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Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, said mathematics suggested that India is the country to look out for.
“This place is going to be rocking,” said Schmidt, who is in New Delhi for Google’s Big Tent Forum.
“In the short term it is China, but math favours India. And I’m a mathematician,” Schmidt said.
Schmidt expressed great hope for the growth of Internet and broadband users in the country.
The chairman said: ” (There are) roughly 600 million mobile phone users in India, there are about 130 million Internet users, (but) there are only about 20 million broadband users. So by any definition India is under-penetrated. And in our book we talk a lot about the importance of the next 5 billion.
“There are only 2 billion people on internet in the world today. And many of those 5 billion would be coming from India.
“So imagine a situation five to 10 years from now. When there is a billion people on the internet. Will they be significantly different from the first 100 million users. I’m sure there will be many more languages and they won’t be so English focused,” he said.
Schmidt, however, stressed that India needs to build on infrastructure and lower the cost of devices.
“I think the sum of all that is that this place is going to be rocking.”
On regulation in India, especially clauses pertaining to the liability on the intermediary, he said it is important for a service provider to check offensive data being put on the net.
“India is a country with very very strong element to free speech and public discussion, which is admirable with a strong and vibrant democracy with a strong legal system. There are some clarifications that you needed to some of the aspects of law (section 66) and intermediate liability.”
On Thursday a group of 11 web businesses have sent a joint letter to Europe’s top antitrust official asking him to take a hard line with Google to change its business practices to ensure fair-play for smaller competitors.
European Union regulators are currently probing Google for possible violations of anti-trust rules by pushing its own services over those of rivals, copying travel and restaurant reviews from competing sites without permission and restricting advertisers from moving to competing services.