The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) has announced that the 2020 edition of IPL will continue with Chinese phone brand Vivo as title sponsor despite anti-China sentiments across the county. The tournament has been shifted from India for the first time to Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.
Vivo IPL 2020 will be played from September 19 and the final will be played on November 10, 2020. The 53-day tournament will witness 10-afternoon matches starting at 15:30 IST while the evening matches will start at 19:30 IST.
Vivo entered the Indian market in December 2014 and tied up with IPL in the 2016 and 2017 editions of the tournament, shelling out Rs 196 crore. It renewed its sponsorship deal with the tournament for 2018 to 2022 for Rs 2,199 crore, that amounts to the BCCI receiving Rs 440 crore annually from the Chinese brand.
After the announcement, #BoycottIPL was trending on Twitter with the Indian citizens protesting the BCCI’s decision to retain a Chinese brand as title sponsor amid ongoing Indo-China standoff on Ladakh border.
BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal told news agency PTI in June that Chinese companies sponsoring an Indian event like the IPL only serve his country's interests.
"When you talk emotionally, you tend to leave the rationale behind. We have to understand the difference between supporting a Chinese company for a Chinese cause or taking help from Chinese company to support India's cause," Dhumal said.
"When we are allowing Chinese companies to sell their products in India, whatever money they are taking from Indian consumer, they are paying part of it to the BCCI (as brand promotion) and the board is paying 42 per cent tax on that money to the Indian government. So, that is supporting India's cause and not China's," he argued.
Dhumal said he is all for reducing dependence on Chinese products but as long as its companies are allowed to do business in India, there is no harm in them sponsoring an Indian brand like the IPL.
"If they are not supporting the IPL, they are likely to take that money back to China. If that money is retained here, we should be happy about it. We are supporting our government with that money (by paying taxes on it).
"If I am giving a contract to a Chinese company to build a cricket stadium, then I am helping the Chinese economy. GCA built the world's largest cricket stadium at Motera and that contract was given to an Indian company (L&T)," he said.