Chinese smartphone brand Vivo is now set to drop its lead sponsorship of the Indian Premier League according to multiple reports.
A public outcry over the sponsorship amid Chinese-Indian tensions in recent days loomed over the deal, though its unclear if this swayed the Chinese smartphone brand to exit the tournament.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is reported in The Hindu to have held a conference call with Vivo representatives on Tuesday during which it was decided by both parties to terminate the existing five-year deal after just two years.
However, the report says this year may be treated as a one-year moratorium and Vivo and BCCI could renegotiate a new deal beginning next year.
The reverse move comes just two days after a BCCI once again named Vivo as the title sponsor. Sharp public criticism in the days following then overshadowed the announcement.
One BCCI insider in The Hindu report however, suggested that Vivo's latest decision had more to do with their demands to renegotiate a new deal.
Vivo attained the title sponsorship first in 2015, for two years initially but retained the rights, signing a five-year contract set to run from 2017 to 2022, valued around US $341 million according to ESPN.
For more in-depth analysis from Campaign India blogger Sandeep Goyal on what Vivo's IPL exit means, read more here.