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The Most Important Story You Will See All Day?

The number of internet users in India is expected to triple from 100 million to 300 million in the next two years, Google predicts.  From the Wall Street Journal:

In an interview, Google’s country head in India, Rajan Anandan, said the Web giant expects India to reach at least 300 million Internet users by 2014, up from about 100 million now, as telecom carriers invest in high-speed wireless infrastructure and smartphones become cheaper.

Even without those technology advancements, India is already the third-largest Internet market by users, behind China and the U.S., and with only 8% of its population of 1.2 billion online, there’s plenty of runway for growth.
Google isn’t sure how anybody is going to make much money off this vast new audience, but whatever happens to Google stock, expect large political, cultural and social changes to flow as the digital revolution goes mass market in what will soon be the world’s most populous country.
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  • Luke Lea

    I wish I could agree that this is an important story, but I just can’t see it. I see India as an eternal bystander as far as world affairs are concerned. But, then, they did produce Gunga Din, didn’t they? Probably a whole bunch.

  • john vrklan

    Depending on what the demographics are like in India, as compared to China, India just might be a better long term bet than China, growth wise. Being a democracy is a big plus.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    We should dump China, and get a free trade agreement with the largest democracy in the world (India), to replace all the cheap Chinese junk.

  • Toni

    India is the world’s largest democracy with the world’s largest middle class. Among what the British left behind are the rule of law and many English-speakers. Since English is now the world’s lingua franca, that’s an incalculable asset.

    Moreover, the citizens of the world’s largest democracy have recently exercised their perogative to insist that their government purge itself of corruption. (I don’t think even Americans did that. A new breed of politicians began purging the system.)

    Moreover, India is a mostly capitalist country with a friendly attitude toward the U.S. and no China-like military ambitions. India already is and will be consequential to America and the world.

    So the changes wrought by India’s digital revolution will be both fascinating and important.

  • john vrklan

    I’d like to amend my earlier comment by saying that I don’t think it’s an either/or proposition. Trade is a good thing on all levels, economic, social, political. China seems to be at a point where they’re going to have to make some adjustments in their philosophy, economy wise. Free and open markets can have, I think, a positive influence. To not do business, or start a trade war with China would be self defeating.
    No matter what China does, be it currency manipulation, hoarding resources, propping up unsavory regimes(Iran). We are in control of our destiny. Make them react to us, not vice-versa.

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