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Current Affairs

Google to invest $10 billion in India

Date: 15 July 2020 Tags: IT, Mobile & Computers

Issue

Tech-giant Google has announced plans to invest $10 billion in India over the next 5-7 years by way of equity investments, partnerships and other arrangements to “accelerate digitisation” in the country.

 

Background

The announcement assumes particular significance given the gap in the country’s tech investment ecosystem following the government’s clampdown on Chinese technology firms.

 

Details

  • Google said its $10-billion fund would focus on areas such as enabling affordable access to the Internet and to information for every Indian in their own language.

  • It will also include building new products and services in segments like consumer tech, education, health, and agriculture; empowering businesses, especially small and medium ones, to transform digitally; leveraging technology and artificial intelligence for digital literacy, outbreak predictions, and support for rural economies.

  • These investments will be made through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, operations, infrastructure, and ecosystem investments.

  • These include Google’s existing projects such as Internet Saathi for spreading awareness of the Internet in rural villages and an artificial intelligence-based flood forecasting system, among others.

  • Big technology companies like Google, Facebook, Netflix and Twitter are, in any case, prohibited from doing business in China.

  • Potential hurdles for Chinese companies investing in India could provide better prospects for American giants to strengthen their position in a market which has the second-most Internet users in the world.

 

International investment scenario in India

  • Google’s investment plan is in line with big-tech’s bullish outlook on India. Earlier this year, Amazon said it would invest an additional $1 billion in India.

  • This was followed by a marquee investment announcement of $5.7 billion by Facebook in the country’s largest telecom company Reliance Jio.

  • Last month, Microsoft’s venture fund M12 said it would open an office in India to pursue investment opportunities focusing on B2B software start-ups.