Flipkart’s Sachin Bansal ‘not against Net Neutrality’, but Twitter is not convinced

Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal took to Twitter to slam the so-called hypocrisy on 'Net Neutrality'. However social media is in no mood to forgive Flipkart.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Updated: April 18, 2015 9:56 am
Flipkart, Net Neutrality, Sachin Bansal, Flipkart CEO Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal. Image: Express Archive

As the debate over Net Neutrality heats up in India, Flipkart, which is one of the partnering apps of the Airtel Zero programme, finds itself facing some serious heat on social media.

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In order to defend their decision to join the Airtel Zero programme, Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal took to Twitter to slam the so-called hypocrisy on ‘Net Neutrality’.

He tweeted saying that when ‘foreign companies’ offer ‘free services’ it is termed as innovation, hinting at the recently introduced Facebook-Reliance Internet.org. The Facebook-Reliance tie-up aims to provide access to popular websites including Facebook with zero data charge across 2G and 3G platforms.

In case of Airtel Zero, this is a programme that will allow app developers who tie-up with the company to allow consumers to access these apps for zero data charge. The app developers, companies will pay Airtel to keep their app usage free. Flipkart is rumoured to be one of the early partners in Airtel Zero.

Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal defended his company’s decision to tie-up with Airtel, given that they have received a lot of negative response in light of the news, especially on social media.

Below are Bansal’s tweets:

However Bansal’s tweets haven’t really pacified users and many have said on social media that they will not use Flipkart’s app anymore. Below are some reactions:


The net neutrality debate is unlikely to die down anytime soon. While the Airtel Zero resulted in the debate generating interest on social media, last month the Telecomm Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had put out a paper titled, “Consultation Paper on Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services” which looks at exploring a regulatory framework for OTT services which includes popular apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, etc. The TRAI paper holds big implications for the future of net neutrality in India.

The paper also calls for written comments from stakeholders and posts a bunch of questions that should be answered The last date for comments is 24 April, 2015 and can be mailed to advqos@trai.gov.in.

Thanks to the Airtel Zero controversy, a lot more people have shown interest in the debate and according to a Times of India report TRAI has already received over 27,000 emails in support of net neutrality. You can check out this site called netneutrality.in if you want to send responses to TRAI.

While Flipkart and even Airtel have defended their move, the reactions on social media make it evident that no one is buying their explanations for now.

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  1. N
    Apr 15, 2015 at 3:43 pm
    It makes no sense just to revolt against the Airtel Zero initiative because someone else is. Have a read here to know why you should or should not support the initiative.
  2. N
    Apr 15, 2015 at 3:49 pm
  3. N
    Apr 15, 2015 at 3:49 pm
  4. A
    Another Bansal
    Apr 14, 2015 at 2:58 am
    Sachin Bansal I am loyal customer of Flipkart. I always recommended Flipkart to family and friends. I always liked how you along with Binny created a good ecommerce company in India. But as you are big company now, you forgot your struggle when you started as a small company. You want to pay Airtel to make Flipkart app free of bandwidth charges. Consumers will now use your app as it is free of bandwidth charges and consumers will not use apps from from small ecommerce companies because they cant pay for bandwidth charges to Airtel on behalf of their customers. As you are big company now, you want to create monopoly and kill small players. You are a murderer because your partnership in Airtel zero will murder small businesses. I don't want to buy from a company run by murderers. I am not going to buy anything from Flipkart until it stops all activities that work against net neutrality.
  5. D
    Apr 13, 2015 at 11:36 pm
  6. D
    Apr 13, 2015 at 11:20 pm
  7. D
    Apr 13, 2015 at 11:37 pm
    govenment should stand for poorest not for richest
  8. D
    Apr 13, 2015 at 11:21 pm
    there are around 15 percentage of our potion watching internet the rest of the people also need to get access to internet then only in a corrupted country like india common man can gain something and we can get knowledge freedom. Nobody has the right to stop people from gathering knowledge . and if you take a software developer freelance how many web sites he has to refer. so this is not practical at all.and in youtube itself there are lot of channels. if i want to pay for each channel then. this is a stupid idea to make money thats all.... and its shame that only 1 lakh people responded for this please promote this to the 15 percentage of our potion who are using internet.
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