SoftBank Loses $350 Million on India Investments Including Ola, Snapdeal

SoftBank Loses $350 Million on India Investments Including Ola, Snapdeal

SoftBank Loses $350 Million on India Investments Including Ola, Snapdeal
HIGHLIGHTS
SoftBank wrote off JPY 39.28 billion in the value of shares in its India
The new set of numbers are lower than the loss recorded in November
The Japanese firm has so far invested close to $2 billion in India
Japan’s SoftBank Corp has booked an investment loss of JPY 39.28 billion ($350 million or roughly Rs. 2,345 crores) on its investments in India, including those in cab-hailing firm Ola and e-commerce company Snapdeal.

In the earning statement for nine months ended December, SoftBank wrote off JPY 39.28 billion in the value of shares in its Indian investments, which include Ola and Snapdeal.

“Gain or loss arising from financial instruments at FVTPL comprises mainly of changes in fair value of preferred stock investment including embedded derivatives, such as ANI Technologies and Jasper Infotech in India, designated as financial assets at FVTPL (Fair Value Through Profit or Loss),” SoftBank said in the earnings statement.

The new set of numbers are lower than the loss recorded by SoftBank in November last year.
It had booked an investment loss of JPY 58.14 billion ($560 million or roughly Rs. 3,472 crores) for the six-month period ending September 30, impacted by appreciation of Japan’s Yen against the local currency.

SoftBank had led a $210-million investment in Ola and $627 million in Snapdeal in October 2014. It made follow-on investments in both firms.

The Japanese firm has so far invested close to $2 billion in India and earlier this year it stated that it is looking to scale up investments to $10 billion in next 5-10 years.

Tags: SoftBank, SoftBank Earnings, SoftBank Investment, Ola, Snapdeal, India, Internet, Apps

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal Argue Against GST’s Tax Collection at Source Provision

Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal Argue Against GST's Tax Collection at Source Provision

Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal Argue Against GST’s Tax Collection at Source Provision
HIGHLIGHTS
Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal partnered to lobby against a GST provision
They want the tax-collected at source requirement removed
They argue that this provision will increase complexity and costs
At a press conference organised by FICCI on Thursday, the heads of Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal all found common cause as they expressed their worries about the TCS (Tax Collection at Source) provision of the GST (Goods and Services Tax). Under this provision, online marketplaces are responsible for collecting – and paying – taxes on behalf of their sellers. This is something that all three companies, the major players in the e-commerce space in India, are against, as they argue it will hamper the growth of e-commerce.

Currently, e-commerce operators share data on sales to the government periodically to ensure tax compliance. In the proposed model, additional TCS reporting, reconciliation, and governance could lead to greater complexity of business operations, and block capital, the companies argued. They contended that the clause is detrimental towards e-commerce companies that have brought in
billions of dollars of investment. The draft model GST law is due to be finalised at the end of this month.

Kicking things off, Snapdeal co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl stated that “e-commerce is vociferously for GST.” This was a sentiment that was echoed by Amit Agarwal, Amazon India Head, who added that TCS can change the growth trajectory of e-commerce, and that is a cause for concern. “Tax collection at source is an exception created for online, it isn’t there for offline,” he added.

“All of us are investing ahead of scale and a lot of the investment is going into building the right infrastructure and ecosystem, in training/educating sellers and bringing them online and that attracts consumers to come to our marketplaces… This flywheel has been spinning for the last few years… when the ecosystem gets excited, a lot of other industries benefit,” Agarwal said.

Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal added, “none of us is saying that GST is bad, it is a transformative step for e-commerce,” but added, “tax collection at source is an area of concern in GST for e-commerce.”

“Due to TCS, close to RS. 400 crores per annum of capital will be locked into the system,” he added. “It will hamper working capital.”
Given that there are thousands of sellers and merchants on each platform, the shopping portals say TCS will be cumbersome and time consuming, and discourage sellers. “Success of e-commerce industry is contingent upon the success of small businesses,” Bahl added.

