Facebook is investing US$5.7 billion or a 9.99 percent stake in India’s Jio Platforms. A wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries, Jio will use the new invesment to pursue new opportunities for businesses of all sizes, especially small merchants, micro-businesses and farmers, and create digital ecosystems that will empower, enrich and uplift the lives of all 1.3 billion Indians.
Through its subsidiary Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telco has more than 388 million subscribers in India.
Its world-class digital platform is powered by leading technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented and mixed reality, big data analytics, blockchain, broadband, cloud and edge computing, Internet of Things, and smart devices,
With its investment, Facebook has become the largest minority shareholder in Jio. The social media giant’s WhatsApp messaging service is trying to secure approval to roll out its digital payment service in India, which will see it compete in a crowded market with the likes of Google Pay and Paytm.
India is WhatsApp’s biggest market with about 400 million users, nearly 80 percent of smartphone users in the country. The deal will also help the social media giant leverage WhatsApp to partner with Reliance’s e-commerce marketplace JioMart, that connects small businesses to customers.
“(India) is in the middle of a major digital transformation and organisations like Jio have played a big part in getting hundreds of millions of Indian people and small businesses online,” said Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Facebook.