Is Amazon Banned In India ? –
Amazon products insulting Indian national flag
Row over sale of doormats bearing the national flag by global e-tailer
Is Amazon Banned In India ? – Amazon products insulting Indian national flag – External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj threatens to rescind visas and bar entry for Amazon officials in India until ‘insulting’ products are removed from store
India on Wednesday threatened visa boycott against global e-tail giant Amazon for selling doormats bearing the image of the national flag. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced on social media that the company officials would be denied visas if these doormats were not withdrawn.
“Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately,” said Ms. Swaraj on Twitter, and added, “if this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian visa to any Amazon official. We will also rescind the visas issued earlier.”
Demanding action, Ms. Swaraj said, “Indian High Commission in Canada: This is unacceptable. Please take this up with Amazon at the highest level,” after she received photographs of doormats from her followers on Twitter.
The messages from Ms. Swaraj drew huge online response, including some from Twitter handles of the e-tailer that stated that the product was not sold in India. “These products were never sold on Amazon.in [the company’s Indian wing]. We have escalated this to our concerned teams and are working on the issue.”
India’s top diplomat has threatened to expel all foreign employees of Amazon if the retailer does not remove doormats depicting the Indian flag from its Canadian store.
Sushma Swaraj, the country’s external affairs minister, used Twitter to demand Amazon “tender [an] unconditional apology” and “withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately”, after another user alerted to the listings.
Amazon’s Canadian store sells a range of doormats depicting the Indian flag as well as those of other countries, including the US and the UK. The Indian flag doormats are available from the Canadian branch of the online giant.
Swaraj asked the Indian high commission in Canada to “take this up with Amazon at the highest level”. She added: “If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant [an] Indian visa to any Amazon official. We will also rescind the visas issued earlier.”
The 64-year-old minister, who has nearly seven million followers on the social network, has become well-known for her “Twitter diplomacy”, regularly responding to problems and questions tweeted at her by other users.
In August 2015, she helped to organise the release of an Indian woman who was allegedly being illegally held in a Dubai hotel room, after the woman’s brother tweeted at Swaraj for help.
Earlier that year she organised – and tweeted live updates about – an operation to rescue a group of Indians being detained in Iraq, after footage of them circulated online.
Amazon is aggressively trying to expand its Indian business, more than doubling its revenue in 2015-16 but also suffering deep losses as it chases market share from a homegrown rival, Flipkart. It has invested more than $5bn in India since 2014.Flipkart and Ola, an Indian ride-sharing service, called in December for the government to enforce protectionist measures against both Amazon and Uber.