As a follow-up to the $10 billion investment plan for India, Google has announced that it has reached an agreement with Jio Platforms Ltd. According to the agreement, Google will invest $4.5 billion for a 7.73% stake in Jio Platforms Ltd., a subsidiary of Reliance Industries. Jio Platforms owns India’s largest mobile network operator, Jio.
To begin with, the deal will see the two conglomerates work jointly on an affordable smartphone. This smartphone will have “optimizations to an Android operating system and Play Store.” Google’s vision seems to be aimed at reaching the millions of users in India and to help the billion people-strong country push for innovation and growth.
Jio has played a pivotal role in taking half a billion people in the country online in the past few years since its launch and has been a disruptor of sorts through its investments in India’s telecom infrastructure. The newest development will give Jio Platforms an additional push to continue on its upward trajectory as Google joins its cause. Founder of Jio Platforms, MukeshAmbani, has said that the company aims to put a smartphone in the hands of every Indian.
“We want to work with Jio and other leaders in the local ecosystem to ensure that smartphones—together with the apps and services in the Play Store—are within reach for many more Indians across the country,” wrote Sanjay Gupta, Google Head and VP, India, in the company’s blog.
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