Facebook Tuesday announced a $5.7 billion investment in Jio Platforms Limited, part of Reliance Industries, making the social media giant its largest minority shareholder.
In a blog post, FB said the sizable 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.”
Tech and media companies are pushing into India, attracted by the sheer size of the market and the rapid adoption of digital technologies. Over the past five years, Facebook said, more than 560 million people in the country have gained access to the internet. The purchase of the Jio Platoforms stake is one of the biggest deals Facebook has ever done, second only to the company’s acquisition of WhatsAppp in 2014 for $19 billion.
Facebook said one project will be to bring together JioMart, Jio’s small business initiative, with WhatsApp, to let people connect with businesses, shop and purchase products on a mobile device. WhatsApp has 400 million users in India and Instagram is growing dramatically, Facebook said.
Reliance, headquartered in Mumbai, is a multinational conglomerate conglomerate with assets energy, petrochemicals, textiles, natural resources, retail and telecommunications. Jio Platforms is an umbrella platform for Reliance’s digital businesses.
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