Google will invest $4.5 billion in the Jio platform which is a tech and telecom business of Reliance Industries. This funding gives Google a 7.7% stake in Jio Platforms, which is pending for regulatory approval.
The two firms plan to develop reasonable smartphones for India with optimizations to the Android operating system and the Play Store. Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani made a joint announcement in RIL’s virtual annual general meeting today. The funding is part of Google’s promise to invest around $10 billion in India.
Jio Platforms is an Indian digital services company and a subsidiary of Reliance Industries. Google is Jio’s 14th foreign investor and this makes Google the second largest minority shareholder after Facebook. Jio Platforms has raised about $20.2 billion by selling about 33% stake in the company from 13 investors
Apart from Google and Facebook, few other global investors are Silver Lake, Qualcomm, Intel, General Atlantic, Vista Equity Partners, TPG, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, L Catterton, KKR, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and Mubadala
The funding in the Indian mobile internet giant comes as India is trying to reduce its dependence on Chinese companies. Last month, India has banned 59 Chinese-based apps and services, including ByteDance’s TikTok and WeChat.