India's largest traders' association CAIT has written to former ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar over his decision to endorse the brand of a company which has Chinese investors.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), in a letter addressed to Tendulkar, has raised concerns on his decision to become the brand ambassador of the Indian payments app PayTm.
The trade confederation's cause for concern stems from the timing of the brand endorsement, as it happened amid heightened border tensions between China and India.
Calling the news "shocking", CAIT has stated: “At a time when our country is undergoing a face-off with China, which has brutally killed our 20 soldiers and is repeatedly trying for aggression at our borders, you have chosen to be the brand ambassador of a company which has a substantial investment from China’s Alibaba.”
The trade body has also referred to the fact that the Indian government has already taken “necessary steps”, like banning the Chinese applications, and rejected Chinese participation in rail and highway infrastructure projects.
The letter to the legendary cricketer draws specific attention to some key aspects of the ongoing border tensions with China.
“Recently, one Chinese company, Zhenhua, was caught spying in India ... the Indian forces are showing a brave face against the Chinese forces. A wide movement to boycott Chinese goods is happening across the country,” it states.
“In such a scenario, it is most astonishing that a son of the soil who is loved by the country too much has accepted to be a brand ambassador of a company which is highly infiltrated with Chinese investment,” the CAIT letter added.
India and China have been engaged in a border dispute since April of this year in the Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Overnight on 15-16 June, the troops of the neighbouring nations clashed, leading to the death of 20 Indian soldiers.
Later, India retaliated on the trade and businesses front against China by banning Chinese mobile applications and imposing trade restrictions on products like steel and agricultural equipment.