Speaking on the company's annual Google for India webcast, CEO Sundar Pichai said, "We'll do this through a mix of equity investments; partnerships; and operational, infrastructure, and ecosystem investments."
A country with huge tech potential
Second only to China with 500 million internet users, India is attracting massive investments from the largest U.S. tech companies. Earlier this year, Facebook invested $5.7 billion in Indian telecom Jio Platforms, joining Intel and Qualcomm as investors in Jio. Amazon.com has said it is investing $1 billion in the country, and Apple is moving more of its manufacturing there.
Google has previously considered investing in Vodafone Idea, a joint venture of the U.K. telecom and India's Aditya Birla Group.
Google will target its investment into several broad areas, including providing access to information in a user's own language, including Hindi, Tamil, and Punjabi; building products targeted to India's specific needs; and using technology and artificial intelligence in health, education, and agriculture for social good.
The announcement comes as India's government looks to limit the ability of Google and other tech companies to control data and the online experience. A government committee in India just issued a 72-page report calling for a new regulatory body that would control the ability of companies to share and monetize information they collect online while ensuring the privacy of users.