Here’s How Corporate India Reacted To The Whole Snapchat Controversy

Few Indians would be able to tell you who the Snapchat CEO was until a couple of days ago, but Even Spiegel was a household name by the evening of 16th April. He’d allegedly said that Snapchat wasn’t looking to expand into poor countries like India and Spain, and said that the app was only for “rich people.” Indian netizens had been enraged, and had proceeded to pepper Snapchat’s ratings with one stars and angry rants.

Turns out some prominent names were among those looking to boycott Snapchat. Hike CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal extolled India’s diversity while calling out Snapchat.

He also didn’t miss the chance to plug his own messenger, Hike. Hike competes directly with Snapchat in some respects, and Mittal was trying to drive home the point that Hike was very Indian, unlike Snapchat.

Hike even went to reference its Indianness by releasing a “made with love in India” graphic as the controversy was raging.

Paytm CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma had been one of the first people to tweet about the controversy, calling India “too poor for Snapchat.” However, he seemed to critically look at the Spiegel’s statements later, saying that they were shared by a disgruntled ex-employee, and Spiegel probably meant that given India’s lower internet speeds, Snapchat probably would find it hard to run video ads there.

As Snapchat was being bombarded with one-star ratings, Snapdeal got caught in the crossfire. Several people mistook it for the photo-sharing app, and proceeded to leave angry reviews on its Play Store page. Kunal Bahl seemed resigned to his fate, calling the situation “ridiculous”. He even went on to retweet someone’s tweet about ironically buying Snapchat logos from Snapdeal to compensate it for the damage.

Longtime Snapdeal skeptic Mahesh Murthy didn’t miss a chance to take a dig at Snapdeal, though. He tweeted that Snapdeal’s Rs. 200 crore rebranding campaign can’t have been very effective given what was going on.

But the strangest reaction was probably from Vivo. Vivo is a Chinese cellphone maker which really doesn’t have much to do with Snapchat, but its Twitter still sent out the following tweet.

vivo snapchat evan spiegel tweet

The tweet was soon deleted, but it’s unclear if its social media team had called Spiegel a douche by mistake, or was trying to show its solidarity with India, one of its bigger markets.