From Galwan Valley to IPL 2020- How China has modified Indian sentiments
India and China have always been green-eyed neighbours. Both countries have a loyal and enormous population and resources on hand but,yet they are often seen fighting over patches of land. India-China border conflict in 1962 was also a small conflict on scale, but it went on to become one of the biggest lessons for India. In a similar ‘small clash’ on 15 June 2020 when soldiers from Indian Army and PLA jarred in Galwan Valley, no one expected that the casualty number of the incident would cross single digits.The brutal Galwan Valley clash resulted in 20 Indian deaths while China never reported any casualties from its side. However, several media reports stated that the damage on China’s side was more than double on India side. While India gave all the respect its soldiers deserved, Chinese troops reportedly got no state funerals. Their last rites were performed with utmost secrecy, sources said. Galwan Valley Clash Transformed Indian SentimentsIndia and China are big time trade partners who rely on each other for many goods. As reports of an armed conflict with China surfaced on Indian television screens, people started several online petitions to boycott Chinese good. Anti-China sentiments grew among the masses as they called for removal of top Chinese firms from Indian land. Indian engineer and education reformist, Sonam Wangchuk also released a video asking people to ‘use their wallet power to safeguard India’. He then followed it with a series of videos where the ‘3 Idiots’ star told people how they can live life without Chinese goods.Trading bodies and corporations removed Chinese companies from deals, signalling a big monetary blow if China continues its border aggression. Joining the boycott party, BCCI, the governing body for cricket in India released a message stating it will review Chinese sponsorships for the coming IPL 2020 season. However, no Chinese firms were officially removed by BCCI in the process. Chinese Brand Vivo Drops IPL 2020 Title SponsorshipChinese mobile phone manufacturer Vivo, that had earlier acquired title sponsorship rights for IPL 2020, dropped the deal due to rising anti-China sentiments in the country. The company said that it may review coming back for the next season of IPL but would want to maintain distance during the 13th edition. With Vivo dropping out of a heavy priced sponsorship agreement, BCCI was left with very few options to get another sponsor onboard in a matter of days. It then invited Expression of Interest for the title sponsorship on 10 August 2020. China Backed Dream11 gets IPL 2020 Title SponsorshipThe bidding process for IPL 2020 Title Sponsorship went on for days as brands rushed to get the ‘discounted deal’. Eventually on 18 August 2020, Dream11, an online gaming platform acquired title sponsorship for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. The sponsorship amount for Dream11’s deal is almost half of what Vivo was paying BCCI at over USD29.7 million. The duration of sponsorship is until 31 December 2020, meaning Dream11 would still be IPL’s title sponsor if the tournament gets delayed from its current schedule for any reason.Dream11: Know more about this unicorn organizationFounded in 2008, Dream11 is backed by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd as one of its investors. Tencent reportedly has over USD100 million invested in Dream11 that transforms its stake of 8%-10% in the gaming platform. Thisinformation about Dream11’s Chinese connection was not taken well over social media platforms as users trolled BCCI for coming back to square one. Some people also called to boycott IPL 2020 in a bid to discourage any Chinese sponsorship in the tournament. Although, BCCI is pitching its new title sponsor as an Indian company, but their China links are surely a concern of Indian audience. With anti-China sentiments running high over the Galwan Valley border skirmish, IPL may face more resistance from political figures and general public over their choice of sponsors. Dream11 has faced trouble in July 2020 after BCCI busted their platform for fake T20 league links of matches that were live-streamed of a match in Sri Lanka but were officially being held in the Indian state of Punjab. BCCI’s Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) had sought an inquiry against the company and found that the tournament had Dream11 logo and ‘fake’ matches were live-streamed on FanCode, another part of Dream Sports Group.Next in Line- IPL 2020 a Hit or Miss?IPL 2020 is scheduled to be held from 19 September to 10 November 2020 in UAE. The tournament will catch attraction from around the globe for being among the elite league that managed to hold itself amid Coronavirus scare. However, if the social media backlash against Dream11 and Chinese links continues, BCCI may have to reconsider its decisions for a rainy day. With anti-China sentiments still high after the Galwan Valley clash, IPL might be looking at big public outcry as it latest on-board sponsor has ties with Chinese investors.