Three sources told Reuters that Bezos will visit New Delhi for an Amazon event aiming to connect with small and medium-sized enterprises, three sources told Reuters. He is also seeking a meeting with the prime minister and other government officials to discuss e-commerce, one of the sources familiar with the matter said.
The details of Bezos’ visit, including his arrival date and the duration of his stay, still haven’t been officially announced.
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), representing roughly 70 million brick-and-mortar retailers, said it will protest across 300 cities during Bezos’ stay in the country, as the group has been in a legal battle against online retailers Amazon and Walmart-controlled Flipkart, accusing them of flouting India’s foreign investment rules with their trade practices.
“We plan to organize peaceful rallies against Jeff Bezos in all major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata as well as smaller towns and cities,” Praveen Khandelwal, the group’s secretary-general told Reuters. “We expect to mobilize at least 100,000 traders in the protests.”
India is a key market for US internet retailers Amazon and Walmart, as it has a population of 1.3 billion and the world’s second-biggest smartphone user base. Discounts on their platforms have induced Indians to shop online for everything from groceries to large electronic devices - one of the reasons local Indian traders believe it has unfairly hurt their business. New Delhi introduced rules last year to protect nearly 130 million people dependent on small-scale retail by deterring large online discounts, forcing e-commerce firms to change their business structures.