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Google brings its shopping service to India, tapping into the country's digital boom

Key Points
  • Indian shoppers will now be able search for deals on a variety of products from numerous retailers using Google Shopping.
  • India has seen rapid growth in its digital economy, with tech firms like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Paytm shaking up e-commerce.
  • The expansion signals a deeper push by Google into e-commerce, and is the latest move from a U.S. tech giant to extend its footprint in India.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the "Google for India" event in New Delhi.
Udit Kulshrestha | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google has launched its shopping aggregator service in India, in a bid to take advantage of the country's booming digital economy.

The tech giant said Thursday that Indian shoppers will now be able to browse deals using its Google Shopping home page, a mobile-friendly web app, a new "shopping" tab on its search engine and its image recognition app Google Lens.

Google's shopping tool lets users search for deals on a variety of products from numerous retailers. According to CNN, Amazon and Walmart-owned Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart will be among the retailers whose offers are listed by Google Shopping in India.

"India has the second largest population of internet users in the world, and it's only getting bigger," Surojit Chatterjee, vice president of product management at Google Shopping, said in a blog post Thursday. "While 400 million Indians are online today, less than one out of three buy things online."

Google said users will be able to search for items in both English and Hindi. The firm makes revenue from shopping through advertising costs for merchants.

With a population of over 1.3 billion, India has seen rapid growth in its digital economy, with tech firms like Flipkart, Snapdeal and Paytm shaking up the country's e-commerce scene. Research by software lobbyist Nasscom and consultant PwC estimates India's e-commerce market could be valued at $150 billion by 2022.

Meanwhile, Amazon is trying its luck at tapping into that trend. It bought an equity stake in local rival Shoppers Stop last year and is reportedly closing in on a deal to buy a stake in Future Retail. It also reportedly teamed up with private equity firm Samara Capital to buy Aditya Birla Group's More retail chain in September.

Flipkart, which was bought by Walmart in May, is the dominant online retailer in India, with 100 million users and 100,000 merchants on its platform. The expansion signals a deeper push by Google into the world of e-commerce, and marks the latest move from a big U.S. tech firm to extend its footprint in the country.

Google's shopping service has been faced with regulatory pressure from the European Union though, which last year fined the firm 2.4 billion euros ($2.7 billion) over antitrust violations. The EU argued Google denied consumers a choice of services by directing users of its search engine to the shopping platform.

Add to that a record 4.34 billion euro antitrust fine dished out by the EU earlier this year, over the abuse of its Android mobile operating system's dominance.

WATCH: What is Flipkart?

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What is Flipkart?