rao informed the WhatsApp chief about the ways in which the government has been using WhatsApp to connect with citizens and improve the governance in the 29th state of the country.
The high profile meeting comes on the heels of Daniels’ recent meeting with the Union IT minister where he was supposed to agree to all the terms and conditions tabled by the central government.
Following the government’s diktat, WhatsApp had agreed to meet all the norms except the message traceability. According to the company, building traceability would undermine end-to-end encryption and the private nature of WhatsApp, creating the potential for serious misuse.
Earlier, WhatsApp had said that is is headhunting for two leadership positions, India Head and Head of Policy. In April, the firm had posted a job description looking for India’s head.
Reports also surfaced that the company may rope in Visa India’s former head Uttam Nayak to head the payments operation.