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Over The Issue Of Insulting Flag Doormat, India Privately Took Amazon To Task


03/30/2017


Over The Issue Of Insulting Flag Doormat, India Privately Took Amazon To Task
 A recent document shows that an unprecedented public and private offensive against the U.S. company by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government was the result of India's reaction to an Amazon.com website selling doormats resembling the country's flag.
 
If the doormats were not removed from its Canadian website, India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj publicly threatened in January to rescind visas of Amazon employees.
 
Asking its U.S. and Canadian embassies to raise the matter "strongly" with Amazon's senior leadership, the government went even further in private, shows a document, reported news agency Reuters.
 
According to the document, India also prompted a global audit by the company to "ensure that such products are not listed on any of its other" websites around the world, according to the document and escalated the matter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.
 
Amazon, which has apologized to the government and had removed the products within 24 hours, declined to comment.
 
In India, Amazon hopes to take on home-grown Flipkart and Snapdeal for a bigger share of the internet services market in the world's fastest growing major economy and therefore much is at stake for Amazon in India.
 
Outlining the steps Amazon and India have taken since the incident, the document said that Amazon has now made Indian laws that govern the use of the national flag and other emblems "an integral part of the global compliance process."
 
For businesses around the world, the risks that governments run by nationalist leaders are posing is underscored by India's reaction. for example, has also taking an aggressive stance on Twitter against individual companies. is  U.S. President Donald Trump.
 
At a U.S.-India Business Council summit in Washington, Modi presented a global leadership award to Bezos last year.
 
The document said that the in-house compliance units that monitor products sold by third-party vendors on its websites at Amazon had been strengthened, Amazon told the government.
 
"Amazon India has conveyed that it is fully committed to respecting Indian laws and customs," the document said.
 
Earlier the Indian government said that legal action can be launched against e-commerce sites with commercial activities in India for selling such items even though there is no international law barring the sale of products including doormats with image of the Indian flag in other countries.
 
There was no international law or treaty that legally prohibited the sale of such items in other countries, said India’s minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar while responding to a series of supplementaries on the issue.
 
However, to allow authorities to initiate legal proceedings against such e-commerce portals with commercial activities in India, there are laws and rules in the country.
 
While listing their products on Amazon marketplace, reveal detailed information on the items, Amazon has put in place “additional parameters” in its compliance software to ensure that their third-party vendors after the sale of doormats and slippers with Indian flags came to light in the US and Canada, he said.
 
(Source:www.reuters.com & www.thehindustntimes.com)


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