New Delhi: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), an apex body representing some seven crore traders from across the country, Tuesday announced that it had boycotted video conferencing platform Zoom and has instead started using JioMeet, an Indian alternative.
“As a part of its boycott Chinese goods national campaign launched on 10 June, CAIT has now stopped using Zoom as its communication tool and has adopted Jio Meet, an Indian alternative as its communication platform with the trading community across the country,” said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general, CAIT.
He further said CAIT is also advising traders and trade associations across the country not to use Zoom. “The technology team of CAIT, however, is assessing available communication platforms other than those having Chinese influence. The step is being taken after several suggestions came from traders across the country and an in-depth study of the research team of CAIT which recommended that usage of Zoom as a communication platform can run against the interests of the country,” Khandelwal added. “This move is a part of CAIT’s ‘boycott Chinese products’ under its mission statement ‘ Bhartiya Saamaan – Hamara Abhimaan’.”
The trader body had intensified its anti-China campaign following the violent Galwan Valley face-off on the LAC that left 20 Indian soldiers dead, calling for the boycott of 450 categories of Chinese products in India. It has also written to celebrities asking them not to endorse Chinese goods.
‘Zoom vulnerable to pressure from Chinese authorities’
B.C. Bhartia, national president of CAIT, attributed the decision to data on Zoom being vulnerable. “Zoom is owned by one Sh Eric Chuan, and has admitted vulnerability to wilting under pressure from authorities in mainland China,” he said.
“The resultant implication on the integrity of our own conversations and data in unknown hands therein is obvious enough,” Khandelwal said. “We have no acrimony with Zoom or Chuan personally but there is enough material available against the safety of Zoom. We have taken on board recent high alerts by CERT regarding Zoom (amid assurances to the contrary) including asking government officials to stay away.”
The traders association in a statement said that until now, CAIT members were forced to use Zoom due to absence of an Indian alternative.
“CAIT began greater usage of Zoom from 25 March 2020, the beginning of lockdown period in the country and made it as its communication platform with about 200 prominent trade leaders of all states and also held several town halls with about 1000 traders several times,” the statement said.
Khandelwal said in the wake of current pandemic and restrictions, CAIT has adopted JioMeet for holding virtual meetings, conferences, discourses, seminars and workshops.