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Snapdeal latest victim to Snapchat 'poor countries' fiasco

Snapdeal, in the news recently over reports of a possible sellout to larger rival Flipkart, had faced a similar backlash and downgrade in 2015 when then brand ambassador Aamir Khan made a comment on growing " intolerance in the country. Photograph: (Others)

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 17, 2017, 11.02 AM (IST)

Several mobile users uninstalled the app of e-commerce firm Snapdeal to protest unverified comments about the Indian market by the CEO of social networking platform Snapchat in a case of mistaken identity.

A report quoted a former Snapchat employee as saying that CEO Evan Spiegel had had told him the "app is only for rich people" and that he (Spiegel) was not interested in expanding to "poor countries" like India and Spain.

Snapchat rubbished the allegations but soon after the controversy erupted, #BoycottSnapchat became one of the top trending topics on Twitter. Many uninstalled the app and gave it poor ratings. "Dear CEO of Snapchat...why don't you come to India and check out Indians' phones," wrote a user. Many highlighted the fact that the CEOs of top tech firms like Microsoft and Google were Indians.

However, some mistook Snapchat to be Snapdeal and uninstalled the e-commerce app. This came to light after Netizens started posting pictures of the blunder on Twitter. Snapdeal co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl then tweeted: "Ppl asking us to make a statement that @snapdeal is not @snapchat was possibly the last thing I thought I would ever need to do."

Some people ended up uninstalling e-retail platform Snapdeal. (Image source: Viral Indian) (Others)

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Some others also explained how the two were different. "Time to balance the ratings...guys its Snapchat's CEO who said bad things. You are making Snapdeal pay that...please change your ratings," wrote one.

Many turned creative. A meme being circulated quipped: " Hum James Bond se Gutka bikwate Hai (we make James Bond sell Gutka)." The post appeared to allude to a controversy last year over Pierce Brosnan's ad of an Indian pan masala brand. The star had later claimed he was not told the product was a tobacco concoction and injurious to health.

Snapdeal, in the news recently over reports of a possible sellout to larger rival Flipkart, had faced a similar backlash and downgrade in 2015 when then brand ambassador Aamir Khan made a comment on growing "intolerance in the country".

Today's mix-up coincided with reports that Snapdeal chief Bahl and two others have been summoned by a Delhi court after an entrepreneur alleged that they had cheated him of an idea to connect sellers and buyers through an e-platform.

In his complaint, Gaurav Dua said Bahl, COO Rohit Bansal and former chief financial officer Vijay Ajmera had usurped his concept, called "non-inventory holding marketplace model for retail", in the garb of collaborating with him. Snapdeal dubbed the allegations "baseless".

(PTI)

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