Seattle-based e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) will invest $1 billion in digitizing small- and medium-sized businesses in India, CEO Jeff Bezos announced Wednesday.
Bezos Visits India As Country Investigates Amazon, Flipkart
Bezos, who is on a three-day visit to India, made the announcement at Amazon India's Smbhav Summit in New Delhi, local daily The Hindu reported.
Smbhav, a play of words with "SMB" and Hindi for "possible," is a two-day-long summit organized by the e-commerce giant in India's capital to address the concerns of small- and medium-sized business owners who are protesting the company's alleged anti-competitive practices.
In an order on Monday, the Competitive Commission of India said it has ordered a probe into the allegations against Amazon and homegrown rival Flipkart, a subsidiary of Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT).
21st Century Belongs To India, Bezos Says
"[The] 21st century is going to be the Indian century. In this 21st century, [the] most important alliance will be the alliance between India and the United States," Bezos said at the summit, as reported by The Hindu.
Amazon will also export $10 billion worth of Indian-made goods to other markets, Bezos said in a conversation with the company's India head Amit Agarwal, The Hindu said. Donning an Indian formal dress, Bezos paid respects earlier in the day at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial.
Just landed in India and spent a beautiful afternoon paying my respects to someone who truly changed the world. "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." - Mahatma Gandhi. pic.twitter.com/xDXAT9cBgf
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) January 14, 2020
Amazon's Indian Expansion
Amazon has been rapidly expanding in India as it tries to gain an edge against rival Flipkart.
Amazon had pumped more than $5.5 billion into its Indian businesses by June 2019, according to TechCrunch.
The company launched a "portable" smart speaker in its Echo series designed especially for Indian customers. Amazon also began delivering the Echo Auto speakers in India on Wednesday.
Amazon Price Action
Amazon shares were trading down slightly at $1,869 in Wednesday's premarket session.
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