Snapchat denies claim CEO did not want to expand into ‘poor India’
Former worker has alleged in suit Evan Spiegel said the app was ‘merely for affluent folks’ starting backlash
Evan Spiegel is alleged to have made the remarks in a 2015 meeting but Snapchat called idiotic’ is ‘ed by the claims. Photo: Jae C Hong/AP
Snapchat is facing a public relations crisis in India, the world’s quickest growing smartphone market, after allegations its founder said the program was “merely for rich people” and that he didn’t need to “enlarge into poor nations like India”.
Anthony Pompliano, a former employee of Snap Inc, the parent company of Snapchat, contains in a recently unsealed grievance the remarks, purportedly made by Evan Spiegel in a 2015 assembly.
The complaint was unsealed last week, disclosing an allegation that Spiegel, the firm’s chief executive , once told Pompliano he’d no interest in expanding Snapchat into countries such as India.
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“This app is for people that are rich,” Spiegel said, as stated by the litigation. “I don’t wish to expand into poor countries like Spain and India.”
Snapchat, which has about 4 million users in India, has called the claims “ foolish”. It’s accessible globally to download free of charge, the firm that was ” said.
But where the hashtags #BoycottSnapchat and #Uninstall Snapchat were trending at the weekend that denial neglected to blunt the fury of many Indians on Facebook and Twitter.
The platform’s standing in the Apple store has also dropped after poor reviews to one star.
A likewise named Indian e-commerce company, Snapdeal, seemed to be caught in the crossfire, its creator having to post on Twitter on Sunday that it turned out to be a distinct firm and had no organization with Spiegel’s alleged remarks.
India is a burgeoning market for online businesses with another 750 million people and about 432 million net users yet to be connected.
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But India has proved a challenging market to crack. Last year a scheme by Facebook to provide free mobile web to hundreds of millions of Indians was ruled a breach of net neutrality and stopped in its tracks.
In January, Amazon moved fast to pull a collection of doormats after the state’s minister of external affairs, Sushma Swaraj, threatened to revoke the visas of firm employees depicting the Indian flag from its Canadian store.
Like Amazon, fierce local competition, some of who are asserting for protectionist measures to be enforced from the American businesses is being fought off by Uber.
This post was amended April 2017. An earlier version said that Sushma Swaraj was the Indian foreign secretary. It has been corrected.
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