Facebook Inc has bought 10 per cent stake in Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio for Rs 43,574 crore, making it the largest minority shareholder in Jio Platforms Limited. As part of the deal, Facebook's messaging platform WhatsApp will collaborate with Ambani's e-commerce venture Jio Mart to help "people connect with small businesses".
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to Facebook to talk about the deal, saying it would open up new "commerce opportunities" for people across India."
There's a lot going on in the world right now, but I wanted to share an update on our work in India. Facebook is teaming...Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, 21 April 2020
Zuckerberg said India had the largest user base for both Facebook and WhatsApp. He also talked about the role played by Jio in getting millions of people and small businesses online. Facebook would like to help people and businesses in India create new opportunities with its partnership with Jio, he said.
Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani termed the deal as a milestone in the Modi government's 'Digital India' initiative. "The synergy between Jio and Facebook will help realise Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Digital India' with its two ambitious goals- Ease of living and Ease of Doing Business- for every single category of Indian people without exception," Ambani said.
He said he was confident of India's economic revival and resurgence "in the shortest span of time" post coronavirus, and that this partnership would surely make a significant contribution to this transformation.
The deal between Facebook and Jio comes at a time when WhatsApp is trying to start its digital payment service in India, which will compete with the likes of Paytm and Google Pay.