“The proposal, while adding needless complexity for the sellers, provides no benefit to the tax authorities and will lead to duplication of information followed by the need for its reconciliation,” Bahl also said.

They say a thorough impact analysis of this tax provision on the online marketplace has not been carried out diligently. Now with the draft model GST law due to be finalised at the end of the month, the urgency is apparent.

FICCI Secretary General Dr A Didar Singh also said that “e-commerce created the first national market of the country, GST just enhances that.”

On the risk of tax evasion by sellers, Bansal said that sharing of information can help prevent this. “Tax evasion can be avoided by sharing of information,” he said. “We are already doing this with the states.”

Gadgets 360 has reached out to all the three companies seeking further comments, and we will update this article on getting replies.

Tags: Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon, Goods and Service Tax, GST, FICCI, Lobbying, online marketplaces, ECommerce

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Honor 8 India Launch, Snapdeal Sale Controversy, Galaxy Note 7 Post Mortem, and More: Your 360 Daily

Honor 8 India Launch, Snapdeal Sale Controversy, Galaxy Note 7 Post Mortem, and More: Your 360 DailyHonor 8 India Launch, Snapdeal Sale Controversy, Galaxy Note 7 Post Mortem, and More: Your 360 Daily
HIGHLIGHTS
Honor 8 comes with dual rear cameras
Samsung has still not figured out why Galaxy Note 7 units are exploding
The ‘missing’ iPhone 7 deal on Snapdeal created a bit of a controversy
From Honor launching the Honor 8 with dual rear cameras, Samsung still being unsure of what causes the Galaxy Note 7 to explode, and Snapdeal’s sale upsetting users, here’s a look at everything big that happened in the world of technology today.

Samsung still doesn’t know what’s wrong with Galaxy Note 7
Uncertainty surrounds the real reason behind the spontaneous explosion of Galaxy Note 7 units as Samsung has reportedly been unable to zero in upon the flaw. The company had earlier found a flaw with the batteries made by sister concern Samsung SDI and deemed the ones manufactured by Amperex Technology as safe. However, even the units with Amperex batteries have reportedly exploded, suggesting that a different fault is the cause for explosions. Another report suggests the explosions could’ve been caused due to an SoC tweak made by company’s engineers with the aim of speeding up the charging process.

Snapdeal sale offer on iPhone 7 missing, users complain
Snapdeal disappointed many a customer in its second festive sale by quietly taking down the flat discount of Rs. 10,000 that it offered to American Express credit card holders. Later in the day, much after the sale began, the e-commerce player put up a banner on its website announcing that the offer is now over. Meanwhile Paytm started its sale with several discount offers available on its marketplace.

BSNL offers double data plan for prepaid users
BSNL has launched a promotional offer under which it is providing customers with double the data on prepaid recharges. However, this offer is only applicable for high-value recharges: the Rs. 1,498 recharge will give 18GB instead of 9GB data, Rs. 2,798 will give 36 GB instead of 18GB, Rs. 3,998 will give 60GB data instead of 30GB and Rs. 4,498 will give 80GB data instead of 40GB data.

Nexus 5X, 6P to get Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview this month
Google has announced that it will release the Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview for Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, and Pixel C by the end of this month. Among the improvements this preview will bring to compatible devices are support for Daydream View VR headset, image keyboard, circular app icons, night-light, and manual storage manager.
Asus ZenFone 3 Laser (ZC551KL) now available in India
Asus has released its ZenFone 3 Laser (ZC551KL) smartphone in the Indian market at Rs. 18,999. Unveiled in August this year, the Android 6.0 Marshmallow-powered smartphone sports a metal body, 5.5-inch full-HD screen, Snapdragon 430 octa-core SoC, 4GB RAM, 32GB built-in storage, up to 128GB microSD card support, 13-megapixel rear camera with laser autofocus, 8-megapixel front camera, and a 3000mAh battery.

