Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has courted controvery with his statement that India is too poor a country to be considered for his business expansion plans, apparently disregarding the increasing user base of Snapchat here. The facts came out in public as part of a lawsuit filed by a former Snapchat employee a few days ago.
A report by Variety states while replying to the ex-employee's queries regarding the messaging app's failure to increase its user base overseas, Spiegel, deliberately cutting him mid-sentence, said, “This app is only for rich people. I don’t want to expand into poor countries like India and Spain.”
Considering the rising mobile and internet penetration in India — which Internet and Mobile Association of India predicts to get doubled by 2020 — the Snapchat CEO’s comment is trivializing the country's consumer base.
The company is fighting a lawsuit filed by former employee Anthony Pompliano. The suit alleges that the company has misled investors and advertisers about its performance and user base. In the filing released on April 10, Pompliano quoted Spiegel saying, “This app is just for rich people,” during a discussion on user growth in 2015.
The messaging-app company has made a remarkable debut into NYSE with its Initial Public Offer (IPO) in November last year.
According to the reports of Variety, Snap had previously mentioned in its arguments that Pompliano’s suit contains trade secrets that could damage the company and help its competitors. But, in a notice to the court on April 10, the company maintained that it was dropping the effort to keep the 'unredacted' complaint sealed because it “has nothing to hide” from going public. Spiegel described Pompliano as a “disgruntled employee fired for poor performance”, who filed the lawsuit out of thirst for publicity.