The greater strategic battle could come in areas where less attention is being paid.
As Reliance Jio Platforms, an India-based digital services and telecoms spinoff from the country’s largest conglomerate, takes its funding past $20bn in the past three months with Google’s $4.5bn investment yesterday, it is worth some reflection on why all these companies are so interested.
The most obvious answer is India’s massive population is attractive to US technology groups and investors wanting to reach big markets and after their shut-out from China over the past decade.
Populations, however, change. Medical journal Lancet in the BBC reports on the impact of falling fertility rates, with 23 nations expected to halve in size by 2100.
So as China’s population crashes it is surprising more attention is yet to be paid to Nigeria and other parts of Africa as the region’s population grows towards three billion people over the next few generations. Some of the smarter ones, such as Jack Ma after his departure from Alibaba or Tencent, as well as US peers, including Google and Facebook, are of course.
And so while attention is for now on how the China-US cold war will play out in India the greater strategic battle could come in areas where less attention is being paid but early venture bets could pay off as handsomely as Naspers’ investment in Tencent or SoftBank in Alibaba.