Google has become the latest high-profile firm to back India’s Reliance Jio Platforms. 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.
谷歌已成为最新支持印度Jio Platforms的公司。信实工业董事长Mukesh Ambani周三表示，这家搜索巨头将花45亿美元收购印度顶级电信网络7.73%的股份。
The investment today from Google is one of the rare instances when the Android-maker has joined its global rival Facebook in backing a firm. Facebook invested $5.7 billion in Reliance Jio Platforms, which has amassed more than 400 million subscribers in less than four years of its existence, in April this year for a 9.99% stake in it. Facebook is the largest minority stakeholder in Jio Platforms.
这次谷歌的投资是这家安卓制造商，成为了它全球竞争对手Facebook支持公司的罕见案例之一。Facebook在今年4月向Reliance Jio Platforms投资了57亿美元，获得了9.99％的股份，因为Reliance Jio Platforms在成立不到四年的时间里就已累积了超4亿的用户。Facebook是Jio Platforms投资最大的少数股东之一。
Jio Platforms, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries (India’s most valued firm) has raised about $20.2 billion in the past four months from 13 investors by selling about 33% stake in the firm. (For some context, the entire Indian startup ecosystem raised $14.5 billion last year
Google’s new investment gives Jio Platforms an equity valuation of $58 billion — the same valuation implied by Facebook. Other investors, including General Atlantic, Silver Lake, Qualcomm, Intel and Vista, have paid a 12.5% premium for their stake in Jio Platforms.
谷歌的新投资使Jio Platforms的股权估值达到了580亿美元，与Facebook的估值相同。其他的投资，包括泛大西洋，银湖资本，高通，英特尔和Vista，一起使得Jio Platforms股份溢价了12.5％。
As part of Wednesday’s strategic announcement, Google and Reliance Jio Platforms will work on a customized-version of Android operating system to develop low-cost, entry-level smartphones to serve the next hundreds of millions of users, said Ambani. These phones will support Google Play and future wireless standard 5G, he said.
Ambani表示，作为周三战略公告的一部分，谷歌和Reliance Jio Platforms将致力于定制版本的安卓操作系统的研究，以开发出低成本的入门级智能手机，为未来的数亿用户提供服务。他说，这些手机将支持Google Play和未来的无线5G标准。
“Getting technology into the hands of more people is a big part of Google’s mission,” said Sundar Pichai, chief executive at Google, via a video chat on Wednesday. “Together we are excited to rethink, from the ground up, how millions of users in India can become owners of smartphones. This effort will unlock new opportunities, further power the vibrant ecosystem of applications and push innovation to drive growth for the new Indian economy,” he said.
Google首席执行官Sundar Pichai在周三的视频聊天中说：“将技术交付给更多人使用是谷歌使命中重要的一部分。” “我们很高兴能一起重新思考，印度的数百万用户如何才能成为智能手机的拥有者。这项努力将释放出新的机会，进一步为充满活力的应用程序生态提供动力，并以推动印度新经济增长为目的推动创新。”
The new deal further illustrates the opportunities foreign investors see in Jio Platforms that has upended the telecommunications market in India with cut-rate voice calls and mobile data tariffs. This is not the first time Jio Platforms has expressed interest in mobile operating system or handsets. The company has shipped at least 40 million JioPhone powered by KaiOS. These “smart feature” phones support a handful of apps, including Facebook’s WhatsApp. Google is an investor in KaiOS’ eponymous developer.
这项新交易进一步说明外国投资者在Jio Platforms中看到的机遇，该公司通过降低语音通话价格和移动数据资费而颠覆了印度的电信市场。这不是Jio Platforms首次表达对移动操作系统或手机的兴趣。该公司已经出货了至少4000万台由KaiOS驱动的JioPhone。这些带有“智能功能”的手机支持包括了Facebook的WhatsApp在内的多种应用程序。Google是KaiOS同名开发商的投资者。
Analysts at Bernstein said last month that they expect Jio Platforms — which competes with Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, a joint venture between British giant Vodafone and Indian tycoon Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Aditya Birla Group, in India — to reach 500 million customers by 2023, and control half of the market by 2025.
