Zuckerberg will be in New Delhi next week, appearing as the keynote speaker at a summit of Internet.org. He will also meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and members of some ministries.
Besides Zuckerberg, Sandberg also visited India
Back in July, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg also went to India, meeting with Modi. The Indian PM used social media in his election campaign, and continues to do so in office. At a meeting between the two figures, Modi expressed interest in using Facebook to improve governance, increase interaction with his people and attract tourism to India.
India represents Facebook’s second biggest market, with over 100 million users. Research firm eMarketer claims that the number of Indian users will reach 108.9 million by the end of this year, compared to 77.8 million in 2013. The majority of Indian users access the site from mobile devices.
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Tech interest in India
Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), Satya Nadella of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) executive Sundar Pichai have all made recent visits to the country.
“We expect India to be the second-largest Internet market by 2017,” Pichai said at an event to unveil low-cost smartphones, according to Bloomberg News. “And it’s happening due to mobile.”
Taking the Internet to the world
The founding members of Internet.org, including Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek Inc. (TPE:2454), Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V), Opera, Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:0059935), are committed to enabling the next five billion internet users to come online.
The companies are working together to develop lower-cost, higher-quality smartphones and provide Internet access to previously unconnected communities.
The New Delhi summit will allow experts, officials and industry figures to discuss ways of improving internet services for those whose first language is not English.
Zuckerberg and Modi are expected to discuss how the Indian government can assist in achieving the aims of Internet.org