MUMBAI (Reuters) – The Indian government has warned the local unit of Amazon and Flipkart (Walmart) that vendors do not comply with the requirement to specify the country of origin of a product.
This step came in the context of strict enforcement of this matter amid strain between India and China in the wake of border skirmishes that began in June, and is part of India’s efforts to reduce Chinese-made imports.
According to an email sent on October 16th addressed to the two companies from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and seen by Reuters, India had given the two e-commerce companies 15 days to fix the situation or an action would be taken against them, without specifying the action that could be taken, only referring to legal action that includes financial fines.
In this regard, Reuters did not receive any comments from representatives of Amazon and Flipkart.
In addition to imposing the country-of-origin requirement, New Delhi has also banned 177 Chinese mobile apps since June, while Chinese goods at ports have faced additional scrutiny and delays.
Amazon has previously faced challenges in India. Last year, the government imposed strict rules on foreign investment in e-commerce, forcing the company to reformulate its business structures and thus straining relations between New Delhi and Washington.
In the same context, it is reported that in January, the Competition Commission of India ordered an investigation into Amazon and Flipkart over alleged violations of competition law, which Amazon is denying.