Business

Facebook invested $5.7 billion for a stake in India's biggest telecom operator

Plans are to integrate Whatsapp with e-commerce service JioMart in the country

Photo: Shutterstock
  • $5.7 billion for a 9.99% stake in India’s Jio Platforms: this is Facebook’s second biggest deal ever, after the Whatsapp’s acquisition;
  • The messaging app could integrate with Jio’s anticipated e-commerce service JioMart, turning the messaging app into a shopping channel – something similar to super app WeChat.

Mark Zuckerberg‘s social media giant Facebook announced this week it has invested $5.7 billion for a 9.99% stake in India’s Jio Platforms, the biggest telecom operator in the country with more than 370 million subscribers. The information is from TechCrunch.

The deal marks the social network’s second biggest ever, after acquiring WhatsApp six years ago for $19 billion. In addition, Facebook stated the messaging app could integrate with Jio’s anticipated e-commerce service JioMart.

READ ALSO: To tackle competition against Amazon’s Twitch and YouTube, Facebook launches gaming app

We can enable people to connect with businesses, shop and ultimately purchase products in a seamless mobile experience

David Fischer, CRO at Facebook, and Ajit Mohan, VP and Managing Director of Facebook India

READ ALSO: The huge potential of WhatsApp’s payments in Latin America

Bringing Whatsapp together with JioMart could turn the messaging app into a shopping channel – something similar to super app WeChat, owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent. More than a messaging app, WeChat is also a shopping service, payments provider, and information source.

This is not Facebook’s first move to convert Whatsapp in something more than just a messaging app. Announced earlier this year, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed at the occasion the official launch of WhatsApp Payments still in 2020. According to the executive, the technology would be available to users over the next six months in countries where WhatsApp has a strong presence in, like Brazil, Mexico, India, and Indonesia.