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India’s Jio Platforms To Get $4.Billion Investment From Google

India’s Jio Platforms To Get $4.Billion Investment From Google
Search engine giant Google will be taking up a stake in India’s Jio Platforms Ltd worth $4.5 billion. Jio is the digital arm of Reliance Industries Ltd.
Google’s investment is the latest in a series of investments in the Indian telecom firm, which already has almost 400 million users in the Indian market, from by United States tech firms and other investors. 
According to the announcement made by Jio chairman and India billionaire Mukesh Ambani, Google will be taking up a 7.7% stake in the fast-growing internet unit.  
Executives of Jio said the investment from Google, whose Android software runs on most smartphones, will be used to develop an entry-level, affordable mobile device.
In recent months, an investment of $5.7 billion against a stake of 10% in Jio was taken up by Facebook Inc. along with investment from the investment arms of chipmakers Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc.
Most tech companies view Joi to be the gateway to the large and growing online population of the Indian market, which is the second largest in the world. But for many US tech giants such as Google and Facebook, the Chinese market is completely shut.
“Digital revolution marks the greatest transformation in the history of mankind,” Ambani told shareholders at Reliance’s annual general meeting. “India must lead the change to create a better world. This is Jio’s purpose.”
Ambani, the richest man of Asia, has a plan of transforming his energy conglomerate in to a homegrown technology giant similar to that of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. of China and Jio is at the center of that plan. The Jio platform has now managed to rope in investments of about $20 billion, including Google’s investment, within the recent few months. 
In the Indian market which more than a billion consumers, its plan to significantly impact online retail, content streaming, digital payments, education and health care will be furthered with the investment and backing from Google.
There is a rising interest among global tech leaders to get a toe hold in the Indian tech market where millions of first time internet users are being added every month. These users are increasingly getting used to purchasing consumer goods online and downloading music and video and Jio Platforms offers the largest base of such users. Jio has made it big among uch users because of its cheap smartphones and its very cheap data services.
“The bigger story is the market access to opportunities that Jio Platforms can provide these investors,” said Satish Meena, senior forecast analyst at Forrester Research Inc. “They are betting on the track record of Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani whose scaling up of diverse businesses from energy to retail to telecom has been nothing short of impressive,” Meena said.
The number of internet users it has and the services it can market to them re the causes of the growing interest and investment in Jio.
“Jio is already connecting them to the internet, providing them with content and just starting to do commerce. It’s a very good investment opportunity for global companies,” he said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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