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Why Big Tech is racing to bring the internet to India

 Why Big Tech is racing to bring the internet to India

by one out of every five people on the planet will live in India India is already the worlds largest democracy and fastest growing major economy but right now fewer than percent of its billion people have access to the Internet for companies like Google Amazon Facebook thats a problem one that theyre spending billions to face if you really have a mission of connecting every person in the world you cant do that without helping to connect everyone in India as Google we are extremely committed to India our mission in India is internet for every Indian the battle to bring the Internet to India is on Id say nearly a billion new users and perhaps even more importantly a leg up on the future of the Internet everyone in Walmart acquired Indian online retailer Flipkart for billion dollars and in a recent sale event Amazon sold more than million phones in just a single day yet even with those huge numbers ecommerce only account for roughly two and a half percent of Indias retail sales for big tech companies like Google that presents an immense opportunity for growth we decided to put highspeed free public WiFi in Indias railway stations were in stations today through the course of that we built a product called Google Station now that Google Station is now actually going to other emerging markets where affordable access is a constraint right Africa Southeast Asia and so on and so forth the more people that use Google the stronger Google gets its in the business of collecting data to sell at and India alone could offer Google two times more data than all of North America one of the things which Im really excited by is giving everyone in India one day the chance to carry a smartphone with connectivity Facebook sees an equally big opportunity India is a very very big priority for us companywide we do want India to play a very important role in global digital trade but there are also challenges many apps arent written in Indian languages and though mobile data is extraordinarily cheap smartphones are still way too expensive for many Indians to afford pricing is everything tomorrow morning if I could wake up and had one wish for the Indian internet I would say it would be a much more affordable quality smartphone right if we could do that then I think literally overnight we could double the user base in India the biggest challenge though might be the Indian government officials there have watched the data breaches and privacy debates play out in other parts of the world that includes the basic responsibility of protecting peoples information which we failed to do with Cambridge analytical and theyre taking a hard line regulators are blocked Googles plans for Street View mapping and even prevented Facebook from using the promise of free Internet to push its app now new regulation could restrict how tech companies can gather information from Indian users I think India needs a balance between privacy and innovativeness and you know you cant keep data locked up but you need innovation to take place so the right balance needs to be struck and probably India will find the right balance a lot of the people who are coming online in the next phase of growth are going to be firsttime Internet users and therefore our ability to make sure that people have the tools to understand what our safe internet practices is going to be a very important area of work both for us as a company but also for the community to embrace we have to build policies that take care of this countrys assets and resources and still welcome ton of money from outside as millions of Indians come online regulators and tech companies have the benefit of hindsight how would the Internet of today be different if we knew in the 90s what we know now could we do a better job with privacy equal access protection and free speech India is not only a staggering economic opportunity its also a second chance at making the internet better for everyone everywhere Music '
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