India warns Amazon, Flipkart over country of origin rule amid tensions with China

Amazon has often faced regulatory challenges in India. (Reuters)
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Updated 17 October 2020

India warns Amazon, Flipkart over country of origin rule amid tensions with China

  • A push for strict enforcement of the rule has come amid tensions between India and China
  • New Delhi has banned 177 Chinese mobile applications since June

MUMBAI: The Indian government has warned Amazon.com’s local unit and Walmart’s Flipkart that sellers on their platforms are not complying with a rule requiring that a product’s country of origin be specified.
A push for strict enforcement of the rule has come amid tensions between India and China following a border skirmish which began in June, and is part of India’s efforts to cut down on Chinese-made imports.
The two e-commerce firms have been given 15 days to explain the lapses or action will be taken against them, according to an Oct. 16 letter addressed to the companies from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and seen by Reuters.
It did not specify what action may be taken, referring only to a legal act that has provisions for fines.
Representatives for Amazon and Flipkart did not immediately respond to Reuters requests seeking comment outside regular business hours.
In addition to enforcing the country of origin rule, New Delhi has also banned 177 Chinese mobile applications since June while Chinese goods in ports have faced extra scrutiny and delays.
Amazon has often faced regulatory challenges in India. Last year, the government enforced strict rules for foreign investment in e-commerce which forced the US retail giant to rework its business structures and strained ties between New Delhi and Washington.
In January, the Competition Commission of India ordered an investigation into Amazon and Flipkart over alleged violations of competition law and certain discounting practices, which Amazon is challenging, according to court filings.


China aims for sustained and healthy economic development

Updated 30 October 2020

China aims for sustained and healthy economic development

  • Beijing to let market forces play decisive role in resources allocation, report says

BEIJING: China is targeting sustained and healthy economic development in the five years to 2025, with an emphasis on a higher quality of growth, the Xinhua news agency said on Thursday, citing the ruling Communist Party’s Central Committee.

President Xi Jinping and members of the Central Committee, the largest of the ruling party’s elite decision-making bodies, met behind closed doors from Monday to lay out the 14th five-year plan, a blueprint for economic and social development.

China’s external environment “is getting more complicated,” the agency said, adding, “There is a significant increase in instabilities and uncertainties.”

BACKGROUND

China aims to boost its gross domestic product (GDP) per person to the level of moderately developed countries by 2035, while GDP is due to top 100 trillion yuan ($15 trillion) in 2020.

However, the country’s development was still in a period of important strategic opportunities, despite new challenges, it said.

It added that China aims to boost its gross domestic product (GDP) per person to the level of moderately developed countries by 2035, while GDP is due to top 100 trillion yuan ($15 trillion) in 2020.

China will also deepen reforms and let market forces play a decisive role in resources allocation, the agency said.

China will promote a “dual circulation” model, make self-sufficiency in technology a strategic pillar for development, move to develop and urbanize regions, and combine efforts to expand domestic demand with supply-side reforms, it added.

The “dual circulation” strategy, first proposed by Xi in May, envisages that China’s next phase of development will depend mainly on “domestic circulation” or an internal cycle of production, distribution and consumption, backed by domestic technological innovation.