Several weeks ago Facebook invested a lot of money into Reliance Jio platform, hoping to enable e-commerce through JioMart and WhatsApp, which is building its payment services. Now, there is a report that notes that some WhatsApp data will be shared with Jio. This will be apparently because it will help WhatsApp users carry out transactions on JioMart.
In a report, the Economic Times notes that apart from this data essential for transactions, nothing more will be shared between Jio and WhatsApp. "Both platforms will continue to retain exclusive commercial data regarding their users," an unnamed source reportedly told the ET.
If accurate, the data sharing relationship between Jio and WhatsApp could be similar to how it is between WhatsApp and Facebook. Or some variation of that. Some of the WhatsApp data is shared with Facebook, that, according to Facebook, helps the company offer richer and more integrated services to both Facebook and WhatsApp users.
By all indications, it seems that the Jio and Facebook plan for WhatsApp is to turn it into a super app, similar to WeChat in China, through which users will not only be able to chat but will also be able to buy goods or pay for services, even from local shops. This is something Jio and Facebook hope to do through the WhatsApp integration with JioMart. Currently, it is not clear what shape this integration will take.
In August Facebook announced an investment of $5.7 billion in Jio Platforms. The company had then made it clear that this investment was aimed at building a viable e-retail platform centred around WhatsApp.
"One focus of our collaboration with Jio will be creating new ways for people and businesses to operate more effectively in the growing digital economy," a Facebook spokesperson had said at that time. "For instance, by bringing together JioMart, Jio's small business initiative, with the power of WhatsApp, we can enable people to connect with businesses, shop and ultimately purchase products in a seamless mobile experience."
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