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Tactical? Or for the good of the country?
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There’s been a lot of Google news flying around as of late including dark mode going live on their mobile apps and a Chrome update that’ll increase your battery life by up to two hours, but this time, there’s some big news about Goggle’s investments in other countries. CEO Sunda Pichai announced today via Google’s annual Google for India event that Google is going to be investing up to $10 billion in India over the next seven years through the launch of the India Digitization Fund.
This India Digitization Fund will aim to distribute the $10 billion through equity investments into local businesses, partnerships, and infrastructure spending. Investing into these three areas will aim to help Indian businesses become more digital as a whole, while also bringing the idea of AI into the forefront of people’s minds for “social good” in industries such as “health, education, and agriculture.”
The Google for India event has been going since 2015 and has implemented a bunch of interesting initiatives such as a new AI lab in Bengaluru coupled with the integration of mobile payments in that region. However, not all the initiatives have been successful with the notable one being the release of free public WiFi at over 400 train stations throughout the country. This program was sadly cancelled after four years due to difficult technical and infrastructure needs. On the other hand, maybe an investment, like the one Google has now announced, could spring a return of free WiFi across the nation.
The $10 billion will certainly help Indian businesses, and the country as a whole, come up to speed with the digital world, and will hopefully improve the already growing economy. Don’t think there’s nothing in it for Google though, as India has recently been banning apps and services from China such as TikTik and WeChat, which could put Google at an extreme advantage in years to come, especially due to the huge investment strategy they’ve run with.