(Reuters) – Facebook Inc <FB.O> announced a $5.7 billion investment in Reliance Industries Ltd’s <RELI.NS> telecom unit on Wednesday, making it the largest minority shareholder in Jio Platforms Limited.
The social media giant said https://bit.ly/2RX7iGN it would focus on collaborating its messaging platform WhatsApp with Reliance’s e-commerce venture JioMart to enable people to connect with small businesses.
Facebook’s investment will translate to a 9.99% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis, Jio said https://bit.ly/34Wzy1a in a statement.
The deal comes at a time when Facebook-owned WhatsApp has secured approval to roll out its digital payment service in India, according to media reports http://bit.ly/2UzxlGa, to compete with the likes of Google Pay and Paytm.
WhatsApp has 400 million users in India, its biggest market, reaching nearly 80% of smartphone users in the country.
Reliance Jio, the fast-growing telecom carrier controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, began operations in late 2016.
Last month, Financial Times reported that social media giant was in talks for a 10% stake in Jio but the talks were halted due to global travel bans amid the coronavirus outbreak.
(Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)