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Amazon Falls In Line After Visa Threat

Amazon.com's logo is seen at Amazon Japan's office building in Tokyo, Japan, August 8, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Days after reports about Amazon Canada offering Indian flag-themed doormats, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj lashed out at the e-tailer and threatened to rescind visas of officials of the e-commerce giant if it did not offer an “unconditional apology”. Amazon’s Canadian site has however removed listings for the doormats.

The doormat, sold by a third-party on Amazon’s Canadian portal, appeared to have been taken down late on Wednesday. Searches failed to bring up the item, although the e-commerce giant did not confirm it had removed it. Amazon’s portal in Canada sells doormats fashioned around other national flags, but under Indian law any desecration of its flag is punishable with fines and imprisonment. Amazon’s official support account on Twitter had earlier responded to angry user comments on Twitter by saying the mats were not being sold on their Indian portal and the concerns had been escalated.

Amazon India did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment, while Amazon representatives in Canada and the United States were not immediately reachable for comment. Amazon is making a huge bet on India and has vowed to invest more than $5 billion as it takes on home-grown Flipkart and Snapdeal for a bigger share of the world’s fastest growing internet services market.

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