Huawei Honor 8 with dual-rear cameras launched in India at Rs. 29,999
Huawei sub-brand Honor has launched the Honor 8 flagship smartphone with two 12-megapixel rear cameras in India at Rs. 29,999. The Honor 8 smartphone features a 5.2-inch full-HD screen, 1.8GHz octa-core Kirin processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB inbuilt storage, microSD card support up to 128GB, fingerprint sensor, 3000mAh battery with fast-charging, and Android 6.0 Marshmallow-based EMUI 4.1 software.

Check out our detailed review of the Honor 8.

Disclosure: Paytm’s parent company One97 is an investor in Gadgets 360.

Tags: Huawei, Huawei Honor, Honor 8, Samsung, Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Explosions, Snapdeal, Snapdeal sale, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, BSNL, BSNL prepaid, Android 7.1 Nougat, Android 7.1 Nougat Developer Preview, Google, Huawei Google Nexus 6P, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C, asus Zenfone 3 laser, Asus ZenFone 3 Laser ZC551KL

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal Claim Massive Sales Numbers on Day 1 of Festive Sales

Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal Claim Massive Sales Numbers on Day 1 of Festive Sales

Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal Claim Massive Sales Numbers on Day 1 of Festive Sales
E-commerce majors Snapdeal and Flipkart on Sunday claimed lakhs of transactions on their platforms on the first of the 5-day discount sales even as some consumers expressed woes on the social media about certain glitches.

Amazon, which started its 5-days special sale on October 1, on Sunday said it has seen 6-fold growth over its regular business. It has claimed to have sold 1 lakh product units in first 30 minutes, 15 lakhs units in first 12 hours on first day of the Great Festival Day sale.

(Also see: Amazon Great Indian Sale: The Best Tech Deals)

Snapdeal, in a statement, said: “Nearly 11 lakh buyers from over 2,800 cities and towns across India bought at Snapdeal in the first 16 hours of the sale. The sale which started at midnight with 180 orders being booked per second got bigger during the day as buyers used the national holiday to explore a plethora of attractive deals.”

(Also see: The Best Deals From Snapdeal’s Unbox Diwali Sale)

It said that based on the trends from Day 1 of the sale reflect sales volume jumping 6 times of average volumes by 4pm on Day 1.

Flipkart claimed that it sold over half a million products within one hour on Day 1 of the sale.

(Also see: Flipkart Offers Massive Discounts on iPhone 6s, 6, 5s, Xiaomi Mi 5, More)

“Within the electronics and gadget category, we sold more Apple watches in 10 minutes than the total sale of Apple watches online and offline in a month,” Flipkart said in a statement.

Snapdeal and Flipkart claimed providing products at large discounts.
Flipkart said that the number of product units sold in the first 6 hours of sale surpassed the total units sold in a day during the first day of its Big Billion Day in 2015.

Snapdeal is running the sale as Unbox Diwali. Flipkart further said that its subsidiary Myntra also clocked three times more revenue in the first hour compared to 2015 edition.

Meanwhile, consumers on Twitter complaint that there were hardly any discount on the products that these companies are offering.

The online shopping festival of Amazon, Flipkart, and Snapdeal is more about discounting myth, marketing gimmick without much substantial offers, said a Twitter handle.

However, the authenticity of the claims on micro-blogging site could not be verified.

Some consumers even posted screenshots showing that a product was priced higher on the sites they were shopping on, compared to the other sites.

Some media sites and Twitter accounts complained about glitches in Flipkart and Amazon payment gateways. Amazon displayed on the site that “SBI and Associate banks net-banking are having payment issues”.

There was no immediate response to queries sent to online players as well as the banks concerned.

Meanwhile, traders’ body CAIT said that “big sales” on e-commerce sites is a “blatant violation” of FDI policy.

Tags: Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon, Flipkart Big Billion Day 2016, Amazon Great Indian Festival, Snapdeal Unbox Diwali Sale, Apps, Deals

[“Source-Gadgets”]