Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Meta Plans First Data Center in India

Wed 03 Apr 2024 | 10:58 AM
Israa Farhan

Meta, the tech conglomerate behind Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, is gearing up to establish its inaugural data center in India, according to reports from The Economic Times (ET).

The center, set to be situated within the premises of Reliance Industries, owned by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s wealthiest individual, marks a significant move for Meta's operations in the region.

Sources familiar with the matter highlighted that this initiative signifies Meta's strategic approach to enable faster processing of vast data volumes while potentially hosting artificial intelligence (AI) models locally.

This development aligns with recent trends in New Delhi, where local scrutiny over AI technologies has intensified.

Expected to be constructed at the Reliance campus in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, this local data center holds promises of enriched user experiences and reduced transmission costs compared to global data hubs.

Currently, Indian users' data is routed through centers in Singapore. Given India's substantial user base across Meta's platforms – Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp – estimated at hundreds of millions, the move is poised to streamline service delivery.

The collaboration discussions between Meta and Reliance gained traction in early March, notably during the extravagant pre-wedding festivities of Ambani’s son, attended by prominent figures from India and abroad.

Reliance, a dominant force in India’s corporate landscape, recently forged a significant partnership with Disney, forming an entity valued at $8.5 billion and poised to become the largest media network in the nation.

This potential venture with Meta surfaces amidst New Delhi’s tightened regulations concerning AI-based models, reflecting the government's resolve to safeguard against potential misuses of technology.

Notably, recent controversies surrounding AI applications, like Google's Gemini chatbot incident in February, prompted governmental actions, including an advisory requiring tech firms to seek prior authorization for new AI models.

In parallel developments, reports suggest Google's plans to establish its maiden captive data center in Mumbai, indicative of a broader industry trend towards reinforcing digital infrastructure within India’s dynamic business landscape.