India: Google in talks to join the country’s open e-commerce network…

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) The program aims to reach 30 million sellers and 10 million online merchants, and cover at least 100 cities and towns by August AFP File By Reuters

Posted: Fri May 27 2022, 11:09 AM

Alphabet Inc’s Google is in talks with the Indian government to integrate its shopping services into the country’s ONDC open e-commerce network, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Late last month, India soft-launched its Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) as the government tries to end the dominance of US companies Amazon.com and Walmart in the fast-growing digital market. e-commerce.

The government estimates that India’s e-commerce market was worth over $55 billion in gross merchandise value in 2021 and will reach $350 billion by the end of this decade.

ONDC chief executive T. Koshy told Reuters that Google was one of several companies discussing association with the project.

Google’s talks follow the success of its payments business through the government’s initiative for financial transactions, the Unified Payments Interface, said one of the sources, who both declined to be named because they were not allowed to discuss the matter with the media.

Google’s existing shopping business functions only as an online ad aggregator and does not perform any order fulfillment like delivery like Amazon does.

A Google spokesperson declined to say whether it was in talks with the government.

“We remain committed to focusing on enabling small and medium-sized businesses to leverage digital for deeper discovery and payment capabilities with Google Pay,” the spokesperson said, referring to its payment service. .

Partners of the ONDC project, which currently includes companies like Indian fintech company Paytm, will display each other’s listings on their platform in search results. The government’s goal is to level the playing field by reducing the cost of doing business for any seller who wants to list their products online.

The ONDC program aims to reach 30 million sellers and 10 million online merchants, and cover at least 100 cities and towns by August.

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Toya J. Bell