Paytm has frequently faced criticism for being a “Chinese company” as its parent firm One97 Communications has raised funds from Ant Financial Services Group, an affiliate of the Alibaba Group that runs Alipay—China’s largest mobile payment service. Alibaba Group holds over 25% stake in One97 Communications.

Ironically, Paytm had also once made headlines for its newspaper ads, which were rather “patriotic.”

In 2016, after the Indian government announced its decision to demonetise two high currency notes, Paytm ran frontpage ads in several newspapers thanking Modi for “taking the boldest decision in the financial history of independent India.” The ads received severe backlash as Paytm was the biggest beneficiary of demonetisation and several politicians questioned Modi’s connection with the company.

However, it was in 2016 itself when Paytm’s connection with Chinese investors started making a buzz. Paytm’s founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma has time and again tried to dismiss such murmur aggressively. “We are as Indian as Maruti is…we are ‘India story’ in every sense whatsoever,” Sharma had said in 2016.

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