Hyderabad: In a big breaking news coming up from the official sources, social media giant Facebook has invested a whopping stake for $5.7 billion (Rs. 43,574 crore) in the Indian telecom giant Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL). This multi billion dollar deal will put Facebook forward in one of the fast-growing markets and in turn helping the Indian oil-to-telecom conglomerate come out of its debt significantly.
“This investment underscores our commitment to India, and our excitement for the dramatic transformation that Jio has spurred in the country. In less than four years, Jio has brought more than 388 million people online, fueling the creation of innovative new enterprises and connecting people in new ways. We are committed to connecting more people in India together with Jio.” Facebook said in a statement.
The company added, “Our goal is to enable new opportunities for businesses of all sizes, but especially for the more than 60 million small businesses across India.”
Facebook, Reliance Jio & Free Basics
From the eyes of Facebook, India has raised critical in many markets. Per se, Facebook has many users in India than in any other country. Its product WhatsApp has attracted 340 million users and has already launched a payment service that will take on the contemporaries like PayTm, PhonePe, GooglePay.
Apart from its rapid growth in the customers in the country, Facebook has seen a failure as its Free Basics plan could not get approval to provide free internet services and was banned by the Indian telecom regulator, TRAI. Now that is is allied with Facebook, this might as well help in Facebook go against the rapidly growing Chinese apps like TikTok which have a huge following in Indian youth. Not to forget the competition from the other sides like tech tussle with Japan’s giant Softbank, and competition from their own soil companies like Google, Apple & Amazon and China’s Alibaba, which again has back up from Softbank.
Having said that, this deal brings win-win opportunities to both Facebook and Reliance Jio. In a recent report by Cisco, it was revealed that India is expected to have more than 900 million internet users due to feasibility to buy smartphones at an affordable price with cheaper internet packs. The report also said that India can possibly have more than 2.1 billion users by the end of 2023.