After the Reliance Jio-Facebook deal was announced on Wednesday, Mukesh Ambani's wealth surged to make him Asia's richest man surpassing Jack Ma. Ambani's fortune rose by $4.69 billion to $49.2 billion after Reliance Industries gained 10 per cent, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index on Thursday.
The ranking that changes after the close of every trading day in the US puts Ambani $3.2 billion ahead of Jack Ma's $46 billion. Before the deal, Ambani's fortunes had seen a decline of $14 billion on the index in 2020. In early March, Jack Ma had surpassed Mukesh Ambani to become Asia's richest man after oil saw the biggest plunge in 29 years. While Reliance Industries were impacted, the damage for Ma's Alibaba Holdings was mitigated by the demand for its cloud computing services and mobile apps.
On Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook announced that it would pump in Rs 43,574 crore in Mukesh Ambani-led Jio Platforms Limited. The investment would translate to the social media giant holding 9.99 per cent equity stake in Reliance Jio Platforms. Facebook said that it would focus on collaborating its messaging platform WhatsApp with Reliance Jio's e-commerce venture JioMart and help people connect with small businesses.
The Reliance Industries Chairman said that the RIL-Facebook deal would be a milestone for the 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. "In the post-Corona era, I am confident of India's economic recovery and resurgence in the shortest period of time. The partnership will surely make an important contribution to this transformation," he added.
"India is home to the largest communities on Facebook and WhatsApp, and a lot of talented entrepreneurs. The country 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. This is especially important right now, because small businesses are the core of every economy and they need our support," said Mark Zuckerberg in a Facebook post. He said that India has 60 million small businesses and that they would be able to help such enterprises grow their business amid the lockdown.