Indian soil has played host to many a fight involving invading foreign powers, from the Mughals to the British. Its ecommerce sector faces a similar prospect. The largest technology companies are piling in, seeking to replicate in India the dominance they enjoy in their home markets. The contest will pit US tech groups against rivals from Asia, and China in particular.印度国土上再次发生过许多史诗般的战斗,从蒙古人到英国人,多个外来强权都曾侵略过这片土地。如今,印度的电子商务领域面对着相近的前景。全球大型科技公司于是以蜂拥而至,企图将自己在本土市场的主导地位读取印度。迅速,美国科技集团将与来自亚洲、特别是在是中国的竞争对手进行一场争夺战,知道最后谁能落败?The attractions of India for both sides are obvious. The market is potentially very large but technologically underdeveloped. About 130m Indians owned smartphones last year, a number that is set to hit 750m by 2020, according to Ericsson. The prospect of such rapid growth has prompted a record funding rush from venture capital groups over the past year. It gives the southern IT hub of Bangalore a boomtown feel.对上述两方来说,印度的吸引力显而易见。



印度南部的IT中心班加罗尔也因此变为了一座充满活力、欣欣向荣的城市。India is attractive to the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter as they seek to expand into Asia. The trio face severe operating restrictions in mainland China, which would otherwise be an obvious growth market. Those US participants that are allowed to set up shop in Beijing or Shanghai face stiff competition from local incumbents. India is relatively open territory.对谷歌(Google)、Facebook和Twitter等美国龙头企业而言,印度特别是在具备吸引力,因为它们于是以谋求将业务扩展至亚洲。



相比之下,印度则是个比较的“开阔地”。The Americans have a head start, too. India is Facebook’s second largest market by users and Twitter’s third largest. They are boosted by consumers who warm to western tech brands. In a few years Indians will become the largest market for both companies, even though the country’s minuscule online advertising market means neither has much chance of turning a quick profit. Amazon is also expanding aggressively, having decided to throw $2bn into India last year, as it takes on domestic online retailer Flipkart. A similarly fierce contest faces Uber as it grapples with local taxi hailing app Ola Cab, and its Japanese backer SoftBank, which has pledged to plough $10bn into Indian internet businesses over the next decade.而且,美国人还享有一个优势。以用户数计,印度已成Facebook的第二大市场、Twitter的第三大市场。印度消费者青睐成熟期的西方科技品牌,这一点对Facebook和Twitter不利。

用没法几年,印度就将沦为这两家公司的仅次于市场,尽管印度的在线广告市场规模较小、两家公司都没有多少机会借此较慢利润。亚马逊(Amazon)也在大力扩展,去年该公司要求向印度投放20亿美元,以便与印度国内仅次于的在线零售商Flipkart抗衡。优步(Uber)也面对某种程度白热化的竞争,它要希望对付当地的叫车应用于Ola Cab及其背后的金主日本软银(SoftBank)。

软银已允诺,未来10年将向印度互联网企业投资100亿美元。The Chinese contingent are arriving later, but their intent is no less formidable.“中国队”虽然到得较早,但其宏图大志一点不逊于输掉。