Jan 15, 2020

Amazon's $1 billion bet on Indian e-commerce

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With a new $1 billion investment, Amazon is doubling down on its India bet.

The big picture: India has the world's fastest growing e-commerce market, and retail giants from America and China are battling each other as well as homegrown Indian rivals to dominate it.

This week, Jeff Bezos donned traditional garb and visited Delhi for a two-day event with Amazon India and local sellers. He announced a $1 billion investment toward digitizing small businesses in India and bringing 10 million of them online by 2025, per Quartz.

  • Add that to the nearly $6 billion Amazon has already poured into India.

Background: As we've reported, Amazon has become a target for activists and regulators alike, and that turbulence followed Bezos to India. People gathered near where Bezos was speaking to protest the investment, saying Amazon's discounts will put smaller retailers out of business. At the same time, India's antitrust regulator has opened an investigation into the e-commerce behemoth.

Go deeper: Amazon hits a speed bump with India's new e-commerce rules

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Trump to visit India as U.S. weighs new "special relationship"

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump will travel to New Delhi and Ahmedabad, India, on Feb. 24–25 to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the White House announced Monday.

Why it matters: “India could be to America in Asia during the 21st century what the U.K. was in Europe during the 20th – the most reliable partner in great power competition,” says Husain Haqqani, a former Pakistani ambassador to Washington now at the Hudson Institute.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 10, 2020 - World

Indian General: Kashmiris could be sent to "deradicalization camps"

Gen. Bipin Rawat. Photo: Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India's top military commander Gen. Bipin Rawat suggested that Kashmiris could be sent to "deradicalization camps" at an international affairs conference in New Delhi on Thursday, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters, per the New York Times: Human "rights activists consider [the statement] an alarming echo of what China has done to many of its Muslim citizens," who are being held in mass detention camps in the Xinjiang area.

Go deeperArrowJan 18, 2020

Amazon touts favorable survey of small firms before House antitrust hearing

Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP via Getty Images

According to an Amazon-commissioned survey out Thursday, small businesses see revenue growth from selling on the platform and don't rely on Amazon alone for their online sales.

Why it matters: The survey results offer a touch of counter-programming for Amazon as it girds itself for criticism of its market power at a House antitrust subcommittee hearing Friday. That session features a small business that has publicly complained about the online retail giant's tactics.

Go deeperArrowJan 16, 2020