Google has concluded plans to invest $10 billion in India over the next five years as it battles rivals like Facebook and Amazon in the vast market of 1.3 billion consumers.
The Funds would be invested in local firms and infrastructure in areas like digital payments, education, health, and others.
In a virtual event held in India, Google Chief executive, Sunder Pichai, told participants that the funds would use to further accelerate India’s digital economy.
“There’s no question we are facing a difficult moment today, in India and around the world. The dual challenges to our health and to our economies have forced us to rethink how we work and how we live. But times of challenge can lead to incredible moments of innovation,” ” Pichai said.
Foreign firms have spent tens of billions of dollars in India in recent years as they fight for a piece of the Asian giant’s burgeoning digital economy.
This has included only this year around $16 billion in investments from Facebook, Intel, and others in stakes in the digital services unit of Jio, controlled by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani.
Pichai, yesterday, briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his plans, but a government statement suggested that Modi also expressed concerns about data security and privacy.
And after the briefing, the prime minister stated that tech companies need to put in efforts that would bridge the trust deficit.
Earlier this month the Indian government banned 59 Chinese cellphone apps including the hugely popular TikTok over concerns the firms were passing user data to the Chinese government.
The move came amid a dramatic worsening in relations with China following a brawl on their disputed Himalayan border on June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead.