Many companies are retreating. But Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are placing bets to get even bigger.
Even as Facebook grappled this month with an internal revolt and a cascade of criticism over its refusal to take action on President Trump’s inflammatory posts, the social network was actively making other bets behind the scenes.
Late one Tuesday, as attention was focused on how Facebook might handle Mr. Trump, the Silicon Valley company said in a brief blog post that it had invested in Gojek, a “super app” in Southeast Asia. The deal, which gave Facebook a bigger foothold in the rapidly growing region, followed a $5.7 billion investment it recently pumped into Reliance Jio, a telecom giant in India.
The moves were part of a spending spree by the social network, which also shelled out $400 million last month to buy an animated GIF company and which is spending millions of dollars to build a nearly 23,000-mile undersea fiber-optic cable encircling Africa. On Thursday, Facebook confirmed that it was also developing a venture capital fund to invest in promising start-ups.
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