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Amazon India pilots Hindi interface on mobile website

Amazon.com Inc.'s Indian arm launched a small pilot that showed its mobile website's interface in the Hindi language as it looks to capture the untapped share of the local e-commerce market, The Economic Times (India) reported Aug. 30.

"We work backwards from our customer needs and continuously explore and experiment with new ways of making the shopping experience convenient and easy for customers in India," a company spokesperson reportedly said.

The development reportedly marks Amazon's debut in using vernacular languages.

"Indians are very well-versed in buying, but when they want service, they want to talk in the language they know," Amit Agarwal, head of Amazon India, told the newspaper in 2017.

Amazon is racing against local rival Flipkart Online Services Pvt. Ltd. to reach the next 100 million online customers in India, the report added.

The company, which is 77% owned by Walmart Inc., acquired Liv.ai Pvt. Ltd. in August to accelerate Flipkart's conversational shopping technology. The artificial intelligence startup reportedly claims to be the only Indian company that can convert speech to text in nine regional languages, including Hindi, Bengali and Punjabi, aside from English.