Tax authorities in Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka state, are looking into why Amazon India does not pay value-added taxes – as required under the VAT Act, 2003 – on goods stored in its warehouses. The investigation was first reported by Deccan Herald late last month. Now the matter has escalated. The Enforcement Directorate has issued notices to a number of vendors and stopped the sale of their products from Amazon’s warehouses, Mint reports.
NEW DELHI: Competition in the booming multi billion dollar Indian smartphone market is further set to intensify with e-commerce giants Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal all set to launch Google’s much-awaited sub-USD 100 (around Rs 6,000) handsets tomorrow. Google is launching the Android One devices in India tomorrow. In June this year, the US-based tech giant had announced the ‘Android One’ initiative to bring in under-USD 100 handsets aimed at bringing the next one billion population to the Android operating system ecosystem.
Singapore-based online grocer RedMart announced its foray into India with a development center in Bangalore. No, it is not going to sell groceries online in India. At least, not yet. Instead, RedMart’s move to India is to push the technology side of its operations. To do that, the company is hiring engineers in India currently. RedMart was founded in March 2011 by Roger Egan, Vikram Rupani, and Rajesh Lingappa. It is backed by the venture arm of game publisher Garena, Skype co-founder Toivo Annus, Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, CEO of FreshDirect Jason Ackerman, Visionnaire Ventures, and SoftBank Ventures.
At a press conference in Tokyo today, Hiroshi Mikitani, founder and CEO of Rakuten, Inc. (TYO:4755 ), confirmed reports that his company will acquire American online coupon firm Ebates . The ticker price comes in at JPY 105 billion (US$1 billion). Founded in 1998, Ebates offers coupons or cash-back incentives to drive online shopping. Stores register on Ebates and post coupon codes or cash-back terms. Shoppers registered at Ebates can then copy the coupon link, click on the product they want to buy, and make the purchase. For cash-back offers, Ebates will send the user a check four times a year or more.
[SINGAPORE] Germany’s Rocket Internet faces daunting logistical challenges and rising local competition from Lagos to Laos as it races to capture customers in emerging markets before e-commerce titans Amazon and Alibaba can catch up. That spells mounting losses as the venture capital company gears up to launch an initial public offering (IPO) this month that will help provide the war chest it needs to build and defend what it hopes will be the largest online shopping empire outside the United States and China.
Chinese exporters might have found a way around using Taobao and Alibaba to ship overseas. The management committee of China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone and Shanghai Information Investment have respectively signed a memorandum of cooperation with Amazon.com aimed at cross-border e-commerce development and delivery. Shanghai’s cross-border trading e-commerce pilot platform formally started operation at the end of 2013.
Alibaba vs Amazon? It’s tough to compare the two e-commerce companies given that each company subscribes to different business model. But that didn’t stop the guys at Smart Intern China to create an infographic comparing the two giants. Infographic aside, it is perhaps important to note that Amazon and Alibaba each adopts different e-commerce models. Amazon follows the B2C model which purchases stock and maintains its own warehouse and logistics. Whereas Alibaba follows the C2C and B2B2C models (like Taobao and Tmall) which are open platforms and marketplaces.
Tencent today announced a suite of new features for businesses to better engage customers through their public WeChat accounts, according to TechNode . One day earlier, Alibaba’s mobile Alipay Wallet released over 60 new APIs for third party developers to build online storefronts, according to the company’s official English-language blog .
Product discovery and price comparison engine PriceBag.com, owned by Gurgaon-based Accentium, raised US$2 million in funding from undisclosed angel investors. The investment will be used to further develop the site and market it, the company announced . India is a very price-conscious society, and consumers could do with a little help on finding the right prices online. So this is a natural market for review and comparison sites.
The deputy minister of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), Shang Bing, today took the stage at Beijing’s annual China Internet Conference to dish out the latest stats on the country’s internet users, according to QQ Tech . He says 52.5 percent of Chinese internet users now shop online – about 332 million in total. Shang reiterated previous statistics from June showing internet penetration is at 46.9 percent. China has 632 million internet users, 527 million of them access the internet on mobile devices.
Here’s the answer to India’s who-is-first ecommerce debate: the Flipkart-Myntra combo leads the race with 26 million unique visitors in July 2014. Jabong, with 23.5 million unique visitors, is a surprisingly close second, and Amazon is third with 16.9 million unique visitors, according to a study by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and ComScore. These numbers do not include visitors accessing the sites using mobile internet and mobile apps.
Herald the rise of Alibaba as much as you’d like, there’s no disputing Amazon is still the gorilla of the ecommerce world, at least revenue-wise . Being a giant has its perks. You can invest in technology your competitors can only dream of. One such tech is personalization, that is, utilizing personal data to modify a person’s experience of using the site with the aim of making him buy more stuff.
Wang Jianlin, chairman of Wanda Group, announced during the company’s semi-annual work conference that the company will focus CNY5 billion to enhance the group’s online commerce efforts. Wang revealed that Wanda will cooperate with China’s largest e-commerce providers to establish Wanda e-commerce and the first-phase investment will be estimated at CNY5 billion. Wanda e-commerce aims to discover a profit-making model in about three years.
A study by aCommerce, an e-commerce solutions provider in Southeast Asia, found that Indonesians started shopping online as early as 4 am during the recent Ramadan, the fasting month for Muslims. The study analysed e-commerce data of five retailers selling apparels, beauty and sports products during the two weeks prior and two weeks during Ramadan.
Flipkart emerged as India’s top e-commerce company when it did not face any significant competition in the Indian market. The rules of the game changed last year when global e-commerce giant Amazon came out in the market to compete with Flipkart and other e-commerce companies. Last year, Flipkart moved its back end technology operations to Singapore. Flipkart Pvt Ltd, the key holding arm of Flipkart, is a Singapore incorporated entity.
Amazon.com is investing US$2 billion more in India, which is witnessing an online retail boom. The online retailer has been expanding in India, and earlier this week said it was setting up five new fulfillment centers in the country, which will double its total storage capacity to over half a million square feet (over 46,500 square meters). The investment announcement comes a day after a top Indian online retailer, Flipkart Internet, said it had raised $1 billion in new funding.
India’s biggest ecommerce site Flipkart is often benchmarked against Amazon. People ask: Can it be the Amazon of India? But today, Sachin Bansal, cofounder and CEO of Flipkart, set the record straight. With US$1 billion of fresh funding under its belt, Flipkart, he pointed out, is in the same position as Alibaba was in 2005. “We want to shape the ecommerce ecosystem in India. We want to be India’s first US$100 billion technology company,” he added.
India’s ecommerce poster-boy Flipkart has raised over US$1 billion. According to The Economic Times, Flipkart will make the official announcement next week. Half of the fresh funds are expected to come from existing investors: Tiger Global, Russian billionaire Yuri Milner’s DST, and Accel Partners. This is not only the biggest ever funding round by an Indian e-commerce company, but comes close to global taxi services company Uber’s US$1.2 billion round last month.
Thai shoppers, rejoice – popular Japanese chat app Line, which has 24 million registered users in the Land of Smiles, just rolled out a standalone ecommerce app specifically for its fans in Thailand. The move follows the company’s release of a similar app for Japan last March. We took that app for a test drive but couldn’t really get more than a superficial understanding of what it was about due to this writer’s inability to read Japanese. Luckily, however, Thailand’s Line Shop is partially in English, so it’s time to jump iTunes’ fence again and go for a spin.