Amazon and Walmart confront Indian politics
The country is becoming as hostile to foreign investors as China. "Foreign-owned e-commerce firms already faced tough restrictions before Mr Modi took office in 2014. After Walmart’s $16bn purchase of Flipkart in 2018, the rules were tightened further, with unexpected severity. Two restrictions predominate. First, foreign firms are prevented from holding inventory or selling their own goods, which both Amazon and Walmart do in other markets. They can offer their platforms only as 'marketplaces' for other buyers and sellers. Second, the degree to which they can own big sellers on their platforms is limited, to prevent those sellers acting covertly on their behalf. Reliance Retail endures no such restrictions, even though it raised $6bn last year from foreign investors. As an Indian company, it enjoys what bullish analysts at Jefferies, an investment bank, call a 'regulatory advantage'."
From The Economist