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In a bid to expand its presence in India, Amazon announced today that it has created the first Hindi version of its Android app and website as it seeks to gain ground on rival Flipkart.
Up until now, Amazon’s ecommerce sites for India have been exclusively in English, which has left it at a disadvantage in a country that boasts the world’s second-largest number of internet users.
“What we believe is Amazon.in in Hindi is a critical step to actually address the next 100 million customers,” Manish Tiwary, VP of category management at Amazon India, said in a news conference, according to Reuters.
Companies like Google have already introduced versions of their sites in local languages. And ecommerce competitors such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Paytm also offer versions in local languages.
But building beyond its English-speaking base will be critical for Amazon. India has one of the world’s fastest-growing ecommerce markets, a phenomenon that compelled Walmart earlier this year to buy Flipkart for $20.8 billion. Amazon had reportedly made a last-minute bid for Flipkart but was beaten out by Walmart.
Down the road, Amazon says it intends to add more local Indian languages and will likely roll out local languages for mobile apps beyond Android.