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SpaceX is refunding Starlink preorders in India after the government ordered it to stop selling the internet service without a license

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

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  • SpaceX is giving refunds to customers in India who have preordered the Starlink internet service.
  • Elon Musk’s company said in an email that the Indian government has directed it to refund preorders.
  • It comes as Starlink’s lead executive in India announced he resigned in December.

SpaceX has offered refunds for preorders of its Starlink satellite internet service in India following government orders, TechCrunch first reported.

Some customers in India who paid a $100 deposit to secure Starlink received an email from SpaceX — screenshotted and posted on the SpaceX Starlink Reddit community — which said they could get their money back.

SpaceX wrote in the email that the company doesn’t know the “timeline for receiving licenses to operate” and there are issues with licensing, which allows Starlink to operate in India.

“Until that time, we have been directed by India’s Department of Telecommunications to refund pre-orders until we are licensed,” SpaceX said in the email.

Elon Musk’s company told preorder customers they can receive a refund “at any time” and listed steps on how to get their money back.

SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment made outside US operating hours.

Indian lawmakers previously said that SpaceX’s Starlink had no licence to operate in the country, according to a statement posted on a government website in November.

SpaceX’s email about refunds comes as Sanjay Bhargava, Starlink’s lead executive in India, resigned “for personal reasons,” he wrote in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday.

Starlink said in a company presentation shared by Bhargava on LinkedIn that the company is looking to deploy 200,000 user terminals in India by December 2022.

Insider previously reported that SpaceX has apologized for delays in sending out Starlink internet kits preordered by customers, blamed the waits on silicon shortages.

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