Google in negotiations to join the Indian e-commerce platform ONDC-sources – 05/27/2022 at 12:04

by Munsif Vengattil, Krishna N. Das and Paresh Dave

NEW DELHI, May 27 (Reuters) – Alphabet subsidiary Google GOOGL.O is in talks with the Indian government to integrate online commerce platform ONDC, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The talks follow the success of Google’s payment service under New Delhi’s initiative for financial transactions, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), said one of the sources, who both asked anonymity, not being authorized to communicate on the subject.

Although a Google spokesperson declined to confirm whether negotiations were underway, ONDC chief executive T. Koshy told Reuters that Google was one of several companies it was in talks with. for integration into the project.

India launched its open e-commerce network late last month to end the dominance of US e-commerce giants Amazon.com AMZN.O and Walmart WMT.N, and unify regulation by reducing costs charged to sellers wishing to list their products online.

Unlike companies like Amazon, Google’s existing shopping service functions solely as an online ad aggregator and does not provide order fulfillment or delivery.

ONDC’s partners, which include companies like Indian fintech Paytm PAYT.NS, will show their ads in search results.

“One thing ONDC will definitely need is a mainstream player to drive user adoption,” said Caesar Sengupta, chief executive of fintech startup Arbo Works, which played a key role in establishing Google Pay in India.

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 the decade.

(French version Dina Kartit, edited by Kate Entringer)

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