Chinese Firm VIVO has pulled out as the title sponsor of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 edition, following backlash on social media. VIVO had paid Rs 2,199 crore for a five-year contract in 2018.
The BCCI had earlier this week announced that all sponsors will be retained for IPL 2020, but VIVO has withdrawn following criticism in the backdrop of the violent clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh in June.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the nationalist group in India, recently threatened to call a boycott of the IPL, picking up a wave of anti-Chinese sentiment after a clash on the border between the neighbours’ armies.
“Vivo has dropped out of IPL sponsorship this year. Since they had three years left under the contract, they will now do 2021, 2022 and 2023 instead,” a BCCI source close to the development told Moneycontrol.
The BCCI will float fresh tenders for title sponsorship in the next three days and will then decide the title sponsor.
Reacting to VIVO’s pullout, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has expressed great satisfaction at the development.
“Even though we had expected the BCCI to take a decision and remove Vivo but the BCCI cannot really give up their lust for money and therefore the pressure applied by CAIT for the boycott of the event and withholding permission for IPL 2020 has played strongly on the mind of the Chinese company to push them to take such a bold decision,” said CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal.
The cash-rich tournament has tie-ups with various other companies which have Chinese investments.
Also, Chinese officials have expressed their concern regarding the measures taken by the Indian government which they see as freezing Chinese enterprises out of the market of 1.3 billion people.