Facebook linked with big-money investment in Reliance Jio
Facebook is reported to be considering stepping up its presence in India by acquiring a 10-per-cent stake in mobile telecoms corporation Reliance Jio.
The social media giant, which is headed up by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, has been in talks with the Indian operator over a significant investment, albeit these have stalled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the UK’s Financial Times newspaper.
Reliance Jio, which was spun off from conglomerate Reliance Industries, controlled by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, has been valued at $60 billion, meaning that a 10-per-cent holding would be worth around $6 billion.
Facebook has declined to comment on the report.
Reliance Jio now has more than 300 million customers, and is credited with enabling large swathes of the Indian population to get online, notably through the widespread roll-out of 4G starting in 2016.
It has also engaged in sport, offering a variety of Indian cricket via its JioTV app, which launched in 2019. Reliance Industries is the owner of the Indian Premier League's Mumbai Indians.
Facebook has also seen a sport as a way to connect with the Indian populace, snapping up rights to Spanish soccer’s LaLiga in a three-year deal to the end of 2020-21 and last year securing exclusive digital content rights in India to global events organised by the International Cricket Council until 2023.
Under the ICC partnership, Facebook is offering a variety of content, including match recaps, in-play key moments and other match and feature content from 12 tournaments on its Facebook Watch platform across the region.