Amazon meets with Indian officials in bid to relax strict ecommerce laws



Representatives from Amazon have met with Indian officials in a bid to get them to relax strict laws which stop foreign ecommerce companies entering the country.

According to the Telegraph India, the ecommerce giant met with the country’s commerce minister to discus relaxing rules which stop it selling directly to Indian customers.

Those laws forced Amazon to set up Junglee, an online shopping aggregator when it wanted to launch its Indian presence early last year. The site looks like Amazon and feels like Amazon, the only mention of the company you’ll see is a short message on the bottom right corner of the site saying “Service provided by”.

Once someone clicks on an item on the site however, they are taken to other sites where they can buy the object. Amazon obviously gets a slice of each sale it sends the way of the third-party sites but it would be a lot happier if it could sell directly in the country.

“We talked to the government officials on all kinds of issues… (We are) trying to find a better way to serve our Indian customers, both sellers and buyers,” Amazon’s global vice-president Paul E Misener told reporters.

The Indian government meanwhile said that it would consider Amazon’s point of view, but that any change in Indian law would have to come from the country’s lawmakers.

If you’re wondering why Amazon is so desperate to get into India, that answer’s fairly simple. The country’s ecommerce market is relatively small at the moment, but it is set to take off in a big way as more and more of its billion plus strong population goes online.

At present, only around 10% of the country’s population is online, although Google predicts that this number is set to explode in the next couple of years. The internet giant reckons that at least 300-million Indians will be online come 2014.

There’s a long way to go yet though. Online marketing research company eMarketer estimates that around 19.2-million Indians made online purchases in 2012, compared with nearly 220-million Chinese.



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