In a surprise move, Reliance Jio has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with the world’s largest social media platform, Facebook. The latter has invested a sizeable amount in the Mukesh Ambani-led telecom operator to obtain close to a 10 percent stake in the company. After this move, Facebook has become the largest minority shareholder in the Indian telco. Notably, Reliance has earlier signed a deal with Microsoft as well, where the latter will power Jio’s data centers with its Azure cloud for 10 years. Here’s everything you need to know about the partnership between Jio and Facebook.
Facebook picks up 9.99 percent stake in Jio
Facebook has bought a 9.9 percent stake in the telecom unit of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Jio Platforms Limited for $5.7 billion (Rs 43,574 crore). The social media giant will soon sign a binding agreement with the Indian company. This deal happens to be the largest minority stake by a technology company anywhere in the world and the largest FDI in the technology sector in India.
Facebook has announced that the deal highlights its commitment for India. Notably, India is the biggest market for the social media giant with 328 million monthly users, and its WhatsApp messaging app seeing 400 million monthly users. Both Reliance Jio and Facebook have announced that the main focus of the partnership will be to offer digital solutions for 60 million micro, small and medium businesses, 120 million farmers, 30 million small merchants and millions of small and medium enterprises in the informal sector.
To this extent, Jio Platforms, Reliance Retails and WhatsApp have also entered into a commercial agreement. As part of this partnership, Reliance Retail’s JioMart and WhatsApp will empower nearly 3 crore Indian kirana stores to digitally transact with every customer in their neighbourhood. This way consumers will be able to order and get faster delivery of day-to-day items from nearby shops using WhatsApp.