Amazon CEO Bezos attempts to woo India, but faces backlash

Indian store owners protested Bezos' visit this week

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had a whirlwind tour of India last week after announcing a $1 billion investment in the country, where he's attempting to woo business despite facing disapproval from some leaders.

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"They may have put in a billion dollars but then if they make a loss of a billion dollars every year then they jolly well have to finance that billion dollars," Indian trade minister Piyush Goyal said on Thursday, according to Reuters.

AMAZON CEO JEFF BEZOS HANGS OUT WITH BOLLYWOOD STARS DURING INDIA TRIP

"So it’s not as if they are doing a great favor to India when they invest a billion dollars."

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Speaking at a business summit in New Delhi Wednesday, Bezos pledged that Amazon would invest $1 billion in digitizing small businesses in the country.

Bezos posted a video of himself leading a fleet of electric delivery rickshaws on Twitter on Sunday night to promote the investment.

Bezos said Amazon would use its global reach to export $10 billion worth of made-in-India goods.

“I predict that the 21st century is going to be the Indian century,” he said to cheers from the summit's crowd.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, right along with American news anchor Lauren Sánchez poses for photographs during a blue carpet event organized by Amazon Prime Video in Mumbai, India, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

But a group of Indian store owners protested Bezos' visit this week. Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart are facing a probe by Indian officials over allegations that the companies broke Indian law by using proxies to undercut local sellers.

Protesters carried signs with the slogan "Amazon go back" and "Jeff Bezos go back."

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Praveen Khandelwal, secretary-general of the Confederation of All India Traders, criticized Bezos' $1 billion pledge as “nothing but promotional” and in a tweet, accused Amazon of “predatory pricing."

Meanwhile, Bezos rubbed shoulders with some of India’s top entertainers during his trip to the country. The Amazon founder and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, posed for photos Thursday at a blue carpet event in Mumbai that was organized by Amazon Prime Video.

Amazon launched in India in 2013.

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FOX Business' James Leggate and The Associated Press contributed to this report.