Walmart eyes anti-Amazon alliance: Will Google join to fight common enemy?


Media reports surfaced around Google trying to enter the Indian e-commerce market on its own.

Simultaneously, it has been reported that Walmart has reportedly approached Google to invest in Flipkart. The global retail giant is eyeing to wield a strong front to counter Amazon and Alibaba.

Microsoft and Tencent are minority stakeholders in the company and hence, Walmart sees a lot of strategic value in Google joining its Indian endeavour.

While Walmart has gained a wide reach in Indian e-commerce market through acquiring Flipkart, it lacks technological excellence when compared to Amazon and Alibaba. The company wants to have a grip on emerging technologies such as AI, ML, and other high-performance architectures. It can be achieved through strategic partnerships with Google and Microsoft.

According to a Mint report, Walmart has begun talks with Google for a potential investment in Flipkart. Over the years, Google has collaborated in running its business with Walmart in many countries including US and China. It might be keen on investing in Flipkart partly because of its rivalry with Amazon.

Google has been working to launch its own e-commerce platform for a year which may start from India by Diwali. Though, Google has not yet confirmed so.

Besides core offerings, Google in India has forayed into digital payments through Tez and personal utility segment with Datally, under its ambitious Billion Users programme.

Walmart is not bothered about Alibaba because Tencent might engage the local rival to a large extent, adds the report.

To beef up its play in India, the Jack Ma-led Chinese group has chalked out a plan to invest about $8 billion in the country over the next four years. It eyes investments in gaming, original content, movies, and over-the-top platforms.

Meanwhile, since its operations in India, Amazon has made strategic investments in Housejoy, Bankabazaar, and offline retailer Shopper’s Stop. Currently, it’s negotiating a stake in Kishore Biyani-led FutureBazaar.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently emphasised to stay committed to its Indian expansion.

Given that Walmart is courting Google for the second time to join it in a crusade against Amazon, it would be exciting to see the Sundar Pichai led company’s moves in the coming months.

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