Jeff Bezos' India 'charm offensive' could be threatened by Washington Post ownership

'Your charm offensive is likely to be waste of time and money,' an Indian official told Bezos

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is also the owner of The Washington Post — and his 2013 decision to buy the prestigious newspaper could pose problems as he attempts to extend Amazon's reach in India.

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Bezos had a whirlwind tour of India last week after announcing a $1 billion investment in the country. But several Indian officials were not impressed.

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"Mr Jeff Bezos, please tell this to your employees in Washington DC. Otherwise your charm offensive is likely to be waste of time and money," Indian foreign affairs official Vijay Chauthaiwale wrote on Twitter in response to a video of Bezos making the investment announcement.

"The Washington Post does not want to give its readers both parts of the narrative," Chauthaiwale told The New York Times, appearing to reference The Post's news coverage of conflict in the Kashmir region.

Chauthaiwale also told The Times that the Indian government would not tie its behavior toward Amazon to news or opinions published by The Post.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his partner Lauren Sánchez stands for photographs in front of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Pawan Sharma)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, right along with American news anchor Lauren Sánchez poses for photographs during a blue carpet event organized by Amazon Prime Video in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

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"We also know that business is different from journalism," Chauthaiwale said.

The Post responded to Chauthaiwale's words.

"The Washington Post news department has covered India fairly and accurately, even when the government has imposed tight restrictions on the flow of information, as it did with Kashmir," The Post told FOX Business in a statement. "The Post’s Opinions department, which operates independently of the news department, actively publishes a variety of viewpoints from within India and around the world."

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Chautaiwale isn't the only Indian official to weigh in on Bezos' visit.

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"They may have put in a billion dollars but then if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year then they jolly well have to finance that billion dollars," Indian trade minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

"So it’s not as if they are doing a great favor to India when they invest a billion dollars," Goyal said.

Bezos ended 2019 as the richest person in the world with a staggering $115 billion fortune, despite nearly $38 billion in his divorce settlement over the summer. His girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, accompanied him on the trip to India.

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