Amazon Says Revised FDI Norms Had Minimal Impact

The stir caused by the changes in guidelines for FDI in e-commerce companies two months back had little impact on the world’s largest online retailer — Amazon. The company, which announced its net profit doubling to $3.6 billion in Q1 FY19 from $1.6 billion in Q1 Fy18 in quarterly financial results, said that there were only a ‘few days’ of downtime caused by the revised FDI norms.

“We’re just heading into an uncertain period with the PN2 (Press Note 2) ruling. We did make some changes to our structure to stay in compliance with all regulations. There were a few days of downtime for some of our selection. But for the full quarter, the impact was minimal. And we’re in compliance and very, very happy with the progress of the business in India,” Brian Olsavsky, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Amazon said in the post-earnings call (transcript available at seekingalpha.com) with analysts.

The minimal impact was also quite evident in the fact that in just a little over three weeks since the government brought in revised norms on February 1, Amazon brought back all of its products that it had delisted from its marketplace platform Amazon Seller Services.

Amazon had 180 million products listed on its marketplace portal as on January 17, a day after it sought an extension of the February 1 deadline by four months. However, the number of listed products had gone down from January 17 onwards to 154 million on February 1, only to bring back all of its catalogue having 182 million products by February 22, according to the data by US-based e-commerce intelligence firm Marketplace Pulse.

“Practically all of the products which were removed before February 1 are now back on Amazon. There is always a fluctuation in the catalogue because of out of stock days for example, but everything Amazon was previously selling, if still in stock, is back,” Juozas Kaziukėnas, Founder and CEO at Marketplace Pulse told Financial Express Online.

Importantly, Amazon had recently exited its marketplace business in China even as it launched Amazon Web Services in Hong Kong on Thursday, taking its presence to 19 cities in China.

“The business in China is going really well and we continue to see strong growth there,” said Olsavsky. Amazon’s revenue for the quarter stood at nearly $60 billion, up only 17% from the year prior.―Financial Express

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