Google is in ” advanced discussions ” to take a $ 4 billion stake in Jio Platforms, a digital subsidiary of conglomerate Reliance Industries, as big tech companies compete for India’s huge e-commerce market, the agency reported on Tuesday Bloomberg. An announcement on the outcome of negotiations between the US internet giant and Jio Platforms, owned by Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, could come “From the next few weeks”, according to the sources cited by Bloomberg.
Google CEO Sunder Pichai on Monday announced an investment of ten billion dollars (8.8 billion euros) in India over the next five to seven years, to “Accelerate the digital economy” from the country of 1.3 billion inhabitants where he himself comes from. With a young population and increasingly connected to the Internet, the South Asian giant represents a promising market for Internet giants who, from Facebook to Amazon, have invested billions of dollars in it in recent years. Facebook announced in April a $ 5.7 billion investment in Jio Platforms, which should allow it to gain a foothold in e-commerce in India.
With 388 million customers of its telecoms subsidiary Jio, the country’s leading mobile operator, Reliance Industries intends to launch a large online sales portal this year via its digital subsidiary. This will represent a serious rival for the current leaders of the sector in India, Amazon and Flipkart (owned by the American distributor Walmart). Mr. Ambani had assured in mid-June that Reliance Industries was now free of financial debt after raising more than $ 22 billion thanks to the entry into its capital of new shareholders, including Facebook.