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Indian e-commerce platforms required to display country of origin on new products


Indian e-commerce platforms required to display country of origin on new products

22Made in China22 smart TV
Photo: Reuters

India has declared that all e-commerce retailers must display the “country of origin” for new products from today, and for older products by October.

The legislation comes as India aims to restructure its business climate to promote “Made in India” companies and products; per its Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, New Delhi hopes to boost self-reliance and domestic competitiveness. The move is also a reaction to deteriorating India-China relations. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has asked industry and trade associations to pursue an import-substitution policy for Chinese products under threat of penal action.

The response has been largely negative. While large aggregators like Amazon and Flipkart have easily been able to acquire the necessary data, smaller retailers without advanced data integration systems will struggle to abide by the deadline. This is further complicated by the ambiguity surrounding “country of origin”, which could reference numerous links along the value chain. Expect Indian unicorns such as Zomato, Ola and MakeMyTrip to experience consumer backlash and reduced patronage, as they have received significant funding from China’s internet companies Tencent, Alibaba and Ctrip. The entrenchment of Chinese investment in India’s technology ecosystem will likely stimulate further backlash against unilateral policy.

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