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Draft Ecommerce Policy: India Should Do What Is Right For Entrepreneurs, Says Alibaba

Draft Ecommerce Policy: India Should Do What Is Right For Entrepreneurs, Says Alibaba

India continues to be a ‘strategic market’ says ecommerce giant

Alibaba will comply with all the rules and regulations, said CMO Chris Tung

Alibaba has already set up data centres in India

China-based ecommerce giant Alibaba has welcomed the Indian draft ecommerce policy adding that the company continues to consider the country as its “strategic market” for its globalisation vision.

Alibaba Group’s chief marketing officer Chris Tung who attended the ET Global Business Summit held on February 23, said that the country’ digital policy should have a balanced focus on both protecting the consumer rights while giving enough space to the entrepreneurs to drive their business growth.

Tung also told ET, that the country should take steps to do whatever is right for the entrepreneurs as they drive innovation which in turn meets the customer needs.

Tung’s comments came in right before the Indian government released the draft ecommerce policy for public and stakeholder’s comments. The draft proposed regulation of cross border data flows and enabling sharing of anonymised community data. The policy also added that the companies should set up data storage in India to store the data of Indian users.

Tung said that Alibaba will duly comply with all the rules and regulations. He added that the company already has data centres in India.

In September 2018, Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of the group had launched its second data centre in Mumbai. The first data centre was launched in January last year.

During his maiden visit to India, Tung said that both the countries have more dialogue between then and share a lot of things.  

This is not the first time that the company has come forward in support of the Indian policies. At a time when India looks to implement data localisation guidelines which mandates all the companies to store payment information of India users in local servers only, many of the foreign companies had criticised the move.

However, Alibaba supported the data localisation move. Last year, Alibaba Cloud president Simon Hu had said that the company is localising data in all countries to promote data security.  Alibaba-backed online payment platform Paytm had also urged the government to not allow mirroring of data overseas.

Tung also added that the company is impressed by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for achieving a $10 Tn economy with a heightened focus on technology and startups. He added that a vision led market will prove to be an encouragement for the businesses.

Indian Startups Deepen Ties With China

In December 2018, Delhi-headquartered think tank Observer Research Foundation’s Mumbai arm ORF Mumbai, in partnership with Beijing-based Peking University, had launched the India-China Tech Forum to support bilateral discussions and ties.

Most recently, Alibaba had invested in Delhi-based video intelligence platform Vidooly which raised $2.11 Mn (INR 15.08 Cr) as a part of Series C funding round.

Also, in order to support the central government’s move to curb imports from Chinese fashion ecommerce companies such as Shein and Club Factory as gifts, last month, Alibaba had reportedly penalised thousands of sellers on its platform for delivering their products in India as gifts to avoid paying customs and other import duties.

Last year, Chinese early and growth stage venture capital fund Shunwei Capital had raised its sixth fund of $1.21 Bn. The sixth fund majorly focuses in India as the company has doubled down on its investments in the country in the past few quarters.

However, the relation between both countries has been going through ups and downs. Most recently, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s (RSS) economic wing, Swadeshi Jagran Manch had written to the prime minister Narendra Modi, requesting a ban on Chinese social media apps, ecommerce companies and telecom equipment from operating in India.