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 […]

Link: Elon Musk Details ‘Excruciating’ Personal Toll of Tesla Turmoil

This is an amazing New York Times interview. Among the most remarkable parts, considering Musk is chief executive of a publicly listed company with a market capitalization north of $50 billion: In an hourlong interview with The New York Times, he choked up multiple times… Obviously CEOs are human, and many great leaders are risk […]

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 […]

Book Notes: ‘The Master Switch,’ by Tim Wu

From time to time I share notes about the books I’ve been reading, or have revisited recently after many years. These posts are meant to help me remember what I’ve learned, and to point out titles I think are worth consulting. They’re neither formal book reviews nor comprehensive book summaries, but simply my notes from […]

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: […]