Bernstein的分析师上个月表示，他们预计Jio Platforms到2025年将达到5亿客户量，会占据印度一半的市场。（Jio Platforms在与Bharti Airtel和一家由英国巨头Vodafone和印度大亨Kumar Mangalam Birla在印度合资组建的公司Vodafone Idea竞争。）
Google, which like Facebook reaches nearly every online user in India, announced a new fund on Monday through which it said it plans to invest $10 billion in Asia’s third largest economy over the next five to seven years. Its investment in Jio Platforms today is the first investment from the Google For India Digitization Fund.
像Facebook一样，Google也几乎覆盖了印度的每个在线用户，Google上周一宣布成立了一只新基金，该基金计划在未来的五到七年内向亚洲的第三大经济体投资100亿美元。这次它对Jio Platforms的投资是Google For India Digitization Fund的第一笔投资。
Jio Platforms also operates a range of digital services, including a music streaming player and a video conferencing app. On Wednesday, Jio Platforms unveiled its newest offering: the Jio Glass.
Jio Platforms还运营了一系列的数字服务，包括音乐播放器和视频会议app。上周三，Jio Platforms推出了它的最新产品：Jio 眼镜。
Jio Platforms executives said Jio Glass wearers will be able to perform video calls and access more than two dozen apps. They did not disclose when Jio Platforms plans to make this new gadget available to consumers and what it would cost. Jio Platforms has unveiled devices in the past that sometimes take years to reach consumers — and sometimes they are quietly abandoned. Jio unveiled a similar pair of spectacles last year.
Jio Platforms高管表示，佩戴Jio眼镜的人能够进行视频通话并访问超过二十个app。他们没有透露Jio Platforms计划何时会向消费者出售此产品以及出售价格。过去，Jio Platforms推出的一些设备，有时需要数年时才会面向消费者，有时它们会被悄悄放弃。去年，Jio 就有推出一副类似的眼镜。
Some investors have told TechCrunch in recent months that Reliance Jio Platforms’ owner — India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani — and his closeness to the ruling political party in India are also crucial to why the digital unit of Reliance Industries is so attractive to many.
最近几个月，一些投资者表示，Reliance Jio Platforms的拥有者（印度首富Mukesh Ambani）和他与印度执政党的亲密关系，也对Reliance Industries的数字部门能吸引众多投资者起到重要的作用。
They believe that buying a stake in Jio Platforms would lower the regulatory burden they — and their portfolio firms — currently face in India. The investors requested anonymity as they did not wish to talk about the political tie-ups publicly.
A person familiar with the matter at one of the 13 firms that has backed Reliance Jio Platforms said that the Indian firm is also enticing as globally companies are trying to cut down their reliance and exposure on China.
投资Reliance Jio Platforms的 13家公司之一的某位知情人表示，因为全球的公司正努力减少对中国公司的依赖，这使得了这家印度公司变得很有吸引力，。
India, and the U.S., in recent months have taken actions to limit their reliance on Chinese firms. New Delhi last month banned 59 apps and services including TikTok that are developed by Chinese firms. Reliance Jio Platforms has interestingly yet to raise capital from any Chinese investor.
最近几个月，印度和美国已采取行动，限制对中国公司的依赖。新德里上个月禁止了由中国公司开发的59种应用和服务，其中包括TikTok。值得一提的是，Reliance Jio Platforms尚未从任何中国投资者那里筹集资金。
“Jio, for its part, has made an extraordinary contribution to India’s technological progress over the past decade. Its investments to expand telecommunications infrastructure, low-cost phones and affordable internet have changed the way its hundreds of millions of subscribers find news and information, communicate with one another, use services and run businesses. Today, Jio is increasing its focus on the development of areas like digital services, education, healthcare and entertainment that can support economic growth and social inclusion at a critical time in the country’s history,” said Pichai.
Reliance Industries, whose core businesses are in petrochemicals, has said in recent months that it plans to list Jio Platforms and Reliance Retail, another subsidiary of the firm, within five years. It’s a big week for firms in India. On Tuesday, Walmart led a $1.2 billion financing round in Flipkart to increase its majority stake in the 13-year-old Indian e-commerce firm.