WhatsApp has announced that it would appoint the head of its India operations by year-end. The development comes as the company is under pressure to have a local team with a head as WhatsApp messages are increasingly being seen as a tool to incite mob violence.
The Indian government has demanded that the officer be stationed in India instead of the US.
WhatsApp said in an email statement to PTI, “Our new head of WhatsApp India, who will be named by the end of the year, will build a local team that can serve our customers in India as well as work with partners and government leaders to help keep people safe.”
In April, WhatsApp released the job description on Facebook: "WhatsApp is seeking an exceptional individual to lead our efforts in India including products for people and businesses along with our interest in peer to peer payments. This is a senior leadership position that requires product experience as well as a track record of success leading partnerships and business development in India. This leader will need to build a close partnership with product and engineering teams to influence direction and to effectively represent WhatsApp’s long-term strategy."
WhatsApp Vice President Chris Daniels met IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad this week to discuss the issue of fake messages. While the government has stood firm in its stance on traceability, and made it clear that it is not seeking decryption of messages on WhatsApp but insists on the location and identification of senders of misinformation that provokes violence.