Google announced today that it will invest $ 4.5 billion in a 7.73 percent stake in Jio Platforms, an Indian internet giant that offers broadband, cellular, and online trading platforms. The investment, pending regulatory review, is part of Google’s commitment to invest approximately $ 10 billion in India over the next five to seven years. A similar move follows from Facebook to invest $ 5.7 billion earlier this year for a 9.9 percent stake in the company. Jio Platforms is the tech subsidiary of Reliance Industries.
As part of today’s announcement, Google claims to be working with Jio on an “affordable entry-level smartphone.”
Google hopes to use its investment in Jio to bring smartphones to more users in India. It should be noted that the majority of the people in the country do not have access to the Internet and that fewer still have smartphones. A partnership with Jio, which is reported to have around 400 million subscribers, could help accelerate Google’s efforts. “Together, we’re excited to rethink how millions of users in India can own smartphones,” said Google in its announcement.
The investment in the Indian internet giant is taking place as India tries to reduce its dependence on Chinese companies. Last month, the country banned 59 Chinese-based apps and services from the country, including TikTok and WeChat.