Amazon vows $2 billion more for India operations

The news comes a day after India-based e-commerce rival Flipkart unveiled a new $1 billion funding round.

Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Ben Fox Rubin

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. CNET

Amazon unveiled plans Wednesday to inject an additional $2 billion into India, as the e-commerce company looks to support its rapid growth there and fend off local competition.

"We see huge potential in the Indian economy and for the growth of e-commerce in India," CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

Amazon's announcement comes just a day after Flipkart, one of the largest e-commerce companies in India, said it raised $1 billion in a new funding round. The latest investments show how the world's second most-populous country is quickly becoming a major battleground for online retailers. Competition also includes Snapdeal.com, which is based in India and backed by eBay.

Amazon launched its India marketplace, Amazon.in, last year, at the time offering more than 7 million print books, along with 12,000 movies and TV shows on DVD and Blu-ray. The company said Wednesday that over 17 million products now are available on the site, from books to computers to toys to baby products.

Unlike Amazon sites in other countries, the subcontinental site was created for third-party sellers, since Indian regulations have prohibited multibrand retailers from selling their own products online. Still, Amazon said that small and medium-sized businesses using its platform have benefited from Amazon's guaranteed next-day delivery on certain products fulfilled by the company.

Amazon's stock tumbled last week after the company posted worse-than-expected quarterly losses. The results prompted investor concern about Amazon's aggressive spending, which includes growth plans in China as well.