Reliance Jio, the latest entrant in the Indian telecom sector and the subsidiary of India’s most valued company Reliance Industries, is reportedly in talks to sell a portion of its stake to Facebook.
According to the report from Financial Times, the social media giant Facebook is in talks with Reliance Jio to acquire 10 percent stake in what is described as a multi-billion dollars deal. However, it is said that the talks have been halted because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Reliance Jio began its commercial operation in 2016 and has upended the local telecom market by offering free bulk 4G data and free voice calls for six months. It kickstarted price war with other network providers such as Airtel and Vodafone revising their plans.
Facebook seems to have been attracted by 370 million subscribers of Jio. The social media company might be interested in those users after its attempt fo offer free internet in India via Free Basics failed.
Apart from offering telecom services, Jio also has a suite of apps and services including JioSaavn for music streaming, JioTV for on-demand live TV and JioPay as a mobile payments platform. The company has also announced its plans to enter e-commerce space with JioMart.
Facebook has also started to take interest in local startups. The company has so far made two investment in the country — Meesho, a social commerce platform and Unacademy, an ed-tech startup.