Libra to Become a Reality in India? Facebook Invests $5.7 Billion in Jio Platform
In its biggest deal since WhatsApp, Facebook Inc. will invest $5.7 billion in Jio Platforms. The Tech giant will buy about 10% of the digital assets controlled by Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani to become the largest minority shareholders in the company.
This is the US company's attempt to gain a broader foothold in WhatsApp’s biggest global market and connect the platform with e-commerce venture JioMart, which would rival Amazon and Walmart in the country.
Jio Platforms of Reliance Industries brings Jio’s digital apps, ecosystems, and wireless platform together under one umbrella. This partnership will allow Facebook to expand in India which is rapidly embracing online payment and e-commerce. Zuckerberg said in a Facebook video,
“India is a special place for us.”
“We’re also committing to work together on some critical projects that we think are going to open up a lot of opportunities for commerce in India.”
The companies will start working with Indian regulators to seek approval now that the deal is formally announced. Back in 2019, Facebook ran into opposition from Indian regulators when it tried to launch a payments feature inside WhatsApp regarding encrypted content regulation.
India Supports Tech-Issued Digital Currency
Facebook has about 250 million users in India while Whatsapp has more than 400 million. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also been aiming to introduce a digital currency in the country.
Zuckerberg has long been looking at the market for his so-called cryptocurrency project, Libra. Now, this big step might aid him in finally introducing his stablecoin to the South Asian country’s half a billion internet users.
The good thing for the tech giant is unlike the developed markets, emerging markets have confidence in tech-issued digital currency.
Recently, the Supreme Court of India also lifted the restrictions put by the Reserve Bank of India on banks and financial institutions that prevented them from providing services to crypto exchanges and businesses.
India’s crypto community is welcoming this new partnership as Nischal Shetty, founder of Binance acquired crypto exchange WazirX said,
“Clear signs of Crypto emerging as a popular technology in India. Facebook investing $5.7B in Jio is great news for Indian Crypto ecosystem. FB has Libra. Jio has been working on Blockchain Crypto tech. Libra may become a reality in India.”
Facebook has also been making changes to the whitepaper of Libra as it continues to run into regulatory hurdles. Last week, the Libra Association announced that the stablecoin will be backed by individual national currencies.