The last thing beleaguered ecommerce company Snapdeal needed was another controversy. Yet that’s exactly where it has found itself in – albeit this time through no fault of its own. The online marketplace, which is in the middle of a sale to rival Flipkart, was caught in the crossfire of citizens reacting to Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel’s “poor India” remark, and erroneously venting out their anger on Snapdeal’s app instead of Snapchat’s.
It all started with ex–Snapchat employee Anthony Pompliano’s interview in Variety magazine wherein he states that when he had expressed concern in September 2015 that the app was not taking off overseas, Evan had cut him off by saying, “This app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.”
The interview tells the story of his brief, three-week tenure at the company, during which he says he learned that the company exaggerated its user data and that top executives were “completely misinformed” about key metrics.
Pompliano’s alleged comments about Evan disparaging India went viral in the last few days and led to Indians boycotting the app on social media, uninstalling the Snapchat application, rating it poorly on the respective app stores, and lashing out on Twitter and Facebook. The instant image sharing application’s ratings even dropped to one star on the app store following the uproar.