Google invests in Indian internet giant Jio and plans new ‘affordable’ smartphone


Google is investing $4.5 billion for a 7.73% stake in Jio Platforms, an Indian internet giant that offers broadband, mobile services, and online commerce platforms/

The company announced today that the investment, which is pending regulatory review, is part of Google’s commitment to invest around $10 billion in India over the next five to seven years.

This follows the same move from Facebook to invest $5.7 billion for a 9.9% stake in the company earlier this year.  Jio Platforms is the tech subsidiary of Reliance Industries.

Google said that it is working with Jio on an “entry-level affordable smart-phone”. Chairman of Reliance Industries, Mukesh Ambani, said this work will involve creating a customised version of Android designed for low-cost, entry-level smart-phones.  However, it is still unclear how this project related to Google’s existing version of Android designed for low-powered devices, Android Go.

Google also said it hopes to use its investment in Jio to bring smartphones to more users in India, noting that majority of people in the country don’t have access to the internet, and that fewer still own smartphones. A partnership with Jio could accelerate Google’s efforts

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