China's search engine giant Baidu is reportedly in talks with start-ups, including Zomato, BookMyShow and BigBasket, to foray into the fast-growing Indian e-commerce market, a spokesman for the Chinese company said on Wednesday.
The company is expected to infuse funds into domestic Internet companies as many foreign investors have already invested huge amounts in them.
"The Indian market represents an enormous opportunity for us to connect more people with services, and we plan to put more resources there in the future," the spokesman told Reuters.
The Indian e-commerce sector is currently witnessing a boom as more and more people buy goods and services online. Companies in the space are offering huge discounts to attract customers to online shopping.
The domestic e-commerce market is estimated to grow 67% to $38 billion (Rs 2.51 lakh crore) in 2016 from over $23 billion (Rs 1.52 lakh crore) last year, boosted by a rise in Internet and mobile users, according to a study by an industry body Assocham.
India's e-commerce market was worth about $3.8 billion in 2009. It went up to $17 billion in 2014 and to $23 billion in 2015, said D S Rawat, Secretary General, Assocham.
Shopping online through smartphones is proving to be a "game-changer", and the top players in the sector expect m-commerce to account for 70% of their total revenues by 2016, it said.
Major overseas investors, such as China's Alibaba Group Holding and Japan's SoftBank, have continuously been pumping in funds seeing the vast potential of the market.