India To Launch Open E-Commerce Network To Take On Amazon, Walmart

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The Indian government is all set to launch an Open Network for Digital Commerce to end the dominance of the US-based e-commerce companies like Amazon and Walmart in India.

Indian retailers, key supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have long contended that Amazon and Flipkart’s platforms benefit a few big sellers, via predatory pricing, though the companies say they comply with all Indian laws. The government’s so-called ONDC platform will allow buyers and sellers to connect and transact with each other online, no matter what other application they use.

It will be soft-launched on Friday before being expanded, the trade ministry told Reuters. The government document said that two large multinational players controlled more than half of the country’s e-commerce trade, limiting access to the market, giving preferential treatment to some sellers and squeezing supplier margins. It did not name the companies.

The government in a document revealed that the retailers and venture capital firms have lended support to the ONDC plan. Banks such as State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Bank of Baroda have already committed total investments of 2.55 billion rupees.

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