Flipkart in its own words is an online megastore, headquartered in Bangalore. The recent Bharti Airtel Zero announcement (see here) was joined by rumors that Flipkart would be an early adopter of the zero-rating platform. Instead of being overjoyed by someone else paying their data bill, some “customers” have taken a very active anti-Flipkart stance. It seems that some folks are seriously “flipping out” over the app and indeed the whole Airtel Zero concept. They are voicing their displeasure by leaving a one-star rating and negative reviews on the Google Play store, for example:
“Net neutrality matters I am not shopping from Flipkart again if they subscribe to Airtel zero. #ForNetNeutrality,” Saurabh Aditya writes. “Net neutrality matters. Flipkart is great, but so is net neutrality,” writes Parasmita Bhattacharjee. Pranav Sarwate writes, “Net neutrality matters. Sign up with Airtel and we sign you off. #netneutralitymatters.”
Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal says while supports net neutrality, but doesn’t think zero-rating violates its principles. Even though the e-commerce giant has not made any official claim on this partnership, CEO Sachin Bansal took to Twitter to explain the company’s take on Airtel Zero. He said that even though he supports net neutrality and does not believe in suffocating innovation, he doesn’t think that the Airtel Zero initiative goes against the principles of equality on the Internet.
Bansal also said that zero-rated apps will not last long, as they cannot be sustained due to high costs and competition. He also picked on what we assume was Facebook’s Internet.org initiative by questioning why the foreign initiative is termed as innovation, but if the same thing is done in India, then it is termed as ‘violation’. His tweets raised a debate with some supporting his words and terming the flak Flipkart was receiving as ‘unnecessary’, while some outraging and even threatening to uninstall Flipkart’s app.
I wonder if Flipkart will be doing a backflip any time soon. More Here… [BRG]