Facebook has taken a major stake in a major Indian conglomerate’s digital arm, as the U.S internet giant is moving deeper into what it sees as one of the largest growth markets. The social network made an investment of $5.7 billion in Jio Platforms Limited, owned by Mukesh Ambani, a billionaire, Reliance Industries. Jio Platforms has a range of brands under it, such as its telecommunications company Reliance Jio, which has risen steadily to become the range one mobile carrier in India by revenues and customer base thanks to aggressive pricing.
The investment gives Jio Platforms a 9.99 per cent interest in Facebook and gives it a $65.95 billion pre-money enterprise value. India is essential to the WhatsApp messaging service on Facebook which has more than 400 million users in the world.
This might include taking JioMart, Jio’s Small Business Initiative and WhatsApp together to link people to businesses and shops. The move is appropriate as Facebook is gearing up to launch WhatsApp’s payment feature in India. For a variety of reasons, the investment could be crucial, including exposure to the more than 380 million user base of Jio Platforms as well as Ambani’s political support.
Indian Regulators Block a FB Project in 2016
Also, throughout the past few years, Facebook has tried numerous ways to establish a strong foothold. It is in the Indian market but it has not always been successful. In 2016, a Facebook project called “Free Basics” was blocked by Indian regulators. It aimed to offer free access to popular web resources like Wikipedia. The idea was that certain pages should not be paying the data costs for users. Yet that, critics said, went against the principle of “net neutrality “.
The concept that when it comes to data, all sites should be treated fairly. So, in the after-hours exchange, Facebook shares were up 2.5 per cent.