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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook is spending $5.7 billion to become the largest minority shareholder of Indian telecom operator Reliance Jio, the company announced on Tuesday.

Why it matters, via Axios' Ina Fried: Facebook has long sought a way to get more people in India using its services. In the past it has looked to subsidize mobile traffic to its services, a move that drew the ire of net neutrality advocates and other critics.

Details: Facebook is investing in Jio Platforms, the telecom and tech subsidiary of Mumbai-based conglomerate Reliance Industries. The companies plan to pair WhatsApp and JioMart, Jio’s small business initiative, for mobile shopping, Facebook's Chief Revenue Officer David Fischer and Jio's VP Ajit Mohan said in a joint press release.

What they're saying: "India is in the midst of one of the most dynamic social and economic transformations the world has ever seen, driven by the rapid adoption of digital technologies. In just the past five years, more than 560 million people in India have gained access to the internet," Fischer and Mohan said.

Go deeper: Facebook spending $100 million to help news outlets in coronavirus crisis

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Facebook is investing in Jio Platforms (not Jio Systems).

Go deeper

Jul 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

Facebook beats Wall Street estimates despite pandemic and boycott

Photo: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

Facebook's stock was up more than 6% in after-hours trading on Thursday, after the tech giant reported strong revenue growth, despite a global ad slowdown due to the pandemic and a growing advertiser boycott.

Why it matters: Facebook's ability to beat top and bottom line revenue expectations amid the coronavirus crisis and the boycott speaks to the strength of the company's appeal to marketers despite serious challenges.

Updated Jul 29, 2020 - Technology

Tech's major powers face heat during House antitrust hearing

Screenshot: CSPAN

Wednesday's House antitrust hearing with the CEOs of Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple went down some politically fraught rabbit holes, but also saw tech's most powerful figures face sharper questions than they've seen before from Washington.

What's happening: Republicans slammed the companies for alleged anti-conservative bias, but Democrats largely narrowed their focus to possible competitive abuses, putting the CEOs on their back feet and producing some surprising admissions.

Updated 13 mins ago - World

Russia announces end to massive troop buildup near Ukraine

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (L) with President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Russia's defense minister said Thursday that massive military exercises near the border with Ukraine had been completed, and that he had ordered troops to return to their permanent bases by May 1, according to state media.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of troops and heavy military equipment had been moved to the border of eastern Ukraine and the annexed territory of Crimea over the last month, sparking fears of a potential Russian invasion.