India plans to debut an open network for digital commerce (ONDC), with the government trying to combat the dominance of U.S. companies, Reuters reported Thursday (April 28).
The intention is to get out of the shadow of big names like Amazon and Walmart in the country’s eCommerce market.
The rollout of the platform comes after India’s antitrust body raided domestic sellers of Amazon and Walmart’s Flipkart, after accusations of competition-law violations.
Indian retailers, which are important supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have said for years that Amazon and Flipkart’s platforms are only beneficial for a few big sellers, and have accused them of predatory pricing.
Those big eCommerce platforms have said they’re complying with the law.
The ONDC platform, as it’s called, will let buyers and sellers connect and transact with one another online regardless of what app they use.
The ONDC platform will focus on apps in local languages and with an emphasis on small merchants and rural customers.
The platform will be rolled out Friday before being expanded later.
The government document says two large multinational players controlled over half of the country’s eCommerce trade, and have limited access to the market through giving preferential treatment to some sellers, along with squeezing supplier margins.
See also: Flipkart Boosts Sellers Through Faster Payments, Easier Onboarding
PYMNTS wrote that Flipkart has announced several policy changes to benefit sellers, such as cutting payment settlement cycles and lower return costs.
The company also said it would be offering travel benefits for sellers, and Jagjeet Harode, the senior director and head of marketplace, saying the company would empower sellers and consumers and promoting eCommerce in the country.
Harode said the company was committed to addressing sellers’ issues, and the company was working on a new product for listing, with automation to convert product images to a certain standard of quality.