India’s Top Payments App Faces Challenge From Google and WhatsApp

That’s the headline of a story I did with my colleague Corinne Abrams, out Monday. It begins: India’s biggest mobile-payments startup, Paytm, has wooed hundreds of millions of users and attracted investment from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The biggest challenge for its charismatic founder, 40-year-old Vijay Shekhar Sharma, lies ahead: Keeping Alphabet Inc.’s Google […]

India’s Top Court Rules Massive Biometric Identity Database Legal—With Restrictions

That’s the headline of my most recent story, written with a colleague, out yesterday. It begins: India’s highest court ruled that the world’s largest biometric identification database doesn’t infringe on citizens’ privacy rights—but needs some new limitations. The country’s controversial Aadhaar program uses photos, finger and eye scans and has already signed up more than […]

SoftBank Leads $1 Billion Investment in Indian Hotel-Booking Startup

That’s the headline on my latest story, out yesterday. It begins: SoftBank Group Corp. is doubling down on one of its biggest bets in India by leading a $1 billion investment in hotel-booking startup OYO Hotels. The company, based in Gurgaon, India, has received $800 million in a round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, which […]

Two Years Ago, India Lacked Fast, Cheap Internet—One Billionaire Changed All That

That’s the headline on my latest story, a page one piece out yesterday and online here. It begins: MUMBAI—India’s richest man is catapulting hundreds of millions of poor people straight into the mobile internet age. Mukesh Ambani, head of Reliance Industries, one of India’s largest conglomerates, has shelled out $35 billion of the company’s money […]

Mobile Money Heats Up in India as Google Doubles Down

That’s the headline of my most recent story, which came out yesterday. It begins: NEW DELHI–Alphabet Inc.’s Google is raising its mobile-payments game in India with new functions and services as global players race to woo the nation’s legions of consumers who are skipping credit cards and transacting on smartphones instead. A day after Warren […]

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Invests in India Mobile-Payments Firm

That’s the headline of my most recent story, which came out yesterday. It begins: NEW DELHI—-Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is getting into the mobile-payments business. The Omaha, Neb., conglomerate said Monday it invested in One97 Communications Ltd., the parent company of Paytm. The Noida, India-based company is India’s largest mobile-payments firm. It makes a […]

India Looks to Curb U.S. Tech Giants’ Power

That’s the headline of my most recent story, which came out Monday and was in Tuesday’s print Wall Street Journal.  It begins: Indian policy makers are looking for ways to tamp down American tech behemoths, a shift that could crimp growth potential in one of the biggest remaining open markets for their expansion. India wants […]

App Traps: How Cheap Smartphones Siphon User Data in Developing Countries

That’s the headline of a story out Thurs. and in Friday’s paper that I wrote with my colleagues Josh Chin, Myo Myo, and Kersten Zhang. It begins: For millions of people buying inexpensive smartphones in developing countries where privacy protections are usually low, the convenience of on-the-go internet access could come with a hidden cost: […]

Hot on the Wheels of Grab, Go-Jek Rides Further Into Southeast Asia

That’s the headline of a story out Thurs. that I wrote with my colleage P.R. Venkat. It begins: Motorcycle-taxi service PT Go-Jek Indonesia will invest $500 million to expand its operations in Southeast Asia, revving up competition in a fast-growing consumer market just two months after Uber Technologies Inc. reached a landmark deal to exit […]

Think American Elections Are Bad? Indian Voters Get 1,000 Texts a Day

That’s the headline of my most recent story, out yesterday, which I wrote with a few colleagues. It begins: For Gurupad Kolli, a 40-year-old lawyer who lives in a remote Indian village, the torrent of WhatsApp messages surging to his phone a few weeks ago meant one thing: election day was near. They’re at turns […]