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Amazon’s plans to expand in India could be in peril

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The finale at Amazon India Fashion Week last month in New Delhi. India figures prominently in Amazon’s growth plans. Credit Chandan Khanna/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The finale at Amazon India Fashion Week last month in New Delhi. India figures prominently in Amazon’s growth plans. Credit Chandan Khanna/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — Amazon’s planned expansions into India, the world’s second-most-populous nation behind China, are of the utmost importance to the company. However, added regulations governing ownership of e-commerce companies operating in the country by the Indian government last month could have just stalled those expansions.

The government added regulations related to pricing and the sourcing of sales on sites that Amazon and several of its rivals appear to be in direct violation of.

“They’ve not given any timeline for enforcement,” Satish Meena, an analyst at Forrester Research in India. “There’s no proper instructions to companies about how to implement these things. That’s a very open-ended question the government has left.”

A trade group representing the Internet companies is considering sending a letter to the government asking for clarification of the rules and to delay their enforcement until September — analysts and executives in India say they do not anticipate an immediate crackdown of the rules, but it also remains unclear what the consequences of violating would be.

Uncertainty is unfortunately a familiar trait for doing business in India, which has seen an extreme growth in investments by Internet companies in its online commerce sector. The flood has seen an equally swift opposition from the country’s politically powerful domestic retailers. Online spending in India is expected to jump to nearly $75 billion by 2020 from a mere $12.1 billion last year, as more of the country’s 1.25 billion people get on the Internet, according to Forrester.

Such numbers have led Amazon executives to believe India could become the company’s second-largest market, behind the U.S., within a decade. In 2014, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, climbed a bus in Bangalore wearing a jodhpuri-style Indian coat and holding a giant check for $2 billion, representing the amount Amazon pledged to plow into its business in the country.

“With a growing middle class and propensity to shop online, the revenue potential there is enormous,” said Colin Sebastian, an analyst at Robert W. Baird & Company.

Just as in the U.S., India’s brick-and-mortar businesses have expressed extremely alarm at the growth of the e-commerce industry, and have sued the Indian government in an effort to enforce stricter regulations. For Amazon specifically, there is an urgent effort to crack India’s market after fumbling attempts to do the same in China.

India essentially prohibits e-commerce companies with substantial foreign ownership from operating retail markets that sell from their own suppliers of goods. To work around the restrictions, companies like Amazon and eBay match themselves with independent sellers, meaning they own none of their own retail.

Information from the New York Times contributed to this report.

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Tech CEO Pradyumna Samal convicted of large scale H1B fraud

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Pradyumna Samal

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — Tech CEO Pradyumna Samal was convicted of large scale H1B fraud. The CEO of two companies that supplied workers to companies like Microsoft and Amazon plead guilty to using fake documents to get H1-B visas. The Indian national Samal was sentenced to seven years in prison for what federal authorities say “was the largest and most sophisticated H-1B visa fraud scheme we have prosecuted in Western Washington.” 

Inder Singh, a Los Angeles-based Indian American community leader, has died. He was 86 years old. Singh was involved in the inception of a number of Indian American non-profit organizations in the effort to build a stronger relationship between the U.S. and India. Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla said on Twitter that Singh’s contributions have been “significant and his leadership will be greatly missed.”

Indiaspora launched ChaloGive.org, their first online giving campaign that runs October 2nd to the 8th. The goal is to increase levels of giving by the Indian diaspora, inspired in part by the success of Giving Tuesday in the U.S. and Daan Utsav in India.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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