Asia’s richest: Mukesh Ambani bags $5.7 billion investment from Facebook

Mukesh Ambani's telecom operator Reliance Jio has bagged a $5.7 billion investment from the social media giant Facebook. The deal aims to boost the digital payment system in India.

India’s Mukesh Ambani has taken over Alibaba’s Jack Ma as the wealthiest person in Asia. Mukesh Ambani is the chairman of sprawling oil-to-retail conglomerate Reliance Industries. Earlier this week, Reliance’s telecoms arm, Jio, received an investment of $5.7 billion from Facebook, in a deal that aims to revolutionize the digital payments in India.

This is Facebook’s biggest investment since it bought messaging app WhatsApp. The investment saw Reliance stocks surge by 10%, knocking off Alibaba’s Jack Ma from the list of the richest person in Asia. 

The partnership aims to help India’s small businesses go digital.

According to the agreement, Facebook’s WhatsApp will help India’s almost 30 million small businesses with digital process payments. Reliance will gain a payment platform for its e-commerce unit and startup, JioMart. At the same time, the social media giant would get a market with a population of 1.3 billion people as a testing ground for its payment services. Facebook plans to launch its digital currency Libra sometime this year. Facebook has identified the Indian market as one that’s primed for digital disruption.

Reliance had announced the world’s largest blockchain network last year. 

Mukesh Ambani last year announced the world’s largest blockchain network in India, targetting Jio’s 330 million users. He emphasized at the launch that blockchain technology formed one of three main areas of expansion for Jio. The billionaire said they have an opportunity to invent a brand new model for data privacy using blockchain, where Indian data, especially customer data, is owned and controlled by the Indian people and not by corporates, especially global corporations. 

Indian cryptocurrency market received a huge boost when the Supreme Court of India lifted the Reserve Bank of India’s banking ban on the crypto industry in India. This deal between Facebook and Reliance could prove to be crucial in the future of crypto in India. Currently, Facebook is facing backlash from the regulators all over the world because of its cryptocurrency project Libra, which is scheduled to launch sometime this year. 

Jai Pratap
Jai Pratap
A Mass Media Graduate who loves to write. Jai is also a sports enthusiast and a big movie buff. He loves to learn new things.

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