[Photo credit: Hindustan News]
(Yicai Global) March 29 -- A Chinese employee of handset maker Oppo Electronics Corp.'s Indian branch is accused of tearing an Indian flag and dumping it into dustbin, triggering protests by hundreds of people outside the branch's office in the northern Indian city of Noida yesterday, the Indian media reported.
Hundreds of people including members of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, a Hindu nationalist organization, surrounded the Noida office of Chinese company Oppo's Indian branch, the Hindustan Times reported today. Waving Indian flags, demonstrators protested against what they called Chinese employee's disrespect for the national flag and demanded his arrest. They also criticized Oppo for violating India's labor laws and asked the authorities to take immediate actions.
As the news spread, residents in neighboring districts of the branch climbed on to their roofs and waved the Indian flags to show their support for the protesters.
The building was inaccessible for four hours, due to the large number of protesters. Oppo shut its office yesterday morning and told employees to resume production in the evening instead. Some 200 police officers were dispatched to the scene to control the crowd and maintain order.
The police have filed a case against the Chinese production manager who is accused of tearing the national flag based on a complaint filed by Oppo employees, said Dharmendra Singh, a local senior police official. Action will be taken after thorough investigation by the police. Nobody has been arrested so far.
"We are making all efforts to cooperate with the relevant authorities and will take appropriate actions. Oppo as a brand has deep respect for India and is strongly rooted and localized in the country," the report quoted an Oppo public relations officer as saying.
The Indian market, with its huge potential, has become a hot spot for Chinese smartphone makers. Vivo Electronics Corp., Xiaomi Inc., OnePlus Holding Co. and Oppo have all established presence in the country. In addition to offering their products, manufacturers have also launched massive marketing campaigns to help boost sales. Earlier this month, Oppo won the sponsorship rights for the Indian cricket team for a five-year period under a USD150 million deal.