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Reliance seen emerging as bigger threat for US firms like Amazon, Walmart

Some industry watchers equate Reliance's digital plans - which extend from online shopping and cloud computing to telecom and digital payments - to China's Alibaba and Tencent, companies Reliance itself calls 'global peers'.

July 16, 2020 / 10:34 PM IST

A $20 billion fund raising spree may take India's Reliance Industries closer to its dream of becoming a digital giant, further threatening the ambitious plans US companies like Amazon, Walmart and Zoom have for India.

Stake sales in Reliance's digital unit Jio Platforms attracted not just private equity and sovereign wealth funds but also Google and Facebook, a strong endorsement for an enterprise that until a few years ago focussed largely on oil refining.

Some industry watchers equate Reliance's digital plans - which extend from online shopping and cloud computing to telecom and digital payments - to China's Alibaba and Tencent, companies Reliance itself calls "global peers".

Reliance has a track record of disrupting rival businesses. With cheap smartphones and data plans, its telecom venture Jio has in four years dethroned market leaders Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel to become the largest telecom operator in India.