Google, the American technology giant led by Sundar Pichai recently invested 33,737 crore rupees in Jio platforms for 7.73 per cent stakes. “Reliance Industries and Jio Platforms, in particular, deserve a good deal of credit for India’s digital transformation. The pace and scale of digital transformation in India is hugely inspiring for us and reinforces our view that building products for India first helps us build better products for users everywhere,” said Pichai in a statement.
Time for humble brag by Mukesh Ambani pic.twitter.com/yJFUp96Zt5
— Madhav Chanchani (@madhavchanchani) July 15, 2020
In the last few months, three out of four American tech giants- Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon- have either collaborated with Jio platforms or invested money in the company. Google is developing low-cost android smartphones for Indian consumers in collaboration with Jio while Facebook has offered its newly launched payments service, Whatsapp pay, to Jio for telecom and e-commerce operations. Microsoft is collaborating with the company in data storage and cloud computing at a time when the Indian government is pushing hard for data sovereignty.
All big American tech companies except Amazon- which is now fighting a legal battle with Ambani over the purchase of Future Retail- have decided to collaborate with the Mukesh Ambani led oil to a retail conglomerate, but that did not stop the Jio Platforms to take them when the movements seemed opportune.
A few days ago, Reliance launched a revamped version of Jio Browser which will be now called Jio Pages in order to capture the search-engine space which is currently dominated by Google. “There could not have been a more opportune time to launch a made-in-India browser that focuses on data-privacy and gives users full control of their information,” said the company in a press release.
Jio Browser was first launched in 2018 and has 10 million downloads so far. The number of downloads increased exponentially after the government banned Alibaba’s UC Browser which had more than 130 million downloads over data privacy issues. UC Browser is already banned and Google is facing several issues in India–15 startup founders have approached Competition Commission of India (CCI) over company’s anti-competitive policies–as well as in the United States, where the Department of Justice has filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company after a year-long investigation over company’s dominance and online advertising.
So, one major competitor is already out of the market while the other is struggling in India, therefore, there could not have been a better time to launch its own browser by the Jio platforms. “Jio Browser has emerged as a compelling alternative to UC Browser…ahead of even Google Chrome and Mozilla,” reads a report by Yourstory published in August this year.
Despite the collaboration with Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, Reliance plans to take on all of them as well as Amazon, which is already scared of Mukesh Ambani led company’s entry in the e-commerce space.
So far, it looked like Mukesh Ambani had planned only to eat into Amazon’s businesses after making many domestic telecom players bankrupt, but now it is very much evident that Google’s businesses are also under his radar. It seems he is trying to make Reliance Jio Indian’s own Alibaba- the Chinese behemoth which is present in a range of Internet-related businesses including cloud computing, search engine, e-commerce, online payments, and many more. Jio, too, is already present in the online streaming of music, cinema as well as in chats, meet, browsing, cloud storage and many other businesses which dominate American players till now and in the next few years, it can dislodge them as a market leader.