Several global tech giants have suspended their investment plans in India pending questions from the new Indian government on draft e-commerce policies and data protection laws, sources familiar with the matter said.
The public policy teams of companies including amazon, Flipkart, Facebook and TikTok are understood to be planning to meet senior officials from India’s ministry of industry and internal trade promotion (DPIIT), ministry of finance and ministry of information technology to learn about their positions after the new government is formed.
“There are a lot of questions that are still unanswered,” said a senior adviser from a large Indian e-commerce company. The draft Indian e-commerce policy puts more focus on data protection. And because of the FDI (Foreign direct investment) policy, which has previously entered into force, many companies have still not been able to escape the negative impact. We need to understand exactly how the new government will deal with these issues. ”
In addition, many companies are concerned about the introduction of data localization in India, as they must store data from all Indian users in India. “If this still exists, it will have a big impact on the business,” the consultant added. ”
With all sides involved, the new Indian government will have to mediate between the public and e-commerce companies in an effort to resolve their differences over e-commerce policies.
“While the government has held detailed discussions with technology companies, law firms and industry associations on many aspects of e-commerce policy, Confederation, a senior manager at the Federation of Indian Industries, said: However, only the relevant provisions on data storage and foreign investment have been finalized. And as for e-commerce norms, trademark rights and the extent to which online services will be affected by policy, it is not clear to us at this time. ”
Data management is expected to be the most contentious issue.
Asia Internet Coalition, which includes Apple, Facebook, Google and LinkedIn, said: “The Indian government’s approach to managing data incorrectly credits data as ‘ State-owned assets ‘, depriving individuals of the right to autonomy and consent to their data, yet this is a protected right in India. ”