Google Invests $4.5 Billion in India's Jio Platforms

Google to invest $4.5 billion in Jio Platforms, India's largest and most pervasive mobile and internet company.
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Alphabet-owned Google  (GOOGL) - Get Report confirmed on Wednesday that it plans to invest $4.5 billion in India digital-service and telecom provider Jio Platforms, the country's largest and most pervasive mobile and internet company.

The search giant is investing $4.5 billion for a 7.73% stake in the top Indian telecom network, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Wednesday.

The deal has Google joining a growing list of investors in Reliance Industries-owned Jio, including Facebook  (FB) - Get Report, Vista Equity Partners and KKR  (KKR) - Get Report.

Facebook in April invested $5.7 billion for a 9.99% stake in Jio, which has amassed over 400 million subscribers in less than four years. Facebook is the largest minority stakeholder in Jio Platforms.

Jio itself has quickly become the top mobile and internet brand in India, bringing millions of Indians online over the past four years by offering free or very low-cost data.

The surge in internet users has benefitted the likes of Google and Facebook, both of which are increasingly looking to Asia and emerging economies like India to provide their "next billion users," to delve into ways to expand their presence.

Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries, is India's biggest mobile operator, with a subscriber base of 369.93 million and more than 30% market share. 

Jio Platforms also comprises a suite of apps, including Zoom Video Communications  (ZM) - Get Report rival JioMeet and streaming service JioSaavn.

Google isn't in foreign expansion mode everywhere. The online behemoth recently canceled plans for a major new cloud service in China and other markets deemed "sensitive" over geopolitical tensions and Covid-19 concerns.

Meanwhile, Ambani is now the sixth-richest person in the world, according to Bloomberg's Billionaires Index.

Shares of Google were down 0.06% at $1,520 in premarket trading on Wednesday.