NEW DELHI (AP) — Google plans to invest $4.5 billion in India’s Jio Platforms Ltd, the company announced Wednesday, taking a 7.7% stake in the digital services company owned by multi-billion dollar Reliance Industries.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a tweet that the partnership with Jio will help connect hundreds of millions of Indians who do not own a smartphone.
Jio Platforms Limited owns India’s largest mobile network operator Jio and other digital businesses controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries, the country’s most highly-valued company.
Among other projects, Jio and Google will build a low-cost smartphone.
Google’s announcement came just days after it announced it would invest $10 billion to help accelerate India’s transition to a digital economy in the next five to seven years.
In April, Facebook invested $5.7 billion in Reliance Jio Platforms for a 9.99% stake in it. Jio has registered more than 400 million subscribers in under four years.
Pichai said Monday that the project will focus on building products that are relevant to India’s needs and empower businesses for their so-called digital transformation.